More Maplewood History: The Sutton-Marshall Connection

The bearded fellow must be Merritt.  My guess is that would be Mary just to the right of him.

Maplewood Public Library

The bearded fellow must be Merritt. My guess is that would be Mary just to the right of him.

Just a few days ago, a woman contacted me and asked for information about the Marshall family whose home was once located at the SE corner of Sutton and Manchester. As always the story turns out to be interesting enough to fill either a small book or at least a big pamphlet. It’s up to me to give you the highlights and still condense it enough to fit into this blog post. So here goes.
The Marshall name first became connected with our town (or rather what would become our town) in 1849 when Merritt Marshall settled here. He married Mary Sutton, daughter of James (our original pioneer) in 1853.

Merritt's headshot from the Maplewood Champion article.  I'm assuming the paper misspelled his name with just one T.  Folks who knew him spelled it with two.

Maplewood Public Library

Merritt's headshot from the Maplewood Champion article. I'm assuming the paper misspelled his name with just one T. Folks who knew him spelled it with two.

Merritt was imprisoned at Camp Jackson in 1862 which gives us a pretty good idea of where his sympathies lay. Once released he headed out west spending sixteen years in Montana and points in between in search of gold. I guess Mary and the six kids stayed home though I really don’t know.
My nearly illegible Maplewood Champion newspaper article from Friday, Sept. 12, 1913 seems to say he crossed the plains twelve times … dangers…and many narrow escapes from Indians…were…wild and furious.
It also says he put a sawmill in that country in 1865 using only oxen in rough and rugged mountains and that he had a number of successful enterprises in the Montana Rockies. (Surely he took some photos. I wonder where they’re at.)
He returned to Maplewood in 1880 and apparently caused no more trouble after that. I guess not. He was exhausted.
The article winds up by describing him as a young/old man living with his daughter and her husband, Tom Pullis at 736? Manchester.
Born in 1828, he was 85 when the article was written. The address makes me think he might still have been living in what was once his own home, having ceded it to his daughter and son-in-law. The 1909 map indicates this could be a possibility.
All we’ll ever know for sure is that he must have been a tough old bird.
Doug Houser 11/6/2013

This portion of the 1909 Maplewood map shows the Marshall home still extant with some newer commercial buildings fronting Manchester.

This portion of the 1909 Maplewood map shows the Marshall home still extant with some newer commercial buildings fronting Manchester.

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