Henderson County, Kentucky Biography


William J. MARSHALL was born 26 Dec 1827, on the farm, settled by his grandfather, Colonel William MARSHALL, five miles south of Henderson, on the Madisonville Road.

Col. Wm. MARSHALL was a soldier in the War of the Revolution from Virginia. In the year 1810 he removed from Mecklenburg County, Virginia, to this county, and located the farm as above stated. He died, two years after, leaving his farm to his widow and youngest child, William J. MARSHALL, then a youth sixteen years of age. The son grew to a manhood of high standing in the community for business capacity and social character. For a long time he was engaged in merchandising in the town of Henderson, but returned to his farm and soon thereafter married Sarah Lyne HOLLOWAY, youngest daughter of Col. John HOLLOWAY. In the year 1834 Mr. Marshall died, leaving four children, John H., William J., James B. and Lucie Ann, in after years, wife of Col. Leanard H. LYNE.

At an early age, William was sent to the Henderson Seminary and placed under the educational guidance of Mr. George GAYLE, a teacher of rare attainments. Under the tutorage of this preceptor, Mr. MARSHALL gained a fine primary education and at the age of tweleve became a student under the teaching of Rev. John McCULLOUGH. In three years he had fitted himself to enter a school possessed of more extended advantages; therefore, at the age of fifteen he matriculated at Kenyon College, Ohio, one of the most noted institutions of learning then in the West. After remaining at Gambier one year, he entered "Centre College," Danville, Kentucky, where he remained one year. Returning to Henderson, he accepted a clership with his uncle, Samuel STITES, at that time one of the leading dry goods merchants of the town. The agreement between the two was limited, yet at the expiration of the time, both parties were well enough pleased to enter into a new contract, which continued up to the time Mr. STITES sold out to EVANS & HOLLOWAY. He remained a short time with the new firm, but his health failing him, in 1850, he went to Virginia in the hope of reinstating his physical condition. In this, however, he was disappointed, and returning to Henderson, resigned his clerkship and located upon the farm upon which he was born.

On 23 Feb 1853, Mr. MARSHALL married Miss Lucie Frances POSEY, daughter of William T. POSEY and great-granddaughter of General Thomas POSEY, an officer of the Revolution, who served upon the staff of General WASHINGTON. Mrs. MARSHALL is a most estimable woman, possessed of a peculiar charm of manner, and very much beloved.

During the year 1858, Mr. MARSHALL, by an unfortunate accident, suffered the loss of his right hand, yet by constant practice, soon acquired the art of writing with his left hand, and has lost no time in keeping up his large correspondence. At the close of the War of the Rebellion, having lost some twenty-five slaves, he determined to take up his residence in the town. The handsome residence where he now resides was built during the summer of 1864, and he together with his family, occupied it during the spring of 1865. He soon opened a commission and insurance office and was not long in finding himself doing a lucrative business.

In the fall of 1865 he organized the banking house of GREEN, MARSHALL & CO. composed of Hon. Grant GREEN, now Cashier of the Farmers' Bank at Frankfort, Kentucky, himself and Edward ATKINSON.

In the fall of 1866, in order to enlarge the commission business, he organized the firm of W. J. MARSHALL & CO. consisting of GREEN, MARSHALL & CO. and Paul J. MARRS. They purchased a large and commodious wharfboat, and in conjunction occupied as a storage house the old Green River warehouse, at that time situated on a point of land out on the line of Third street, between Water street and the river.

In 1868 the firm built the large brick warehouse, now standing on Third Street, between Main and Water streets. Upon the election of Hon. Grant GREEN, to the cashiership of the Farmers' Bank, the banking affairs of GREEN, MARSHALL & CO. were closed up, and the accounts turned over to the Henderson Branch of the Farmers' Bank.

In August 1869, Mr. MARSHALL was elected a Director of the Farmers' Bank. For several years he was a member of the Henderson and Nashville Rail Road Directory, representing the City of Henderson. By the will of his uncle, John G. HOLLOWAY, one of the most intelligent and successful business men of the age, Mr. MARSHALL was made one of the executors of his large and varied estate. Being solicited, he in connection with Dr. Thomas TAYLOR, brother of Mrs. BURBANK, qualified as administrator of that large estate. In both instances, he has evinced marked ability in the management of the trusts. Mr. MARSHALL has never been an office-seeker, but frequently office has sought him. He has served as a member of the Board of Public School Trustees, and for a number of years has held, by appointment, the position of Water Works Commissioner. In 1872 he was appointed a Director of the South Kentucky Rail Road and entrusted solely with the only appropriation of money ever made, looking to the building of the road.

In June 1842, at the age of fifteen years, under the preaching of Rev. Dr. Nathan HALL, of Lexington, Kentucky, Mr. MARSHALL united himself with the Presbyterian Church, and has continued an earnest worker in the cause to this day. In 1851, he was elected Superintendent of the Sunday School, and held that position to the year 1853. In 1852, in connection with others, he was instrumental in the building of a house of worship, near by known as Posey Chapel, in which a Presbyterian Church was organized in the spring of 1853. He was elected an elder and Superintendent of the Sunday School, and served up to 1865, when he removed to town. In September 1865 he was again elected Superintendent of the Presbyterian Sunday School in the city. During the same year he was elected an elder, both of which offices he yet holds, with signal gratification to the church congregation. In addition to a considerable city estate, he is the owner of large farming interests, extensively engaged in the tobacco trade, being the leading partner in the large sales tobacco warehouse in the city, the stemmery at Boxville, Union County, and one of the largest growers of the staple in this county.

Mr. MARSHALL is the father of eight children, three daughters and five sons - Posey MARSHALL, William J. MARSHALL, Starling L. MARSHALL, Stuart Oxley MARSHALL, Len Lyne MARSHALL, Lila who married Fielding L. TURNER, Annie who married George B. HUGHES and Virgie, unmarried.

Starling's History of Henderson County, Kentucky, 1887.



William J. Marshall <Sr.> - Sarah L. Holloway, 1826, Book 001, Page 29
John H. Marshall - Martha E. Hopkins, 26 Oct 1848, Book 001, Page 105
William J. Marshall <Jr.> - Lucy F. Posey, 19 Feb 1853, Book 2, Page 12
Lucy A. Marshall - Leonard H. Lyne, 31 Jan 1855, Book 002, Page 197


W. J. Marshall, 23 Jul 1894, Fernwood, Age unknown, 457, 8
Lucy F. Marshall, 28 Sep 1904, Fernwood, Age unknown, 457, 9
Posey Marshall, 30 Oct 1905, Fernwood, Age unknown 457, 6
Starling L. Marshall, 24 Jul 1934, Fernwood, 74, 457, 2
Steward Oxley Marshall, 09 Nov 1922, Fernwood, Age unknown, 475, 10
Wm. J. Marshall, 09 Aug 1915, Fernwood, Age unknown 456, 7
Lelia Y. Marshall, 23 Feb 1942, Fernwood, Age unknown, 456, 8


William J. Marshall age 21 is shown with his uncle Samuel Stiles age 58, Page 3, House No. 21; Rebecca age 49; Richard age 18; Rebecca age 14; Lucy F. age 8.


William J. Marshall age 33, Page 97, House No. 559; Lucy F. age 26; Posey age 7; William J. age 5; Eliza age 3; Starling age 1; Franklin Adcock age 35.


William J. Marshall age 42, Page 190, House No. 21; Lucy J. age 35; Posey age 17; William J. age 14; Eliza D. age 12; Starling age 10; Anna D. age 6; Sarah V. age 1; Sallie Ross age 24; Ella Posey age 60.


J. W. Marshall age 52, Page 51, House No. 3; Lucy age 45; Posey age 26; William age 23; Starling age 20; Annie age 15; Virginia age 11; Stewart age 9; Len age 0; George (B) age 12.

Contributed by Netta Mullin, HCH&GS
Copyright 2002 HCH&GS