Oliver S. Marshall

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
March 19, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 362-363

OLIVER S. MARSHALL. Descended from one of the oldest
families in the Northern Panhandle, Oliver S. Marshall has
always made his home in that section, and as a lawyer
and legislator his reputation has become state wide; Hia
home is at New Cumberland, and his law offices in the
industrial town of Weirton.

He was born near Fairview, the old county seat of Han-
cock County, now called Pughtown, September 24, 1850.
He is a great-grandson of the pioneer Aaron Marshall, who
came from east of the mountains, from somewhere in Vir-
ginia, and is thought to have been a solddier of Braddock
and Washington in the famous campaign of 1755. About
1760 he located on Chartiers Creek in Washington County,
Pennsylvania, and about 1780 came to what is now Han-
cock County, West Virginia. His land was part of the
Johnson survey, granted in 1775, when Patrick Henry was
governor of Virginia. The grant was for 7,000 acres, but
when it was surveyed it measured 8,100 acres. Of this 205
acres was assigned to Aaron Marshall at ten shillings an
acre, payable in whiskey at the rate of five shillings a gal-
lon, flour and other forms of currency of that day. Aaron
Marshall had the fourth house on that tract. Some of the
land is still owned by Oliver S. Marshall, and the original
record of the title is at Louisville, Kentucky. The town
of Newell stands on part of the original grant. In his
minutes George Washington mentions the falls where this
tract borders the Ohio River, but the land of Aaron Mar-
shall is some five miles from that stream.

Aaron Marshall continued to live here until his death
in advanced years in 1826. He was a Baptist and fre-
quently preached on Kings Creek, where he was buried.

His son, John Marshall, was born in 1782 and died in
1859, spending his entire life in Hancock County. He was
a member of the Presbyterian Church.

James G. Marshall, father of Senator Marshall, was born
at old Fairview, Hancock County, November 21, 1826, and
died October 6, 1902. He left the farm, did considerable
surveying, became an attorney and for twenty-four years
was prosecuting attorney of Hancock County. He was
buried in the old Presbyterian churchyard at Fairview.
His wife was Lavina Miller, daughter of John Miller and
granddaughter of David Miller. David Miller settled on
Tomlinson’s Run, where he owned 400 acres, secured from
Dorsey Pentecost, one of the two last judges who held
court at Pittsburgh under the authority of the British
crown. David had the first house in Gas Valley, and died
in 1835, in his ninety-ninth year. His son John spent his
life as a farmer at the old place, and his daughter Lavina
was born there. She died when about sixty years old, and
her three children are: Oliver S.; E. D. Marshall, an
attorney at Santa Clara, California; and Ila, of New Cum-
berland, widow of Dr. J. W. Walton.

Oliver S. Marshall graduated from the West Liberty
Normal School in 1874 as valedictorian, and is the last
survivor of that class. He continued his education in
Bethany College, where he graduated in 1878, and in 1881
began a long term of service as one of the trustees of that
famous institution. One of his classmates at Bethany was
the late Judge Joseph R. Lamar of Georgia, for many years
a justice of the United States Supreme Court. Judge
Lamar married a Miss Pendleton, daughter of a former
president of Bethany College. Mr. Marshall was for a time
principal of the Now Cumberland schools, began the study
of law while serving as county clerk, and was admitted to
the bar and began his long and successful service as a
lawyer in 1890.

He is a member of the Christian Church and an active
republican, having been a delegate to the national con-
vention of that party in 1892. He was first chosen to
represent the First District in the West Virginia Senate
in 1896, served in the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth
Legislatures of 1897-99, and was elected president of the
Senate in 1899. Ho was again elected and was a member
of the Senate in the Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth
Legislatures, 1905-07-08, and rounded out twelve years in
that body by representing the same district in 1913-15.

On September 8, 1880, Senator Marshall married Miss
Elizabeth Tarr, a native of Wellsburg and daughter of
Cnmpbell and Nancy (Hammond) Tarr. Her father with-
drew from the Richmond convention when Virginia passed
the ordinance of secession, and subsequently became a leader
in the movement for the creation of West Virginia, and
became treasurer of the provisional government and the
first treasurer of the new state. Senator Marshall had two
children, John and Olive, the latter deceased. John grad-
uated at Yalc and West Virginia University, and has
earned distinction in the law, business and public affairs
at Parkersburg.