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Marshall, Michigan
—  City  —
Location of Marshall, Michigan
Coordinates: 42°16′14″N 84°57′36″W / 42.27056°N 84.96°W / 42.27056; -84.96
Country United States
State Michigan
County Calhoun
 - Total 6.1 sq mi (15.8 km2)
 - Land 5.9 sq mi (15.3 km2)
 - Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation 919 ft (280 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 7,459
 - Density 1,260.7/sq mi (486.7/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 49068-49069
Area code(s) 269
FIPS code 26-51940[1]
GNIS feature ID 0631630[2]
Marshall Michigan Historic Landmark District
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. National Historic Landmark District
Marshall, Michigan is located in Michigan
Location: Marshall, Michigan
Coordinates: 42°16′27″N 84°57′48″W / 42.27417°N 84.96333°W / 42.27417; -84.96333Coordinates: 42°16′27″N 84°57′48″W / 42.27417°N 84.96333°W / 42.27417; -84.96333
Architect: Unknown
Architectural style(s): Mid 19th Century Revival, Late Victorian, Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals
Governing body: Mixed
Added to NRHP: July 17, 1991
Designated NHLD: July 17, 1991[4]
NRHP Reference#: 91002053


Marshall is a city located in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is part of the Battle Creek, Michigan Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 7,459. It is the county seat of Calhoun County[5]. The town operates a student exchange program with its sister city, Koka Cho, Japan.

Marshall is best known for its cross-section of 19th- and early 20th-Century architecture. It has been referred to by the keeper of the National Register of Historic Places as a "virtual textbook of 19th-Century American architecture." It is home to the one of the nation's largest National Historic Landmark Districts. There are over 850 buildings included in the Landmark.



Established in 1830, the early settlers expected the community to become Michigan's state capitol. Thus it drew dozens of doctors, lawyers, ministers, business people and land speculators. Town founders Sidney and George Ketchum named the community in honor of Chief Justice of the United States John Marshall from Virginia—whom they greatly admired. This occurred five years before Marshall's death and thus was the first of dozens of communities and counties named for him. [6 ]

Two Marshall citizens, Rev. John D. Pierce and lawyer Isaac E. Crary, innovated the Michigan school system and established it as part of the state constitution. Their method and format were later adopted by all the states in the old Northwest Territory and became the foundation for the U.S. Land Grant Act in 1861 which established schools like Michigan State University all over the country. Pierce became the country's first state superintendent of public instruction and Crary Michigan's first member of the U.S. House. [6 ]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.1 square miles (15.8 km²), of which, 5.9 square miles (15.3 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (2.96%) is water.

Major highways



Michigan State Trunklines

  • M-96.svg M-96 runs westerly from Marshall through Battle Creek and on to Kalamazoo.
  • M-227.svg M-227 has as its northern terminus BL I-94/Michigan Avenue on the west side of Marshall, near I-69.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 7,459 people, 3,111 households, and 1,935 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,260.7 per square mile (486.5/km²). There were 3,353 housing units at an average density of 566.7/sq mi (218.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.91% White, 0.32% African American, 0.43% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.99% from other races, and 1.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.16% of the population.

There were 3,111 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.8% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,171, and the median income for a family was $53,317. Males had a median income of $41,446 versus $30,398 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,101. About 2.6% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.

Stand against slavery

In 1843, Adam Crosswhite and his family ran away from Francis Giltner's plantation near Carrollton, Kentucky because Crosswhite learned that his four children were to be sold. The Crosswhites made the tough journey north and finally settled in Marshall. In response, Giltner organized a group of men led by his son David Giltner to capture what they believed to be their true property.

On the morning of January 2, 1847, the slave catchers and a local deputy sheriff were pounding on Adam's door. His neighbors heard the noise and came running. The cry of "slave catchers!" was yelled through the streets of Marshall. Soon over 100 people surrounded the Crosswhite home.

Threats were shouted back and forth. One of the slave catchers began to demand that people in the crowd give him their names. They were proud to tell him and even told him the correct spelling. Each name was written down in a little book. Finally, the deputy sheriff swayed by the crowd's opinion, decided he should arrest the men from Kentucky instead. By the time the slave catchers would post bond and get out of jail, the Crosswhites were on their way to Canada.

Next the Giltners went to the federal court in Detroit. They sued the crowd from Marshall for damages. Since they had many of their names it was easy to decide whom to sue. Many of the people in the crowd were fined, which they paid gladly and considered a badge of honor.

Because of the Crosswhite case and others like it, Senator Clay from Kentucky pushed a new law through Congress in 1850 known as the Fugitive Slave Law, which made it very risky for anyone to help an escaped slave.[7]


  • The weekend after Labor Day Festival is the oldest historic home tour in the Great Lakes area, with eight private homes, a church, a business, and four to six museums open for the two days of the tour. There are also roving musicians, demonstrating craftspeople, a juried craft show, antiques for sale, and a Civil War Ball with elaborate costumes on Saturday night.
  • The last two weekends of October feature the Marshall Scarecrow Days, with special events and scarecrow displays on the front lawns of the homes and businesses.
  • Cruise to the Fountain features about 1,000 classic cars from the 1950s and 1960s the weekend before the Fourth of July at the Calhoun County Fairgrounds. On Friday and Saturday nights the cars cruise from the Fairgrounds through the downtown, around the Brooks Memorial Fountain and back.
  • Bluesfest is the third Saturday in July, with blues musicians from all over the Midwest performing throughout the downtown all day. The headliner in 2005 and 2006 was James Armstrong.
  • The Monday after Thanksgiving is the date of the Marshall Christmas Parade with about 60 floats, ten full-sized marching bands, a total of over 100 units, and Santa Claus.
  • Marshall's Christmas Walk features five private homes on tour in a small group setting. Limited tickets sold for Saturday early, Saturday late, Sunday early and Sunday late.
  • Marshall is home to an authentic, Louisiana-style Annual Crawfish Boil on the first or second Saturday in June and Chicken Wing Thing has 13 different styles of wings and bands on the weekend before Labor Day Weekend at the Dark Horse Brewery.
  • Marshall also has a Kustom Auto and Motorcycle Show put on by the SpeedShifterS wheelclub on the east side of BFI landfill and just north of Convis twp. hall (west of exit 42 I-69) in Turkeyville on the weekend after Labor Day.
  • On the second weekend in June and first weekend in October, the Fiber Arts & Animals Festival is held. This festival has been held since 2005. [8]

Notable residents

Historical markers

There are many recognized Michigan historical markers in Marshall[9], including

  • American Museum of Magic
  • Butler-Boyce House / W. D. Boyce
  • Calhoun County Fair
  • Capitol Hill School
  • Charles T. Gorham
  • First Baptist Church [Marshall]
  • Governor's Mansion
  • Grand Army of the Republic / The G. A. R. Hall
  • Harold C. Brooks / Fitch Gorham Brooks House
  • Hillside / Mary Miller
  • Honolulu House
  • Isaac Crary and John Pierce / State School System
  • Isaac E. Crary House
  • James A. Miner
  • Jerimiah Cronin. Jr. House / John Bellairs
  • John D. Pierce Homesite
  • Ketchum Park
  • Lieutenant George A. Woodruff
  • Lockwood House / Lockwood Family
  • Marshall
  • National House
  • The Old Stone Barn
  • Oliver C. Comstock Jr.
  • Pioneer School
  • Postmasters / Howard F Young
  • Railroad Union Birthplace
  • Sam Hill House
  • Samuel Coleman House
  • Schellenberger Tavern
  • Schuler's
  • Sidney Ketchum / Marshall House
  • Thomas J. O'Brien
  • Trinity Episcopal Church / Montgomery Schuyler
  • William W. Cook


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.  
  4. ^ "Marshall Historic District". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-06-27.  
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  6. ^ a b City of Marshall, Michigan
  7. ^ Chardavoyne, David G., "Michigan and the Fugitive Slave Acts", The Court Legacy, Vol. XII, No. 3, November 2004, The Historical Society for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. [1] Accessed 2007-06-27
  8. ^ "Our Story". Fiber Arts & Animals Festival. Retrieved 2008-03-13.  
  9. ^ Michigan Historical Markers

External links


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