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Marshall is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is part of the Battle Creek, Michigan Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 7,088 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Calhoun County.[7]

Marshall, Michigan
Location of Marshall, Michigan
Location of Marshall, Michigan
Coordinates: 42°16′14″N 84°57′36″W / 42.27056°N 84.96000°W / 42.27056; -84.96000
CountryUnited States
 • MayorJoe Caron[1]
 • Total6.48 sq mi (16.78 km2)
 • Land6.36 sq mi (16.48 km2)
 • Water0.12 sq mi (0.30 km2)
919 ft (280 m)
 • Total7,088
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,099.83/sq mi (424.61/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)269
FIPS code26-51940[5]
GNIS feature ID0631630[6]
WebsiteMarshall, Michigan

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." Its historic center is the Marshall Historic District, one of the nation's largest architecturally significant National Historic Landmark Districts. The Landmark has over 850 buildings, including the world-famous Honolulu House.



The town was founded by Sidney Ketchum (1797-1862), a land surveyor who had been born in Clinton County, New York, in conjunction with his brother, George Ketchum (1794-1853). The Ketchum brothers explored central lower Michigan in 1830, and in late 1830 Sidney Ketchum obtained government grants for the land on which most of Marshall now stands. The early settlers 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.[8]

Marshall was thought to be the frontrunner for state capital, so much so that a Governor's Mansion was built, but the town lost by one vote to Lansing. In the years thereafter, Marshall became known for its patent medicine industry until the Pure Drug Act of 1906. Marshall was involved in the Underground Railroad. When escaped slave Adam Crosswhite fled Kentucky and settled in Marshall with his wife and three children, the people of the town hid him from the posse sent to retrieve him. Those involved were tried in Federal Court and found guilty of denying a man his rightful property. This case and others like it caused the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 to be pushed through Congress.

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.[8]

The first railroad labor union in the U.S., The Brotherhood of the Footboard (later renamed the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers), was formed in Marshall in 1863. Marshall was one of the only stops between Chicago and Detroit and became known as the Chicken Pie city because the only thing one could get to eat in the time it took to cool and switch engines was a chicken pie. A replica of the city's roundhouse can be seen at the Greenfield Village outdoor living history museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

In 2012 the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board stated the Enbridge oil spill in the Kalamazoo River near Marshall was the costliest onshore cleanup in U.S. history.[9]

Stand against slaveryEdit

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 property.

On the morning of January 26, 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 could 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. After two trials in federal court in Detroit, the sole remaining defendant in the case, local banker Charles T. Gorham, was ordered to pay the value of the slaves plus court costs. To curry political favor, Detroit entrepreneur Zachariah Chandler supposedly stepped in to pay these costs on Gorham's behalf.

Because of the Crosswhite case and many others like it, Sen. Henry 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.[10]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.40 square miles (16.58 km2), of which 6.28 square miles (16.27 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.31 km2) is water.[11]


Major highwaysEdit

Public TransportationEdit

  • The city of Marshall provides Demand responsive transport bus service during the week with no service provided on weekends or major holidays.[12]
  • Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides daily service to nearby Battle Creek, Michigan and Albion, Michigan, operating its Wolverine both directions between Chicago, Illinois and Pontiac, Michigan, via Detroit.
  • Brooks Field is a non-towered airfield owned and operated by the city of Marshall. The airport features a single runway (10/28) 3500 x 75 feet, helipad, public and private hangars, lighted wind indicator, segmented circle, compass rose, and a tie down apron.


Census Pop.
Est. 20187,005[4]−1.2%
Source: Census Bureau. Census 1960- 2000, 2010.

2010 censusEdit

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 7,088 people, 3,092 households, and 1,840 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,128.7 inhabitants per square mile (435.8/km2). There were 3,394 housing units at an average density of 540.4 per square mile (208.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.1% White, 1.1% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.8% of the population.

There were 3,092 households of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.2% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.5% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 40.5 years. 24% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.8% were from 25 to 44; 26.3% were from 45 to 64; and 18.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.

2000 censusEdit

As of the census[5] 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 per square mile (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.


  • The Marshall Historic Home Tour, the oldest historic home tour in the Great Lakes area, is held annually the weekend after Labor Day. The tour features eight private historic homes, a church, a business, and eight museums open for the two days of the tour. There is also musical entertainment, a juried craft show, and a Civil War Ball with elaborate costumes on Saturday night. The tour, now in its 50th year, is presented by the Marshall Historical Society.
  • 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.
  • Blues Fest is held each June, with blues musicians from all over the Midwest performing downtown, complete with food vendors and a beer tent with local Dark Horse beer and a variety of beers from Dan Henry Distributing.
  • Skeleton Fest held the last Saturday in September, over 30 whimsically posed skeletons take over the downtown area. There is a free, family-friendly kick-off party for the kids, followed by a Pub & Grub crawl for the adults.
  • The Monday after Thanksgiving is the date of the annual Christmas Parade. There are typically over 100 entries for this parade. It averages 6–10 bands and 20-40 floats. Santa's arrival to Marshall is always the highlight of this event.
  • Marshall Historical Society's Christmas Candlelight Walk features five private homes on tour in a small group setting. Limited tickets are sold for Saturday and Sunday afternoon and evening walks. The Walk, now in its 40th year, is held annually in early December.
  • 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.[13]

Notable peopleEdit

Notable businessesEdit

Museums and historical markersEdit

There are many recognized Michigan historical markers in Marshall,[17] 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
  • Jeremiah 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. ^ Less notable businesses in the downtown include: Serendipity; The Mole Hole; The Mitten Word; Living MI; Nulu Bicycle Company; Pawfitters; Nippers Studio; Eastend Studio & Gallery ;Amazing Grace; The Green Scene; Handle and Hinge; Vintage Vixen; Vincent's Men's Store; Trailblazers; The Plaid Herb; Town and Country; Hodge's Jewelers; and Herman's Marshall Hardware (DO IT BEST).


  1. ^ "City of Marshall Website". Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  2. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jan 3, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  8. ^ a b City of Marshall, Michigan
  9. ^ "Enbridge to Spend Up to $500 Million More on Northern Gateway Safety". Retrieved 2012-07-22.[dead link]
  10. ^ 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. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2007-06-28. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Accessed 2007-06-27
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2012-11-25. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ "Dial-a-Ride and The Albion-Marshall Connector". City of Marshall, Michigan. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  13. ^ "Our Story". Fiber Arts & Animals Festival. Archived from the original on 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2008-03-13. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  14. ^ "About Us". Marshall Ad-Visor & Chronicle.
  15. ^ "Our History". Win Schuler. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  16. ^ Meyer, Zlati (March 20, 2011). "You haven't lived here until ... You snail-mail yourself to the Marshall postal museum". Detroit Free Press. p. 20. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
  17. ^ "Michigan Historical Markers". Archived from the original on 2010-03-15. Retrieved 2010-02-01. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)

External linksEdit