Randolph County, Indiana
Benjamin F. Marsh
A man who has stamped the impress of his strong personality upon the minds of the people of Randolph county in a manner as to render him one of the conspicuous characters of the locality is Benjamin F. Marsh, lawyer and business man of Winchester. Faithfulness to duty and a strict adherence to a fixed purpose, which invariably do more toward the advancement of one's interests in any field of endeavor than vast wealth or advantageous circumstances, have been dominating factors in his life, which has indeed been most replete with honor and success worthily attained, and he has long since become an important factor in the affairs of this section of the state, standing in the foremost rank of the legal profession and among the substantial men of affairs in a business way. Few citizens of Randolph county are better known, none occupy a more conspicuous place in the confidence of the public, and it is a compliment worthily bestowed to class him with the representative men of his day and generation in the city of his residence, having done much for the general development of his native locality.
Mr. Marsh was born in Hancock county, Indiana, October 15, 1853. He is a son of William and Martha Ann (Chappel) Marsh, natives of Ohio and Virginia, respectively. They both came to Hancock county, Indiana as young people and there met and married, and in that county they spent the rest of their lives successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits. The death of the father occurred at the beginning of the war of the Rebellion in 1861, the mother surviving until August 5, 1868, when she passed away in Boone county. They were the parents of five children, named as follows: Thomas L., who became a tile manufacturer, having a plant located on the old home farm; William P. who established himself on a farm in Randolph county, Indiana; died January 26, 1914; Margaret E., who married A. C. Beeson, who became connected with The Winchester Journal many years ago; she died October 8, 1913; Elias J., twin of Margaret E., was for some time postmaster at Portland, Indiana, and engaged in journalism there. He died December 26, 1913. Benjamin F., subject of this sketch. The parents were members of the Society of Friends and in politics the father was a Republican. They were known to their neighbors as people of thrift and unswerving honesty.
Fraternally, Mr. Marsh is a thirty-second degree Mason. He also belongs to the Knights of Pythias. He and his family are members of the Friends church, and for many years he was Sunday school superintendent and he and his family have long been active in church and Sunday school work. He has been a member of the official board of the church. He has a commodious home on South Main street and a well equipped office in the Peoples Loan & Trust Company building, where he has maintained his office since he first began practicing law. He was for a number of years a partner of the late Judge John J. Cheney, which partnership continued until the Judge's death.
Benjamin F. Marsh was eight years old when his father died and yet a young boy when he lost his mother. Being thrown upon his own resources at that tender age was at the time quite a hardship, but it fostered in him courage, self-reliance and fortitude which made for success in after years. He was ambitious to obtain an education despite being handicapped, but he studied hard at home and in the local schools, studying one year at Knightstown, and he began life for himself when only sixteen years of age by teaching, and working on the farm in summer. In the spring of 1871 he came to Winchester for the purpose of attending school and remained over two years, and in 1874 went to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and took a literary course in the State University, after which he returned to Randolph county and taught school four years at Lynn, then taught two years in Winchester. He was fast becoming one of the county's ablest educators, but he had long fostered an ambition to enter the legal profession and during his years of teaching he studied law, and was admitted to the Randolph county bar April 30, 1881, and at once began the practice of his profession in Winchester. He formed a partnership with S. A. Canada, succeeding W. W. Canada, a brother and former partner of S. A. Canada. Mr. Marsh devoted himself assiduously to his profession and was successful from the start, soon ranking among the leading attorneys of the county and figuring conspicuously in the local courts. He remained a profound student and has kept fully abreast of the times in all that pertains to his profession, and he is a forceful and not infrequently eloquent speaker, having great weight with juries and equally impressing the bench. Being an ardent Republican and taking a leading interest in party affairs he was elected prosecuting attorney of Randolph county in 1890 and filled the office until 1892 in a manner that reflected much credit upon himself and to the eminent satisfaction of his constituents. For a number of years Mr. Marsh was associated with E. S. Jaqua in the practice of law.
At present Mr. Marsh has formed a partnership with Charles W. Bradford, a graduate of the law department of the University of Michigan of 1913. He is a stockholder and director in the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Winchester. He has completed an abstract of the county after years of painstaking work, and his set of books in this connection is most comprehensive and thorough, embracing all city and township properties. He also conducts quite an extensive loan business on real estate and securities.
Mr. Marsh was married in Winchester on October 4, 1883, to Carrie E. Kizer, a lady of education and refinement and long a favorite with the best social circles of Winchester. She is a daughter of Henry P. Kizer, long a well-known citizen of Randolph county.
Mr. Marsh is a congenial and companionable gentleman and liked by all classes.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson
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