About this Famous Person
Thomas R. MARSHALL
28th Vice President of the United States
Source : Tim DOWLING
Thomas Marshall's paternal grandfather, Riley Marshall, immigrated to Indiana in 1817 and settled on a farm in what is now Whitley County.[n 1] He became wealthy when a moderate deposit of oil and natural gas was discovered on his farm; when he sold the farm in 1827 it earned $25,000, $474,044 in 2009 chained dollars. The money allowed him to purchase a modest estate and spend the rest of his life as an active member of the Indiana Democratic Party, serving as an Indiana State Senator, party chairman, and financial contributor. He was also able to send his only child, Daniel, to medical school.
Marshall's mother, Martha Patterson, was orphaned at age 13 while living in Ohio and came to live with her sister on a farm near the Marshalls' Indiana home. She was known for her wit and humor, as her son later would be.[n 2] Martha and Daniel met and married in 1848.
Thomas Marshall was born in North Manchester, Indiana on March 14, 1854. Two years later, a sister was born, but she died in infancy. Martha had contracted tuberculosis, which Daniel believed to be the cause of their infant daughter's poor health. While Marshall was still a young boy, his family moved several times in search of a good climate for Daniel to attempt different "outdoor cures" on Martha. They moved first to Quincy, Illinois in 1857. Daniel Marshall was a supporter of the American Union and a staunch Democrat, and took his son to the Lincoln and Douglas debate in Freeport in 1858. There the four-year-old Marshall met Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln and sat on the lap of whichever candidate was not speaking. He later referred to this as one of his earliest and most cherished memories.