Albert P. Marsh. There
has been established in Madill a healthy and altogether desirable
public sentiment relating to the material and social welfare of the
city through a happy association of progressive ideas emanating from
the city hall on the one hand, and the worthwhile people on the
other. When Albert P. Marsh was elected mayor he appealed to his
constituents not to look upon him as an isolated factor of progress,
nor to place upon his shoulders unusual or unfair burdens. He made a
frank and open appeal for co-operation, and the result is that no
other city of the Southwest enjoys an era of greater public thrift
than Madill is experiencing now.
To accomplish this
result, Mayor Marsh, early in his administration, promoted the
organization of a Chamber of Commerce, of which the members made him
president. Conforming to the
mayor’s ideas, this body departed somewhat from the routine path
through which such an organization usually travels, and constituted
itself a factor in the development of the good-government idea of
municipal progress. It became in reality an advisory board to the
city administration, thereby furnishing to the mayor on occasion
concrete and thoroughly worked over ideas that were in reality the
crystallization of public sentiment.
Believing it to be
the duty of the city administration to inspire a healthy sentiment
relating to civic beauty, Mayor Marsh next proceeded to the
organization of a civic league, and its members made him one of the
board of directors. This body is a cooperative arm of the city
government, without warrant of statute, but necessary nevertheless.
The best men and women of the town constitute its membership and it
has made of Madill a municipality shorn of rough edges and
unattractive thoroughfares. It has improved and beautified public
parks and inspired a form of local civic pride of unusual degree in a
city of 3,500 souls.
Inasmuch as the City
of Madill has grown up in that region of the state formerly Indian
Territory, where, prior to statehood, school facilities were meager
and public education was neglected, Mayor Marsh next proceeded to the
establishment of a public library. To this end he had the city
attorney prepare a library ordinance which the city council adopted,
and which creates an annual levy sufficient to maintain the
institution. The county commissioners set aside two rooms of the
handsome new $75,000 courthouse for library quarters, and the library
commission, appointed by the mayor, aroused such enthusiasm during
the first few months of its existence that 600 volumes were donated
as a nucleus of the library. The library commission is made up of
City Superintendent of Schools Montgomery, Attorney Charles Oakley,
Mrs. M. Scott, Mrs. F. W. Porter, Miss Mabel Tolliver and F. H.
Ewing, a merchant.
administration of Mayor Marsh a handsome city hall has been erected
and in it installed a paid fire department, equipped with auto trucks
and modern hose and ladder apparatus.
Probably no other city of its size in the state has a motorized fire
department. The next move of the mayor and his advisory board will be
to begin the paving of a few of the business streets. This will not
be done, however, until financial conditions warrant it, for the
level-headed men of Madill have exercised the faculty of discretion
to a remarkable degree. They have been progressive, but consistent,
and have not over-built or over-developed the town.
Mayor Marsh, who had
been a member of the town board, was one of the principal factors in
getting Madill declared a city of the first class in 1912. After
Governor Cruce had signed the necessary proclamation the voters
expressed their appreciation of the services of Mr. Marsh by
electing him mayor of the newly-made city, and his re-election
followed in 1914.
Mr. Marsh was born
in Chattooga County, Georgia, in 1866, and is a son of Ephraim and
Annie (Plowman) Marsh. His father was a farmer, a native of
Tennessee, a veteran of the Civil war in the Confederate army, and an
early settler of his county in Georgia. Albert Marsh, at the age of
seventeen, moved with his parents to Parker County, Texas, where for
several years he was engaged in farming and ranching. Later he
entered the milling and grain business in Collin County and in 1909
moved to Madill and built the large plant of the Marsh Milling &
Grain Company, which he sold in 1914.
Early in the year 1915 he established the Chickasaw Grain Company,
which does a wholesale grain business. Shortly after moving to Madill
Mr. Marsh was elected to membership on the board of education, and in
that position he
was largely instrumental in eliminating a condition that had beset
the schools for several years, and establishing a system that has
since made the schools of Madill among the best in the state. He
served two terms on this board and was then elected a member of the
town board of trustees.
Mr. Marsh was
married in 1892 in Weatherford, Texas, to Miss Paloni Eklen Comer.
They have six children. Clara, Hubert, Robert, Mabel, Howard and A.
P., Jr. Hubert, the eldest son, is his father’s assistant and
associate in the grain business.
Mr. Marsh has a
brother and two sisters. James T. Marsh is a merchant at Fort Worth.
Mrs. Elizabeth Blackburn is the widow of a former farming man of
Dorchester, Texas. Mrs. Q. B. R. Smith is the wife of the president
and manager of the Smith Milling Company of Sherman, Texas.
The Marsh family
have membership in the Methodist Church, and he is a Mason, with Blue
Lodge and Royal Arch affiliations. He also has membership in the
Woodmen of the World in Madill.