Albert P. Marsh


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.
During the 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.