Ephraim, Tillie Marsh civic leaders in the 1890s

Marcia Gray writes,

“In your April 1st column, you mention the Board of Charities and Corrections and the board members. You asked if anyone recognized the names of any of the board members. Matilda Marsh is my great-great grandmother and was the wife of Ephraim Marsh, a well-known local lawyer and civic leader. Their only daughter, Ella, married William A. Hough. I’ve attached a photo of Matilda, better known as Tillie.

Thanks for your column, I always find it very interesting.”

Yes, Ephraim March and his wife were civic leaders. When the Greenfield Banking Co. became a state bank in December 1898, Ephraim was one of the first stockholders.

He was also an active Mason and participated in the laying of the courthouse cornerstone in 1896. He served as Deputy Clerk of Courts under Henry Swope and was elected in his own right in 1874.

He was a director of the Greenfield Maxwell Railroad, which would have been an Interurban line.

He served as chairman of the Hancock County Democrat party in 1880 and 1884. In 1888, he was on the state Democratic Party Committee. He was involved with the Cleveland Hendricks Club in Greenfield and vigorously campaigned for President Cleveland. Thomas Hendricks, vice presidential candidate, was from Shelbyville. He opposed William Jennings Bryan’s Free Silver policies, which he claimed would cause hyperinflation.

He was on the Board of Incorporation for the Indiana Normal School in Greenfield. He help found the Temple Social Club.

Being an attorney, he assisted in the establishment of a law library in the courthouse. He and his wife were also members of the local Chautauqua and Scientific Club.

In 1897, he participated in the founding of the Greenfield Public Library in the high school, which is now the superintendent’s office. He and his wife were on the committee to select books for the library. The telephone came to Greenfield homes on Feb. 1, 1899, and he and Matilda had one of the first telephone lines.

Enough. I have told you everything that I know and some things I don’t. Talk to me.

You can write to Joe Skvarenina at jskvarenina@hotmail.com or in care of the Daily Reporter at 22 W. New Road, Greenfield, Indiana, 46140.