EZRA M. MARSH, BEAR GROVE TOWNSHIP.
Himself a pioneer and belonging to a family of pioneers who for generations have camped in the wilderness on the very edge of civilization, Ezra M. Marsh of Bear Grove township, one of the old settlers of this county, has helped to make an improved and prosperous country out of two sections of the wild West, as his forefathers did before him, when the frontier was much further back toward the Atlantic than it is now. Mr. Marsh was born in Grant county, Ind., on January 16, 1840. His parents were Enoch and Sidney (Martin) Marsh, the former a native of Guernsey county, Ohio, and the latter of Frederick county, Va.
The father was a farmer and located in Indiana in 1837, acquiring a tract of 100 acres of heavily timbered land which he cleared up and made productive, living on it until 1870, when he moved to this county, where he took up another tract of wild land, locating in Bear Grove township. On this land, which also he broke to cultivation and put into good order, he lived until his death in 1892. His wife died in 1875. Their family comprised one son and four daughters. All of these are living, but only Ezra and one of his sisters reside in Cass county. The father was a pronounced Abolutionist and a leading Republican in this section, and was chosen to several township and county offices in his day. The paternal grandfather, Jesse Marsh, was a native of Pennsylvania who settled in Guernsey county, Ohio, when that section of the State was yet a wilderness. He farmed there until 1838, when he moved to Grant county, Ind., and died there at an advance age. He was one of five sons born to his parents, four of whom were soldiers in the War of 1812.
Ezra M. Marsh was reared and educated in Grant county, Ind., and farmed on his native soil until coming to Iowa in 1871, except during the time he spent in the army during the closing year of the Civil War; for in 1864 he enlisted in the Union army as a member of Company K, Fortieth Indiana Infantry, and he remained in the service until the close of the momentous contest, taking part in the battles of Columbia, Spring Hill, Franklin and Nashville, Tenn., and numerous skirmishes. He was wounded at Franklin by a spent ball which struck him in the breast with just sufficient force to bury itself in his flesh. In 1871 he came to Cass county and bought a farm adjoining that of his father, which he broke up and improved with his characteristic energy, and on this he lived until 1902, when he moved to his present homestead.
Ezra M. Marsh was married in Indiana on June 6, 1861, to Mary L. Evans, a native of Grant county, that State. Her parents were William M. and Sarah J. (Larney) Evans, natives of Ohio and early settlers in Grant county, Ind. The mother died there, and the father in Colorado. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Marsh: Alice, now Mrs. Long, of Atlantic; Joseph, living at home; Rose, now Mrs. E. C. Johnson, of Story county, Iowa; Minnie, now Mrs. C. C. Morrison, of this township; and George R., a farmer in this county. The father has never been an office seeker, but has served as township trustee and has taken a leading part in Republican politics. He belongs to the Masonic order and the Grand Army of the Republic, fraternally, and the M. E. Church, religiously.
From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pp. 407-408.