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Earnest Marshall: 68 Years in Marshall, Texas

As told by Fisher
Marshall, Texas

Story Narrative:

Screenshot of a student website that features a photograph of a craggy coastline.

Seventh grade students in Marshall, Texas, worked in coordination with the Texas State Historical Association and National History to create multimedia websites that includes interviews with family, friends, and local residents. The work was supported by Museum on Main Street's Youth Access Grants in 2013-2014. In this project, a student interviews his great grandfather and created a companion website to host his work.

Fisher (00:00): When were you born?

Earnest Marshall (00:02): When was I born?

Fisher (00:03): Yeah.

Earnest Marshall (00:04): 1918. August the 26th, 1918.

Fisher (00:10): Where were you born?

Earnest Marshall (00:12): Born in Beaumont.

Fisher (00:15): Okay. So what did you do after junior college? Did you go to college or did you try to find a job?

Earnest Marshall (00:24): No, I had a ... The basketball coach at Baylor offered me a scholarship. So I went to Baylor. After junior college I went to Baylor for two years.

Fisher (00:43): Okay.

Earnest Marshall (00:43): And then when I got to Baylor, I decided I wanted to go out for football, too.

Fisher (00:50): Were you good at football?

Earnest Marshall (00:51): Huh?

Fisher (00:52): Were you good at football?

Earnest Marshall (00:54): What? What?

Fisher (00:54): Were you good at football?

Earnest Marshall (00:57): I played football and basketball. The basketball coach didn't much like it because I's going after football when the basketball team was working out. So he didn't like it much.

Fisher (01:11): Did you meet someone at Baylor?

Earnest Marshall (01:14): Oh, yeah. I met my wife in Baylor.

Fisher (01:20): Mm-hmm. What was her name?

Earnest Marshall (01:21): [inaudible 00:01:25]

Fisher (01:25): Okay.

Speaker 3 (01:25): Where was she from?

Fisher (01:27): Where was she from?

Earnest Marshall (01:29): She was from Marshall.

Fisher (01:31): This town.

Earnest Marshall (01:32): Huh?

Fisher (01:33): This town.

Earnest Marshall (01:34): Yeah. I think I got out in 1940.

Fisher (01:41): 1940? That was when-

Earnest Marshall (01:44): But let me go just a little further.

Fisher (01:46): Okay.

Earnest Marshall (01:48): In the fall of 1940, I graduated, but I was drafted into the service.

Fisher (01:56): As a clerk?

Earnest Marshall (01:57): In March of '41.

Fisher (01:58): March 40?

Earnest Marshall (01:59): March of 1941.

Fisher (02:03): So when the president declared war on Japan and Germany and all the Axis powers-

Earnest Marshall (02:12): Well, in other words, instead of getting out in March, I had to stay in.

Fisher (02:20): The remainder of the war?

Earnest Marshall (02:23): Remained in the service, yeah.

Fisher (02:25): What did you do?

Earnest Marshall (02:27): I was in the finance department.

Fisher (02:29): You were supposed to get people paid and?

Earnest Marshall (02:32): Right. And in early '41, after Pearl Harbor, I was transferred to Phoenix, Arizona, to Luke Field. Me and two or three other boys out there to open up a finance department at Luke Field Arizona, Phoenix. My father, though, was vested in a soap plant, laundry soap plant, and he wanted me to come to Marshall to manage the plant.

Fisher (03:18): And since your wife's in Marshall, she must have urged you to do it.

Earnest Marshall (03:22): Huh?

Fisher (03:23): Since your wife was in Marshall, she must have wanted you to do that, right?

Earnest Marshall (03:29): Well, yeah, because my wife was from Marshall. So that worked out pretty good.

Fisher (03:36): So how long did you work in the soap plant?

Earnest Marshall (03:46): Well, that thing was ... We didn't know ... I managed for maybe two years.

Fisher (03:50): And then what happened?

Earnest Marshall (03:52): And then after the war, the big soap plant place, Proctor and Gamble, those big plants, had us put out of business.

Fisher (04:05): Did they get the law makers to do something?

Earnest Marshall (04:11): They went to Washington and had them pass a law that we couldn't use any more tallow than we were using before the war. Well, we weren't even in operation before the war, so we couldn't get any tallow. So they shut us down. In the cattle business after that.

Fisher (04:35): The cattle business?

Earnest Marshall (04:36): Cattle business, yeah.

Fisher (04:36): As a finance?

Earnest Marshall (04:37): Huh?

Fisher (04:37): As a finance guy? For financing?

Earnest Marshall (04:44): No, well ...

Speaker 3 (04:46): Raising cattle.

Earnest Marshall (04:52): No, I went in with another partner, and-

Fisher (04:56): Oh, so you actually ran the company.

Earnest Marshall (04:59): Huh?

Fisher (04:59): So you actually ran the thing.

Earnest Marshall (05:04): The cattle operation?

Fisher (05:06): Yeah, you actually-

Earnest Marshall (05:08): Huh? I kind of managed it, yeah. But I had a partner in it.

Fisher (05:12): Who was your partner?

Earnest Marshall (05:13): O.W. Fowlkes from Longview.

Fisher (05:17): Did you like him?

Earnest Marshall (05:19): He was a good fellow. [inaudible 00:05:23].

Speaker 3 (05:22): And what about you were in business with your father-in-law, too.

Earnest Marshall (05:27): Huh?

Speaker 3 (05:29): You were in business with Pawpaw, too.

Earnest Marshall (05:29): Yeah. After that.

Speaker 3 (05:33): After that.

Earnest Marshall (05:34): My father-in-law, went in the cattle business with my father-in-law, and we bought a place close to Beaumont, about 1,800 acres, and had a cattle operation there.

Fisher (05:46): Was it successful?

Earnest Marshall (05:48): Yeah, it was.

Fisher (05:50): How long-

Earnest Marshall (05:50): It did well.

Fisher (05:52): How long did it stay in business?

Earnest Marshall (05:54): Well, I don't know how many years we were in operation.

Speaker 4 (06:03): 60 years, probably.

Earnest Marshall (06:07): Yeah, but ... I came back, and then I started operating the cattle ranch south of Marshall. At that time the school board in Marshall weren't elected. They was appointed by the city commission up there.

Fisher (06:33): Okay. How was-

Earnest Marshall (06:34): And they contacted me and wanted to know if I would serve on the school board. That was about 1962, I believe.

Speaker 3 (06:39): '52. Well, maybe '62.

Earnest Marshall (06:40): '61 or two. And so then I served on the Marshall School Board for 25 years. I moved here in-

Speaker 3 (06:59): '46. '46.

Earnest Marshall (07:01): '46? Yeah, I moved here in '46, and I've been here ever since.

Fisher (07:08): That's a long time.

Earnest Marshall (07:09): Pretty good while.

Speaker 3 (07:09): 68 years.

Asset ID: 2022.32.12
Themes: Pearl Harbor, World War II, business, industry, policy
Date recorded: 2013-14
Length of recording: 07:11
File Type: Website/Audio
Related traveling exhibition: Journey Stories
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Texas Historical Association in conjunction with National History Day
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