|Birth: ||Dec. 3, 1926|
El Paso County
|Death: ||Sep. 15, 2009|
Without Alfred's support and patience over the years, I would know very little about his family. Or, have all the wonderful family pictures and stories he has contributed to my Bell book. I have truly enjoyed his friendship & sense of humor over the years.
Alfred's daughter, Delores Fincher, called Tuesday morning, September 15th, to let me know that he had passed away. What a sad message. And, to realize that I will never again hear his friendly greeting on the phone, "Hi cousin." The wonderful news is that he is now in Heaven with his family & friends.
Alfred, the first of Alfred & Pearl (Bell) Marshall's three sons, was born in Colorado Springs on December 3, 1926.
Alfred has shared some recollections of his life & his family.
During the summer of 1930, his parents, and his father's sister, Alice, and her husband, Bill Woodard, moved to Oregon with their families. This was during the start of the "Great Depression," and it was becoming more and more difficult to make a living in Colorado. Although little Alfred wasn't quite four years old, he can still remember the trip to Oregon in his aunt and uncle Woodard's touring car.
They left Colorado in August during the hottest part of summer. His little brother, Chuck, wasn't quite two, and his mother was about six months pregnant. The Woodards had a five month old baby daughter. Some of the roads weren't very well maintained, and they could drive for miles without seeing another car. Late each day they pulled over to the side of the road, fixed a meal, and slept out on the ground.
After arriving in Oregon, Alfred's father got a job in the Ladd Canyon logging camp. He said that they lived in a drafty one room cabin, which was a bat and board type house constructed from rough boards, with a floor made of unfinished lumber. A wood cook stove supplied their only source of heat. Coal oil lamps provided light since there wasn't any electricity. Water for drinking, cooking, and bathing was carried from a nearby spring.
Early in November his mother was nearing the end of her third pregnancy. On November 5, 1930, she went into labor and was taken to a hospital in La Grande, where she gave birth to their last child, James Arthur.
His father had always worked in dairies and wasn't much of a logger, so they moved to La Grande in the spring of 1931, where he struggled to make a living. In 1933 he went to work for the Holman family, who owned a ranch in the valley near Island City. Alfred said they rented a "big ole house" from them that was in the middle of an apple orchard. There were also two black walnut trees and some peach and pear trees. The two story house was originally built in 1898 by the Parker family and was later purchased by Ernest and Minnie Holman. It was located about two and one-half miles from Island City (now a suburb of La Grande) and is currently being renovated. Most of the fruit trees are gone.
Alfred and his brothers grew up on the ranch, where they lived until 1942 and went to school in Island City. His father owned about seven or eight milk cows, so they always had plenty of fresh milk to drink. A milk separator was used to separate the milk from cream. They sold the cream to a cheese factory and fed the skimmed milk to their hogs.
Alfred clearly remembers the trip they took on Thursday, November 28, 1935, Thanksgiving Day, the month before his ninth birthday. His father's sister, Dorothy Ramsey, had invited them to spend Thanksgiving Day with them in Weiser, Idaho. She and her husband, Carl, and their daughter, Carol, lived on a goat farm Carl had inherited when his father died. It was a bitterly cold morning, and his father put a tarp over the back of the truck as a windbreak so he and his brother, Chuck, could ride in the back. They wore winter coats and leather type helmets and bundled up in blankets to keep warm for the three-hour trip. By the time they had gone a little way down the road, they were so cold that his father stopped, and they got up in the cab. It was a little crowded, but they managed just fine. Their photograph was taken just after they arrived. In it Alfred is shown in the coat and cap he was wearing when he was hit by a car two weeks later. They stayed overnight and went home the next day.
Alfred's ninth birthday was a memorable day, one he will never forget. It was a cold wintry afternoon on December 3, 1935. His mother, unaware of the events that were taking place, was busy baking a birthday cake for his party later that day. His father was outside working on the ranch. She was expecting Alfred and Chuck to come walking in the door any minute. Instead, Chuck came running in the kitchen crying out, "Mom, Alfred's dead. Alfred's dead!"
Alfred and Chuck attended Island City School. Alfred was in the third grade, and Chuck, who was "two years, two months, and two days" younger than him, was in the first grade. On this special day, Alfred was looking forward to his birthday party. During recess, some of his classmates had enjoyed giving him a "birthday spanking."
Each day he and Charles walked to and from school and always stayed on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic. After school let out, they started walking home with one of Alfred's classmates. They had gone about four blocks and had approached the intersection near the general store, when an elderly man driving toward them swerved on their side of the road, hitting Alfred. The impact caused him to immediately lose consciousness. He was wearing his thick sheepskin coat with a large collar and his leather helmet. Somehow his collar became hooked on the car, and he was dragged about 25 feet before landing in a ditch beside the road. The thick coat and leather cap may have added enough protection to help save his life. Later they learned that Marian Carter, a widower and local farmer in his seventies, was the one who had hit him. Mr. Carter had pneumonia but had refused to be hospitalized. No doubt his health problems contributed to the accident. He died two days later.
Someone called an ambulance, but no one tried to help him because they thought he was dead. His schoolmates, who had spanked him for his birthday earlier that day, were stunned as they watched him lay unconscious and bleeding at the side of the road. Milo Vanbloklan, a personnel manager of the Mount Emily Saw Mill, heard all the commotion and came to investigate. He immediately took charge of the situation, wrapping Alfred in a blanket he got from the general store. He put him in the back seat of his Model A Ford and started to the Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande. The hospital was about two and one-half miles away, and on the way, he met the ambulance coming for Alfred and flagged it down. He was transferred to the ambulance and taken the rest of the way to the hospital. In the meantime, Chuck and their friend, who had been walking with them, ran to his home about four blocks away to tell his father. They took Chuck home, and he ran in the house to tell his mother the shocking news.
When Alfred's parents arrived at the hospital, they learned that he was unconscious. The only visible sign of an injury was a large bloody cut above his left eye. The upper part of his head, including his left eye, was wrapped in a bandage. Now, all that could be done was to watch and monitor his vital signs. His parents were the only people allowed in the room. Three days later they were told by three doctors that he might never regain consciousness. Pearl, a Godly woman, didn't give up hope. She stayed with him, continually asking God to save her son. On some occasions, neighbors came to the door of his room to check on his condition and offered words of comfort.
Pearl's prayers were answered six days later when Alfred regained consciousness. He said when he opened his eyes he was looking out the window and saw a cat on the hilltop. His mother was at the foot of his bed eating some chocolates, one of her neighbors had brought, when she heard him say, "Look at the kitty cat on the hill." She was so excited that she set the box of chocolates on the steam heat radiator, and they all melted before she remembered them. He blacked out again but regained total consciousness the following day. Alfred doesn't remember how long he had to stay in the hospital, but he remembers that he had to relearn some basic functions, such as balance, walking, reading, writing, and etc.
His accident was covered by a local newspaper. Alfred went to the library in the spring of 2007 and found an article in the December 4, 1935, Observer: "Alfred Marshall Hurt in Accident Near Island City - Alfred Marshall, Island City boy is in the Grande hospital today receiving treatment for head injuries he suffered in an accident near Island city yesterday afternoon. The boy was struck by a car reported to have been driven by M.I. Carter, and was rushed to the hospital where treatment was given. He is reported to be getting along as well as could be expected. Further details relative to the accident were not available as the Observer went to press."
His parents kept him home from school during the month of December. The biggest part of his damage occurred over a period of years when the small granules of sand in the wound above his left eye gradually worked their way to the inside of his skull. Since the time of the accident, he has been plagued by headaches. On November 17, 1985, almost fifty years later, he came close to losing his left eye from what appeared to be a serious sinus infection. He went to a family doctor, who prescribed pain killers and an antibiotic. Two hours later, he was admitted to emergency, and an eye specialist was called in. After x-rays were taken the doctor asked him, "Mr. Marshall, have you ever had any shrapnel in you head?" His sense of humor was demonstrated when he said, "No, but I've always told people I have rocks in my head." What was thought to be shrapnel were actually three pieces of coarse sand. He was taken to surgery where a slash was made above his eye, and two tubes were inserted behind his eye ball to help relieve the pressure. On December 28, he was admitted to the Oregon Health Science University Hospital in Portland to have the left upper sinus removed, and five more pieces of sand were found. To this day, much to his dismay, he still has headaches from his childhood injury.
Alfred said he learned how to milk cows when he was ten years old. Some friends of his parents owned a dairy, and when the man passed away, his father managed it a few months. Each day 22 cows had to be milked. When the milking machines broke down, Alfred's father needed help and taught him how to milk. His job was to milk three cows, as well as doing all the stripping. After he learned how to milk, one of his chores was to milk the cows early each morning.
He was working in their field with a hay buck by the time he was 12 years old. Stacking hay was very strenuous and physically demanding, especially for a young boy. He used two teams: Bob and Shorty, and Dusty and Raymond. Shorty was a white horse that had at one time been a circus horse. Bob was a Black Clydesdale. Dusty and Raymond were Black Belgians. He hooked them up to a double-tree, and they were about 12 feet apart when working with a hay buck. Shorty caused a little bit of a problem by trying to jump ahead of Bob, which in turned caused Bob to have to do most of the pulling.
Alfred was about 13 when his parents stopped going to the Baptist church. His mother thought it was getting "too worldly" and changed her membership to the Assembly of God Church. Although he and his brothers had already been baptized, she wanted them to be baptized again in their new church. He, his father, and brothers were baptized in the Grand River at the edge of the Oregon Trail.
Alfred has a post card from his Uncle John Bell, a Baptist minister. It was dated March 24, 1940. In it he wrote: "My Dear Nephews, I received your pictures and was sure glad to get them. Now I can tell how you all look. I put them where I can see them often. I am quite proud of my nephses. I am thinking of you and your father being baptized today. I am so happy about you all following Jesus. I wish I could be there to see you all in church tonight.
Yours lovingly, Uncle John"
Alfred joined the Navy in November 1944, the month before his eighteenth birthday. His first assignment was a fireman, and he later became a motor machinist mate. He was on a patrol craft, an escort ship in the Pacific used to chase submarines. It was equipped with two twin diesel engines in the engine room. In those days there wasn't any air conditioning, and the temperature averaged around 130 degrees. Alfred said that the engines put out a lot of heat and a lot of racket. Their watch was four hours long.
In 1946, Alfred was stationed at Swan Island Navy Base in Portland, Oregon, and was able to go home on weekends. In July, he came home on a 30 day leave. He had become acquainted with Jean Courtney at the Assembly of God church they attended. She had an identical twin sister, June, and it was difficult for people to tell them apart. Alfred & Jean were married on December 30, 1946, almost one year before Alfred got out of the service.
Alfred received an honorable discharged from the service in November 1947. In March of 1950, during the Korean War, he was called to serve in the Navy again, and reported for duty. After serving five months, he received a hardship discharge and was able to return home to support his family.
Alfred & Jean's four children were: Alfred, Dale, Delores, & Melissa.
Much of the above information, edited for the purpose of Alfred's bio in FAG, is from a book I have written, "The Family of James and Caroline Bell." James & Caroline's son, James Jefferson Bell, was Alfred's g-grandfather. James's son, William Harrison Bell, was Alfred's grandfather. William's daughter, Pearl, was his mother. There are many other stories about Alfred when he was growing up, some very humorous, but space prohibits including them.
Alfred Edward Marshall
(December 3, 1926 - September 15, 2009)
"U.S. Veteran Alfred Edward Marshall IV, age 82, of La Grande, died September 15, 2009 at a local care facility. A graveside service will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Grandview Cemetery on Monday, September 21, 2009. Arrangements are entrusted to Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center.
Alfred was born on December 3, 1926, the son of Alfred Edward Marshall III and Pearl Melissa Bell Marshall in Colorado Springs, Colorado. When he was four years old the family moved to Oregon and he attended school in Island City. When he was of age he joined the United States Navy and served during World War II and was later called back up during the Korean War. On December 30, 1946 he married Jean Courtney in La Grande. After his discharge from the service he worked for Boise Cascade until his retirement in 1989.
Alfred enjoyed anything outdoors, hunting, fishing, camping and gold mining. He loved archery hunting and was one of the first archers in Union County. He also enjoyed inventing things to solve problems that came up.
Survivors include his wife, Jean Marshall of La Grande; children and their spouses, Alfred and Eileen Marshall V of Marshalltown, Iowa, Delores and Gary Fincher of La Grande and Melissa and Steve Burright of La Grande; five grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; six great grandchildren; three step great grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by son, Dale R. Marshall in 1990, younger brothers, Charles and James Marshall and grandchildren, Jeannie Lynn and Theresa Sue Fincher."
Alfred Edward Marshall (1901 - 1970)
Pearl Malissa Bell Marshall (1894 - 1975)
Jean Florence Courtney Marshall (1927 - 2013)*
Dale Ray Marshall (1948 - 1990)*
Alfred Edward Marshall (1926 - 2009)
Charles Richard Marshall (1929 - 2001)*
James Arthur Marshall (1930 - 2000)*
Created by: Virginia Brown
Record added: Sep 16, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42021581