Minnie M. Marsh (Mrs. Charles H.
M. Marsh (1869–1953) was the daughter of Julian P. Marsh (1833–1898)
and his wife Maria
Roxana Cole Marsh.
They had five children. In
addition to Minnie, these were Ida E. Marsh Stratton (1861–1943),
Marsh (1865–?), Anna Zona Marsh Cobb (1878–1873), and Edith Estella
in New York, J. P. Marsh came to Denison
around 1885 after prospecting for gold in California. He manufactured
boots and shoes at 314 West Main Street from his arrival until his
death in 1898. Starting in 1891 and at least through 1900, son Walter
this family business.
M. Marsh became a noted teacher, school principal,
lecturer, and clubwoman in Texas at the end of the nineteenth century. She
graduated from the
Educational Institute (first DHS); by 1889 she was teaching
there and by 1894
was serving as principal of the Institute. In the 1894 summer session
Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she studied
sisters Edith and Zona graduated from the Educational
Institute in 1897 and became music teachers. In
Zona was listed in the City Directory as proprietor of the family shoe
at 204 West Main Street.
was admired as a charming, brilliant, and attractive
public speaker. The Denison Sunday
Gazetteer of April 17, 1898, described her gifts as a
Minnie Marsh, of this city, will deliver a
lecture in Sherman on the 22d inst, on Tolstoi. Speaking of the lecture
the gifted young lady delivered recently in Dallas, the [Dallas] News said, "It was one of the most
eloquent and polished orations, not as compared with amateur efforts,
those of distinguished orators. This young woman has only to make known
spell of her beautifully modeled voice, her graceful pose and gesture,
soulful face and the liquid flash of her unaffected eloquence to charm
multitudes wherever English is spoken."
1897-98, Marsh was Federation Secretary of
XXI Club. An undated poster suggests that she was running for
office (perhaps in a national Federation of Women's Clubs) and was
"endorsed by the Texas Federation [of] Women's Clubs."
to the Dallas News, April 30, 1900,
presented an address to the Dallas Federation of Women's Clubs:
address by Miss
Minnie Marsh, president of the Denison XXI Club, created a most
impression of the dignity and character of woman's work from the
Marsh's subject, 'Song Writers of the South,' was a happy selection,
awakened so much interest among the patriotic students of Southern
that the seating capacity of the Harmony Club could not accommodate the
audience that came to hear her."
the turn of the century, Minnie was instructor in English and
Literature at the North Texas State Normal School. Her
announced in the summer of 1902. That July she married and
Denison to live.
Denison, the marriage of
Minnie Marsh and Charles H. Jones (1863–1924) was celebrated as the
of the year. Born in Missouri, Charles arrived in Denison in 1881 and,
brothers, established a furniture store that did business over North
Oklahoma. A few years before his death in 1924, he sold his interest in
to his brother, Harry A. Jones (1855–1926). Then he went into the real
business. He joined others in founding the Hotel Denison and was a
the Chamber of Commerce.
This view, taken from the 1914 Denison High School,
looks east on the alley between Woodard Street (at left) and Main
The picture shows a large sign, at right, advertising Charles H.
Jones's housewares and furniture store in the 500 block of West Main.
seems to have given up
her career teaching and lecturing when she married. In 1904, she and
had a daughter, Janis. The girl attended Kidd-Key College in Sherman.
of the Jones household was a girl named Alice Jones, born in
Pennsylvania, who was
listed in the 1920 Census as a teacher in a private home. As early as
widowed sister Ida Marsh Stratton lived with the family, too.
became ill while he
and Minnie were on a trip to Dallas, and he died unexpectedly on March
of pneumonia. He was 61. At his funeral, Minnie delivered a moving
in full in the local newspaper. We reproduce it here:
friends—Mr. Jones and I have invited you into our home together for the
time. He loved his home, and he loved to have his friends to gather
in his home.
this room, which represented to him his idea of heaven, surrounded by
each one of which was a warm personal friend to him, we come together
him our last farewell.
sure that all who have come into this home today are friends—loyal and
will see nothing inappropriate in what I am trying to do.
that you have come to grieve with us—to sympathize, to mourn.
know the pronounced anti-religious views which Mr. Jones held—so
unfalteringly, even aggressively.
said he would himself write the things he wished most to have said at
funeral. In looking through his papers nothing of that nature have I
has charged me repeatedly not to have anything said at his funeral that
conflict with his views.
placed me in a peculiar position, in that I could not ask friends who
with him to speak, nor could I embarrass friends by restricting what
should say; so I decided to write it myself, and in doing so to give as
his last message to the world.
the courage of his convictions, and in death he stands fairly for what
he so consistently upheld. He offers no apology, nor mitigates one iota
facts founded upon scientific research, and he rejects all statements
upheld only by so-called inspiration or act of faith.
He was a
seeker after truth. Truth to him was the elemental principle of the
and he contended for this undeniable right to use the intelligence he
deciding for himself which grain was truth and which was not.
omnivorous and intelligent reader, he gleaned from sources far and wide
sifted for himself the grains of truth scattered throughout all
not claim this privilege for himself alone. He conceded to all
Gentile, Catholic or Protestant, Christian or heathen—the right of each
individual to gather his truth in whatever way he chose and to abide by
convictions he is compelled to arrive at—therefore freedom of thought
and the right
to express honest convictions were his slogans. He divorced morality
religion—morality to him being the higher term.
that one denies the religious tenets such as the divinity of Christ,
doctrine of the trinity, the infallibility of the pope, the inspiration
Bible, did not in his opinion brand a man as immoral. Morality is based
conduct alone and not upon beliefs, and all who knew him can attest
that in his
case a more moral, upright, honest, honorable man never lived.
upon his privilege of thinking as he must, according to convictions
evidence, did not in the least mean that he was free to live without
restrictions. On the contrary, he thought he was under the greater
to lead a clean, wholesome, moral life in order to deny that freedom of
and freedom of morals are identical. They are not, my friends, and his
proves it. He was an avowed atheist, or free thinker, or what to me
seems to be
a better word, more fully expressing it—a truth seeker—and such being
he held views widely apart from those held by most of you here today.
Jones were right in his views, he maintained, he is now at rest, and I
content. If he were wrong, he is now happy in the reunion with loved
before, and again I am content. What matters it, my friends? The thing
a man by is his life here and now, and if its heritage is such to
inspire or to
knew Mr. Jones knew that a more noble, more inspiring life was never
his. After twenty-two years of intimate association with him, I was
striving to reach a higher goal of living, trying to attain a
he seemed to be always pointing to unconsciously—never by word.
merely the power of righteous living so simply performed, so matter of
taken for granted that it glowed like a burning coal in a dark grate.
not have to be. He simply was.
in Dallas yesterday, with streaming eyes and choking voice, said to me:
"Miss Minnie, he was the best friend I had, the finest man I ever knew,
and the real beauty of it was that he himself was perfectly unconscious
one's best friend to all humanity; a lover of nature, scenery, tall
trees, wide expanses, beautiful vistas. Mother earth delighted him, as
all simple souls. A tender father, a devoted husband, a loving son and
"None knew him but to love him, nor named him but to praise." Such is
the man with whom today we come to the parting of the ways. Shall we
again? He thought not, perfectly content to return to the oblivion from
whether we do or not, the stroll we have taken together through this
second of eternity is so fraught with beauty, with love, with all that
could offer that is worthwhile that it alone pays for its having been.
whether he wishes it or not, he lives again in the beauty of his simple
loving life—an inheritance to those left behind.
this world was the place to be happy in, and one's duty was to make
for others; no trappings of woe nor habiliments of grief to dampen the
of others—such were his preachments; "Smiling Thro" his motto; and
you, my friends, who knew him, know, too, how he carried them out.
not such a paper as he would have written. It does not set forth his
powerfully as he would have presented them. It would not meet with hi
had he been consulted. He was modesty personified. But, my friends, a
forbids giving one his due of righteousness.
is indeed blind. "We come to bury Caesar—not to praise him," cries
the offended multitude. So be it. The best friend I had; the finest man
my friends, I ask you to come with me to the open space where in
silence and in
reverence we will return to mother earth the son who loved her so well.
the casket is lowered, it is my wish that all return to their usual
life, leaving me, alone, to cover the sacred spot with these beautiful
you have so kindly sent. We thank you.
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of
When I put out to sea,
But such a
tide as moving seems asleep,
for sound and foam,
which drew from out the
Turns again home.
And after that the dark!
And may there
be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho' from
out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see
my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.
M. Marsh Jones's
daughter Janis died in 1932. Minnie lived on until July 24, 1953, dying
Denison at age 84. She was buried in Fairview Cemetery next to her
daughter. Her father was also buried there.
Minnie M. Jones Trust was established in 1953 to support and promote
quality programming for underserved . Special consideration is
given to charitable organizations that serve the youth of Denison,
Texas and Grayson County, Texas. The grants are administed by
Bank of America.
in Fairview Cemetery:
MINNIE MARSH JONES. DIED
DALLAS, DALLAS COUNTY,
W/O- CHARLES H
CHAS H & MINNIE JONES.
FRANCIS W ATKINSON JONES.