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Minnie M. Marsh Jones


Minnie Marsh (Mrs. Charles H. Jones)
Teacher in Denison Educational Institute, 1895.
Detail from group shot of 1895 Educational Institute graduating class, in Grayson County's 140th Birthday (1985), p. 124.

Minnie M. Marsh (Mrs. Charles H. Jones)

Minnie M. Marsh (1869–1953) was the daughter of Julian P. Marsh (1833–1898) and his wife Maria Roxana Cole. They had five children. In addition to Minnie, these were Ida E. Marsh Stratton (1861–1943), Walter M. Marsh (1865–?), Anna Zona Marsh Cobb (1878–1873), and Edith Estella Marsh (1880–?).

Born in New York, J. P. Marsh came to Denison around 1885 after prospecting for gold in California. He manufactured and sold boots and shoes at 314 West Main Street from his arrival until his unexpected death in 1898. Starting in 1891 and at least through 1900, son Walter worked in this family business.

The Sunday Gazetteer
Sunday, April 11, 1897
pg. 4
Of the Shoe Trade at J.P. Marsh's Establishment
The papers have been publishing about spring openings, but J.P. Marsh at his shoe house surpasses them all.  Box after box of new shoes have been opened the past week.  It is the largest, the best, the cheapest up to date stock of shoes that was ever offered to the trade of Denison.  Money has been no consideration.  Marsh was after the best; and he has them at his house.  Call and look at the new styles.  The best shoes on top of earth.  Ladies are especially invited to call.

The Gazette
(Ft. Worth, Texas)
June 18, 1886

Minnie 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 at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she studied introductory French.

Minnie's sisters Edith and Zona graduated from the Educational Institute in 1897 and became music teachers. In 1901, Zona was listed in the City Directory as proprietor of the family shoe factory, at 204 West Main Street.

Denison Gazetteer
Sunday, April 11, 1897
Wednesday, April 7, 1897
It is reported that Miss Minnie Marsh will enter the lecture field.  Miss Marsh is one of the most beautiful women in Texas, and personal charms in connection with a high order of talent, would establish her reputation at once on the forum.

Denison Gazetteer
Sunday, April 11, 1897
Miss Minnie Marsh delivered at the XXI club building her lecture on Tolstoi's Religion Thursday night.  The Gazetteer that it had no representative present.  The literary effort of Miss Marsh received the ancomlum from those that heard it, and a brilliant future is predicted for the fair lecturer.

Minnie was admired as a charming, brilliant, and attractive public speaker. The Denison Sunday Gazetteer of April 17, 1898, described her gifts as a lecturer:

Miss Minnie Marsh, of this city, will deliver a lecture in Sherman on the 22d inst, on Tolstoi. Speaking of the lecture which 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, but with those of distinguished orators. This young woman has only to make known the spell of her beautifully modeled voice, her graceful pose and gesture, her soulful face and the liquid flash of her unaffected eloquence to charm multitudes wherever English is spoken."

In 1897-98, Marsh was Federation Secretary of Denison's XXI Club. An undated poster suggests that she was running for some office (perhaps in a national Federation of Women's Clubs) and was "endorsed by the Texas Federation [of] Women's Clubs."

According to the Dallas News, April 30, 1900, Minnie presented an address to the Dallas Federation of Women's Clubs:

"The address by Miss Minnie Marsh, president of the Denison XXI Club, created a most favorable impression of the dignity and character of woman's work from the platform. Miss Marsh's subject, 'Song Writers of the South,' was a happy selection, and awakened so much interest among the patriotic students of Southern literature, that the seating capacity of the Harmony Club could not accommodate the audience that came to hear her."

Around the turn of the century, Minnie was instructor in English and American Literature at the North Texas State Normal School. Her successor was announced in the summer of 1902. That July she married and returned to Denison to live.

In Denison, the marriage of Minnie Marsh and Charles H. Jones (1863–1924) was celebrated as the local match of the year (July 26, 1902).  Born in Missouri the son of Martha Ann Younger (1835 - 1918) and Lycurgus A Jones (1826 - 1897), Charles arrived in Denison in 1881 and, with his brothers, established a furniture store that did business over North Texas and Oklahoma. 

The Sunday Gazetteer
Sunday, August 3, 1902
pg. 1

The Happy Event Was Consummated at Denton July 30
Charles H. Jones, the leading furniture man of Denison and Miss Minnie Marsh were married Wednesday at Denton, County Judge Woods performing the ceremony.
A number of friends of the contracting parties have suspected that such an event was on the carpet, but even now the wedding is quite a surprise.
C.H. Jones has been a resident of Denison for the past twenty-five years.  No one stands higher in business and social circles.  He is one of the best balanced men that we have ever known.  The mark of gentleman is stamped all over Charley Jones.
When he first cast his lot with Denison, his business venture was humble, but he has kept in touch with the progress of the city, and today he is recognized as one of her most important business factors.  If he has prospered, it is because he was deserving of success.  He is the very best type of American young men.
The majority of people know the groom as a businessman, but there is another side to his admirable character.  He is a highly cultured gentleman.  He has walked in all the paths of literature, and his library is one of the most extensive in the state.  He is a delightful and most interesting conversationalist, a clean-cut thinker who is able to hold his own in the discussions of the most erudite character.  He told the writer once that he was "a book worm," and we believe him.  Yet this does not affect the social side of his nature in the least.  He is one of the most amiable men that we have ever met.  The most pressing business cares do not sour his disposition.  The writer has seen him almost daily for the past twenty-five years, and we never did business with a more pleasant and courteous gentleman.
The bride is one of the most beautiful and intelligent ladies in the state.  She is not only lovely in person, but she possesses a mind that is endowed with rare literary acumen.  Miss Minnie Marsh has for many years occupied a prominent position in society and literary circles.  She has delighted thousands of people from the lecture stage.  She has been praised and petted by the press as but few Texas women have been.
For many years she was principla and teacher in our public schools.  At the time of the marriage she was principal of the Normal school at Denton.  The words of praise spoken and published in her favor would consume a volume.  The fair bride is a graduate of the Huntsville Normal.
We cannot conceive of a more happy union than Charles H. Jones and Miss Minnie Marsh.  This is a union of affinity, a consummation devoutedly to be wished.
The Gazetteer entertains the best wishes for the happy couple, wanting them long life, perfect health, a future undisturbed with care, extracting all the sweets of life and none of its bitterness.  We do not know of a couple who will carry with them more hearty good will than Chas. H. Jones and his fair bride.
The bride and groom have gone to Colorado and will not return to Denison until late in the fall.  The groom when he left his business made a vow not to return to it until the expiration of two years.  He will probably travel extensively, as he has one year yet before his probation expires.

This view, taken from the 1914 Denison High School, looks east on the alley between Woodard Street (at left) and Main Street.
The picture shows a large sign, at right, advertising Charles H. Jones's housewares and furniture store in the 500 block of W Main.

Minnie seems to have given up her career teaching and lecturing when she married. In 1904, she and Charles had a daughter, Janis. The girl attended Kidd-Key College in Sherman. Also part 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 1910, Minnie's widowed sister Ida Marsh Stratton lived with the family, too.

Minnie M. Marsh Jones's daughter Janis died in 1932. Minnie lived on until July 24, 1953, dying in Denison at age 84. She was buried in Fairview Cemetery next to her husband and daughter. Her father was also buried there.

The 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 administered by Bank of America.

Buried in Fairview Cemetery:

JoNES, CHARLES H     1862 - March 14, 1924

jONES, MINNIE mARSH     1868 - 1953

JONES, JANIS     1904 - 1932
d/o Charles H. & Minnie Jones

Jones, Harry A.     1855 - 1926
h/o Francis W. Atkinson Jones

Marsh, J P     1828 - 1898

Estate of Minnie Marsh Jones

Elaine Nall Bay
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