Source: Columbia City Commercial-Mail, June 1, 1925


Former Vice President Marshall died at his hotel here today at 9:30 a.m. Marshall, believed to be convalescing from nervous exhaustion and a cold which prostrated him on his arrival here last Tuesday, died without warning from a sudden heart attack.

Marshall was vice president from 1913 to 1921, during both Wilson administrations.

He had spent a restful night, according to those with him and apparently was well on the way to recovery from the illness which compelled him to remain in his hotel room from the time of his arrival here.

As he was reading in bed this morning, however, his heart gave way and he died without a word.

Thomas Riley Marshall was a Hoosier, born at North Manchester, Ind., on March 14, 1854.

After graduating from Wabash college in 1873 he started the practice of law at Columbia City, Ind.

His first political post of major importance was that of governor of Indiana, to which he was elected in 1908 and which he held for four years, 1909-1913.

He was nominated vice president at the Baltimore Democratic national convention in 1912 on the ticket with Woodrow Wilson and re-nominated and re-elected in 1916.

Following his retirement in private life in 1921, he was appointed a member of the U.S. coal commission.

Marshall was sitting up in bed reading the Bible when he end came, his nurse said.

Mrs. Marshall was in an adjoining room.

The late vice president came here to rest following a lengthy speaking tour in the middlewest.

The body will be transported to Marion, Ind., for burial in the graveyard where his mother and father lie. Arrangements, however, have not yet been completed.

Will Draft Resolutions

Attorney E.K. Strong, president of the Whitley County Bar association, has appointed Attorneys D.V. Whiteleather, George Kichler and J.R. Harrison to draw resolutions in memory and honor of Thomas R. Marshall, a former member of the Whitley county bar and ex-vice president, who died this morning in Washington.


Flags on the public buildings and along the streets--scores of them--were flying at half mast and draped in mourning Monday in Columbia City, the old home town of Thomas R. Marshall, the sad news of whose death came to his old neighbors and friends during the early forenoon. Sorrow was expressed on every hand as the news of the former vice president's death spread rapidly over the city.

A telegram from Mrs. Marshall came to Mr. and Mrs. H.D. McLallen who owns the former Marshall homestead and where the Marshalls had always stopped when visiting here, announcing that Mr. Marshall had passed peacefully away. Details of funeral arrangements were expected to be received during the late afternoon.

Mr. and Mrs. Marshall spent May 19, 20 and 21 in this city, guests at the H.D. McLallen home and had been visited there by many old Columbia City friends and neighbors and Mrs. Marshall met many of her former neighbors and club friends at a party given in her honor by Mrs. J.C. Sanders. Mr. Marshall was called here by the local school board to deliver the annual address to the graduating class of the Columbia City high school which he gave the night of May 20 in the city hall, when a crowded house gave him a most enthusiastic hearing. He appeared greatly weakened that night and apologized for having been ill and not fully recovered but expressed himself as optimistic of complete recovery in due time. He went from here to North Manchester where he addressed the graduating class of the college May 22. He then left for Washington where his death occurred.

A keen sense of humor was the outstanding characteristic of Thos. R. Marshall during the years he was vice president.

Probably his most famous remark was made while the senate over which he presided was debating "What's wrong with the nation?"

"What the nation needs most," Marshall suddenly announced from the chair, "is a good five cent cigar."

Immediately following his re-election to the vice presidency, he called at the white house to visit the president and the white house correspondents gathered around to question him.

"I have something very important to say," he told them. "It concerns Mexico."

Eagerly the correspondents listened--as Mexican affairs were in the forefront at that time.

Then Marshall gravely said: "I read that President Carranza has proposed to abolish the office of vice president. I am going down there and campaign against it."

Once in his earlier years, when his friends tried to nominate him for congress, he refused the offer, saying: "I'm afraid I might be elected."

The night he was elected vice president he refused to stay up to get the returns.

Latest word as to funeral arrangements indicated that burial would be made at Marion, Ind, beside the parents, Dr. and Mrs. Marshall, who died at Columbia City, Ind. Lying there is also an infant sister of the former vice president and his foster child who died some time ago when the Marshalls resided in Washington. The funeral will be held at Indianapolis, time not yet announced.

Born in North Manchester

Mr. Marshall was born in North Manchester, Ind., 71 years ago to Dr. and Mrs. Daniel M. Marshall. He was graduated from Wabash college when 19 and was admitted to the bar in Columbia City when 21 years of age. He served as prosecuting attorney. He became prominent in the practice of law and in 1908 was nominated and elected governor of Indiana on the Democratic ticket. In 1912 he was nominated for the vice presidency and served four years with President Wilson, and was re-nominated and elected in 1916, serving eight years in the vice presidency. [Marshall married his] wife in 1895 who was Lois L. Kimsey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Morton Kimsey of Angola.

After Mr. Marshall left the vice presidency, the Marshalls went abroad, later returning and establishing a home in Indianapolis where they maintained a modest home and where Mr. Marshall recently opened a law office. He was a wonderfully popular platform orator and was much in demand as a chautauqua speaker and was one of the highest paid chautauqua speakers in this country and always in great demand.

He wrote much for magazines and newspapers and gave many addresses to colleges and schools. He served some years as trustee of Wabash college and held many positions of trust and honor during his life time. He was a noted Bible student and was reading his Bible when the stroke of death came upon him.

Mr. Marshall was a Presbyterian, an active 33rd degree mason as well as a member of the Phi Gamma Delta and Phi Beta Kappa fraternities. He also held the honorary degree of LL.D. from several colleges and universities.

Source: Columbia City Commercial-Mail, June 2, 1925


Arrangements to escort the body of the late Thomas Riley Marshall, former vice president of the United States, from the union station to the Marshall home here tomorrow were being made today by fraternal and civic organizations.

The body will arrive at 11:32 a.m. from Washington where Marshall died yesterday.

Gov. Jackson suggested in a telegram to Mrs. Marshall that the body lie in state in the rotunda of the capitol building but the widow did not favor the plan.

The arrangements are that the body will rest in the Crownhill cemetery receiving vault until arrangements are completed for final interment at Marion, Ind., beside the graves of Mr. Marshall's parents.

Source: Columbia City Commercial-Mail, June 2, 1925


There is general sorrow in the nation's capital at the sudden death of former Vice President Thos. R. Marshall.

Mr. Marshall had eaten his breakfast, and was sitting up in bed reading his morning chapter in the Bible while his nurse massaged his shoulders, when he suddenly laid the book aside, opened at the second chapter of Mark, removed his glasses and placed them beside him, without speaking, then as the nurse bent over him his head dropped forward and he fell back against his pillows. The nurse called to Mrs. Marshall who was in an adjoining room, but before she could reach his side Mr. Marshall was dead.

Totally unprepared for the tragic ending of their visit to Washington, Mrs. Marshall collapsed, but Monday afternoon had rallied from the shock and was able to receive the President and Mrs. Coolidge when they called to express the grief felt by official Washington at the death of the former Vice President who was one of the most widely popular and best beloved men who ever filled that office.

Letter from Coolidge

From the White House, shortly after the news of Mr. Marshall's death was received, there came the following letter from President Coolidge:

"My Dear Mrs. Marshall:
"Just this moment the shocking intelligence has come to me of the death of your distinguished husband, and I hasten to express to you not only my deepest sympathy and condolences but the real sense of personal loss.

"Mr. Marshall's long and notable public service, both in Indiana and as vice president for eight years, had won for him recognition for high character and exceptional abilities. Beyond this, and something he would have prized even more dearly, he had drawn to himself a truly remarkable power of friends and friendships extending to every part of the nation and beyond it. His delightful fund of humor illuminated a philosophy of life and affairs that had made for him a unique place among public men. He leaves a place that there is none to occupy.

"Mrs. Coolidge joins in my expressions of sorrow and sympathy to you and yours in this time of your bereavement."

Kellogg Pays Tribute

One of the first to express sorrow and regret in a public statement was Secretary Kellogg, who was a member of the senate during a large part of Mr. Marshall's services as presiding officer there.

"He was a man of sterling ability and the highest character and won the respect of every one," Mr. Kellogg said. His death will be universally mourned by the American people."

Services at Hotel

Funeral services will be held here at 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon at the Willard hotel at which the Rev. Dr. Chas. Wood of the Church of the Covenant will officiate, and Mrs. Marshall, accompanied by Mrs. Thos. F. Walsh, a close personal friend, will leave that night with the body, arriving in Indianapolis at 11:32 Wednesday morning. There in the Marshall home, under the auspices of the Scottish Rite Masons, funeral services will be held.

A telegram from Gov. Jackson, suggesting that the funeral services be held at the state house in Indianapolis was answered by Mrs. Marshall expressing her thanks for the offer and for his words of sympathy, but declining the offer of a state funeral for her husband.

Declines Coolidge Offer

She had previously expressed her preference for a private funeral when the offer of the east room at the White House for the holding of the services here this afternoon was conveyed to her on behalf of the President and Mrs. Coolidge by former Representative Sanders of Indiana, secretary to the president.

Few women in public life have so endeared themselves to official and social Washington as did Mrs. Marshall during the eight years of her husband's vice presidency, during a great part of which time, owing to the illness of President Wilson, she acted as official hostess for the administration.

Throughout the afternoon and evening flowers, cards, and notes of condolence in steadily increasing volume were left for her by the hosts of friends in Washington who had heard with real distress of the former vice president's sudden death.

Mr. Marshall had been speaking on the chautauqua circuit until about three months ago when he returned to Indianapolis very tired and seeking rest. Constantly in demand as a speaker, he had as late as week before last addressed the graduating class of the Columbia City high school in Indiana, and it was at the suggestion of Mrs. Marshall that they came to Washington to remain for ten days as a period of rest and recreation and to meet again their many friends here.

Scottish Rite Funeral

Following the services in Washington, Mrs. Marshall will take her dead to Indianapolis where funeral services under the auspices of the Scottish Rite will be held Thursday morning at the Marshall residence. Accompanying Mrs. Marshall to Indianapolis will be Mrs. Thos. F. Walsh, a close friend; John H. Cowles, head of the South Scottish Rite Masons, and Mark Thistlewaite, who was Mr. Marshall's secretary when he was governor and vice president.


The honorary pallbearers at the services here will be Willard Saulsbury, former United States senator from Delaware; Senator Swanson, Virginia; John Hays Hammond, famous mining engineer and chairman of the coal commission of which Mr. Marshall was a member; C.C. McChord, chairman of the inter-state commerce commission; Harry S. New, postmaster general; Justice McReynolds of the supreme court; Frank H. Hight, a friend of the former vice president; Judge Geo. E. Downey of the court of claims; J. Ford Essary, president of the "Gridiron club; James P. Hornaday, Washington correspondent of the Indianapolis News; James M. Baker, former secretary of the senate, and James J. Davis, secretary of labor.

The body will be placed in the receiving vault in Crownhill cemetery, Indianapolis. Mrs. Marshall is holding up under the ordeal and has been able to receive personally some of the friends and officials who have called at the Willard hotel.


Hundreds of messages of condolences have been received by Mrs. Marshall. Among the senders were John W. Davis, James M. Cox, Senators Watson and Ralston, Gov. Jackson, Mayor Shank, Jos. Tumulty, Newton D. Baker, Lindley M. Garrison, Josephus Daniels, Atlee Pomerene, Thos. Taggart, Dan M. Lick, Walter Olds, Lew Ellingham, Will C. Geake, William P. Bress, Winfield T. Durbin, John W. Kern, Jr., Carlton McCulloch and the Whitley County Bar association.