Friday, April 24, 2015

OUR FRIEND - Harry Homer Marshall

I mentioned previously that when I am on Find a Grave photo missions I am always on the lookout for tombstones that look interesting, or stones that look like they might have a good story "under" them.  That is the case with this week's story.  I was at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie filling Find a Grave photo requests when I looked down and saw this tombstone:

Our Friend
Harry Homer
Nov 18, 1888     May 14, 1920

Let's see what we can "dig up" about Mr. Marshall, whose friends bought his tombstone.

Harry Homer Marshall is another one of those people who has not left much of a trail. His tombstone says that he was born on November 18, 1888 - other sources say November 18, 1887.  The names of his parents are unknown.  He always gave his birthplace as Ottawa, Iowa.  His birth is not in the Index of Iowa births for 1887 or 1888. There is another Harry Marshall who was born in Keokuk in 1888 - his life is well documented - but he is not our Harry.   

The first time he turns up is in the 1910 US Census when he is already living in Chicago - at 111 South Wood Street - now a parking lot in the shadow of the United Center.  111 S. Wood Street was a rooming house, and Harry was there as a "Lodger."  On the line after Harry's record is a record for a male, "T. Marshall" who was 18 years old.  He is probably a brother of Harry, but he disappears after this census.

Both Harry and "T" list their occupation as "Printer for a Printing Company."

The next time we hear from Harry is on June 5, 1917 when he registers for the draft.  He indicates that he is a chauffeur and lives at 1251 Argyle Street in Chicago.

1251 W. Argyle, Chicago
He lists his employer as "C.H. Pushman, 4259 Hazel Street" in Chicago.

Harry H. Marshall talked to the Census Taker for the 1920 US Census on January 5, 1920.  He is still a boarder at 1251 W. Argyle.  He lists his occupation as "Private Chauffeur."   No sign of the mysterious "T." Marshall from the 1910 census.

Harry Homer Marshall died on May 14, 1920 in Chicago.  Here is his death certificate:

He died at St. Joseph's Hospital in Chicago:

The Cause of Death was "Internal hemorrhage and shock and injuries caused by colliding with trolley pole while avoiding collision (accidental)  Town car and motorcycle."  We can pick up two other things from his death certificate:  He was an "Unemployed chauffeur," and the information for his death certificate came from his landlady, Anna Tinnerhorn. 

There was no death notice or obituary for Harry Marshall in the Chicago newspapers - in fact the accident that caused his death was not even mentioned.

Harry's funeral was May 17, 1920.  He was buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, Skokie, Illinois.  Harry Homer Marshall may not have had family around, but he was blessed to have friends who looked after him - and even made sure his grave was marked.

"Our Friend" Harry Homer Marshall - may he rest in peace.

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