Established in 1830, town founders Sidney and George Ketchum named the community in honor of Chief Justice of the United States John Marshall from Virginia—whom they greatly admired. This occurred five years before Marshall’s death and thus was the first of dozens of communities and counties named for him.
Marshall was thought to be the front runner for state capitol, so much so that a Governor’s Mansion was built, but lost by one vote to Lansing. In the years after Marshall became known for its patent medicines industry until the Pure Drug Act of 1906.
Marshall was involved in the Underground Railroad. When escaped slave Adam Crosswhite fled Kentucky and settled in Marshall with his wife and three children, the people of the town hid him from the posse sent to retrieve him. Those involved were tried in Federal Court and found guilty of denying a man of his rightful property. This case and others like it caused the Fugitive Slave Act to be pushed through Congress. Learn more about the Adam Crosswhite event.
Source wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall,_Michigan