MARSHALL, FRANCES MARIA KEELER
Copyright © 2011-2018 John N. Lupia III
Frances Maria Keeler Marshall (1810-1879), was born on November 22, 1810 at Kortright, New York, the daughter of Judge Martin Keeler (1781-1860), a native of Connecticut.
She married Dr. Robert S. Marshall, M.D. (-1850), on August 14, 1832 at the Presbyterian Church, South Kortright, New York. They had four children : Henry (1838-), Louisa Mary (1842-), Robert (1844-), and Helena (1850-).
They most probably built their house on the property purchased by Robert Marshall in 1834 at what is now designated as 48 Maple Avenue, Village of Hobart, Township of Stamford, Delaware County, New York.
Unfortunately, Dr. Marshall got bit by the gold bug after hearing the news of the "California Gold Rush" in 1849 and sailed there by boat. He got ill and died in California in November 1850 leaving his wife Frances a widow.
Mrs. Marshall collected United States, ancient, and foreign gold, silver, and copper coins, store cards, and medals continuing that started by her late husband. Dr. Marshall who received his medical degree in 1830 at New York, had inherited his father's coin collection, that of Dr. Henry Marshall (1775-1851), of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Fig. 1. Mrs. Marshall always exhibited her cabinet of coins at the County and other Fairs. This article explains the origin of her coin cabinet having come from Scotland by her father-in-law Dr. Henry Marshall. Delaware Gazette, October 14, 1863, page 2.
After the death of her husband Mrs. Marshall kept the 800 piece coin collection as a family heirloom and appears to have contributed to its expansion since it contains post 1850 material. Moreover, Dave Hirt discovered her name listed among the buyers in the Bangs, Merwin & Company sale of the Joseph Napoleon Tricot Levick (1828-1908) Collection sold from Saturday until Monday, May 27-29, 1865, having won several lots. She used to show her coin collection in viewing cases at the Delaware County Agricultural Fair held at Hobart from the 1850’s through the 1870’s.
In February 1864, The New York Times cites a "Mrs. Marshall" first among the Ladies Association working for "The Metropolitan Fair," for the benefit of the United States Sanitary Commission. Hence, another Fair Mrs. Marshall undoubtedly exhibited her coin cabinet.
Also, in 1864 she published A Catalogue of Coins of Mrs. Marshall, Hobart, N.Y. (9 pages with yellow wrappers) of her cabinet of coins in what some have interpreted to be a fixed price list and others as an auction catalogue. It was certainly printed in time for either "The Metropolitan Fair," or the annual Delaware County Agricultural Fair held at Hobart, perhaps, in the event anyone wished to purchase any specimen, or to hold a public auction. However, it seems also probable to have merely served as a fair souvenir catalogue for those who visited the fair and wanted to appreciate the collection and study the coins, although the words "For Sale" emblazoned on the cover certainly suggests something more than a mere exhibition. We know neither if the catalogue she printed was merely a master list from which she sold duplicates, an auction catalogue, nor if the cabinet of coins bequeathed in her last will and testament was of a different inventory from that published in 1864, nor whatever became of the collection after November 7, 1879.
A copy of Mrs. Marshall's, A Catalogue of Coins, has been scanned in the Newman Portal.
She also appears to have been among the ladies at the Union League Club House reception for General Sheridan in October 1867.
She died on March 14, 1879. Her will was probated on November 7, 1879 with Colonel Frederick Griffin, the late Robert Marshall's uncle as executor. Her cabinet of coins was bequeathed to her youngest child Helena Marshall. However, it was stipulated in the will that if Helena should sell the cabinet of coins the proceeds should be equally divided between herself, Louisa Barker (her married sister), and her two brothers Henry and Robert Marshall. Mrs. Marshall is buried in the South Kortright Cemetery.
A big kudos to Jim Meagley of the Hobart Historical Society for his invaluable assistance.
Delaware County Gazette, August 22, 1832 -marriage notice.
New York State Census – 1855
U. S. Census -1860
"Curiosities," Delaware County Gazette, October 14, 1863, page 2
"The Metropolitan Fair," The New York Times, Monday, February 15, 1864, page 5
"Ladies Reception at the Union League Club-Rooms," The New York Times, Friday, October 4, 1867, page 8
New York State Census – 1875
Emmanuel Joseph Attinelli, Numismgraphics (New York, 1876) : 90
New York Wills and Probate Records-1879
Dave Hirt, "Who Was Mrs. Marshall", Asylum (1996) : 43