Thursday, May 12, 2016

Getting to Know "Marsh"

When the news first broke on January 25, 1917, that a Dominion immigration officer had been shot in the line of duty, the papers back in his hometown of Winnipeg got the scoop, alrightbut they got it wrong. Announcing in the Manitoba Free Press that it was Detective Nesbitt who was shot, the editors found themselves in the uncomfortable positionat the bottom of the very same front page columnof admitting there was no such person in the employ of the Winnipeg police force.

What did come to light, though, was a series of articles revealing just a little bit about the man who was killed early that morning. While those articles may be found disappointingly inadequate for genealogists hoping to locate identifying names of the bereaved family members, the series of clues about Marshall Jackson does reveal several details about the man, his career, and his earlier life.

Right away, the newspaper caught its error and explained,
The only Jackson known to the police in Winnipeg was Marshall Jackson, usually known as "Marsh." Mr. Jackson was a prominent private detective, and did considerable work for the [Sir Rodmond Palen] Roblin government. He also figured in Saskatchewan elections. His agency supplied private detectives for departmental stores, banks, and similar institutions, and being an old-timer he was well established in Winnipeg.

The next day, while newspapers on both sides of the border were furiously following the progress of the manhunt for Marsh's slayer, the Manitoba Free Press slipped in a small notice about the man's funeral, in the midst of a brief biographical sketch about Marsh.
Jackson was well known all over Canada, more especially in the west. He was born near Peterborough, Ont. He had been in the investigation business for fifteen years. He had come to Winnipeg from Fargo, N.D., where he had been sheriff. He was about 50 years of age.

There was more explanation of Marsh's connection to government:
For the past four years, Jackson had been employed more or less by the Dominion government. He was a seed grain inspector at one time, and during the latter years was a special investigator, and employed in the deportation of dangerous criminals.

Naturally, with those business connectionsand especially considering the manner in which he diedit was no surprise to read that the "Dominion government will have charge of the funeral."

With all that detail on Marshall Jackson's work history, one would have hoped for a more complete obituary than the brief paragraph offered on his family. Still, I'll let that suffice me for a start on the genealogical research trail.
Besides his wife, two boys, one in Brandon and one in Moose Jaw, and two girls, who live with their mother at 697 Warsaw avenue, Fort Rouge, survive.


  1. So he left behind four children. That is sad:(

    1. Yes, especially with the two youngest ones still at home. It must have been so hard for them.

  2. Amazing how the newspapers, in their rush to "break a story" often get the news so very wrong.

    Remember the Dewey Wins! newspaper.

  3. I know this is an old post, but I believe Marshall Jackson might be a relative of mine and was wondering if you have any other details about him. Possibly his children's names or wife's name? I would love to be able to fill in some details if possible.


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