Lake Delton Area
Born – December 27, 1847, Nashua, New Hampshire
Died - May 22, 1922, Madison, Wisconsin
Marshall was born in Nashua, New Hampshire in 1847 to Thomas and Emeline Pitkin Marshall were both supervisors in the cotton mills there. Both were self-educated and instilled in their children the importance of education and hard work. Roujet was the third of three sons born to the couple and when he was seven years old the family moved to Wisconsin settling in the Town of Delton. Debilitated from the hazardous working conditions in the mill Thomas Marshall depended on his boys, ages seven to eleven, to help take care of the crops, clear the land, and build fences. Roujet attended school when he could and passed the teacher’s exam at 14 but by the time he was 17 his two older brothers had left leaving Roujet to care for the farm, invalid father, mother and little sister and try to pursue his college education. He became interested in becoming a lawyer and attending the Baraboo Collegiate Institute during the winter of 1865. Later he attended Lawrence University, and knowing his time might be short due to his father’s failing health, he studied as hard as possible to get twice as much done as usual. After his father’s death, Roujet returned to the family farm in Delton and took over management while also eventually increasing its size to around 1,000 acres. He found time to be married to Mary Jenkins in 1869 and the following year he was employed by Baraboo Attorney N. W. Wheeler. Roujet was admitted to the bar in 1873 and then moved to Chippewa Falls where he worked as a lawyer. While there he became acquainted and retained by lumber magnate Frederick Weyerhauser.
In 1876 Marshall was appointed as Chippewa County judge and was later elected to a four-year term. Eight years later he won a seat on the Wisconsin University Board of Regents, where he served for five years. While still serving on the Board of Regents Marshall was elected as a Circuit Court Judge of for Wisconsin's Eleventh District. Marshall's service on the circuit court lasted until 1895 when then Wisconsin Governor William Upham appointed him to the State Supreme Court to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Chief Justice Harlow S. Orton. In 1896 Marshall won election to a term of his own on the court and during his 22-year tenure was regarded as one of the court's most prominent conservative voices. When he left the Supreme Court in 1918 he had authored 1,317 opinions. The same year he was elected as the President of the Wisconsin State Bar Association.
Throughout his life, Marshall never forgot his farm or the Town of Delton. When time allowed he interested himself in education, agriculture and the improvement of the community. This included good roads. He completely paid for the surfacing of the road from his home on Hwy 12 to Delton, and was largely responsible for a project costing $4,500 to fill a large ravine just north of Delton to complete the road between Delton and Wisconsin Dells.
When Judge Marshall died on May 22, 1922 he left money to build a town hall and library building as a practical and inspiring gift. The building still serves as the Town of Delton town hall today.
Did you know?
Marshall was named after the writer of the French National Anthem, La Marseillaise, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.