Josephine Marshall Oral History
Josephine Mary Carpenter Marshall was born on July 13, 1910, in Union Grove Township, Meeker County, to George and Mary (Roach) Carpenter. She attended rural school through the eighth grade and graduated as salutatorian from Paynesville High School in 1928. She then attended St. Cloud Teacher's College for two years, graduating in 1930, and then taught in rural grade schools for four years. On September 12, 1936, she married Fred Marshall and lived on a farm in Union Grove Township. In 1949, Fred was elected to the United States Congress. He served until he retired in 1962. During those years, they lived part-time in Alexandria, Virginia. Fred passed on June 5, 1985, while Josephine died on September 19, 2006.
In an oral history interview dated August 1, 1988, Josephine Marshall discussed going to school in a one-room schoolhouse, attending what was then St. Cloud Teacher’s College, and then teaching in rural schools. She ran the family’s farm in Meeker County while her husband Fred Marshall’s job pre-Congress kept him on the road most of the time. When Fred Marshall served in Congress beginning in 1949, the couple lived at least part of the year in Alexandria, Virginia. She recounted the difficulty of raising the couple’s two sons with life split between Washington, DC, and Minnesota. She discussed DC social life and carpooling with future US president Gerald Ford and his wife Ford. The couples lived close by and each had only one car so the men would carpool to the Capitol and their wives would share a ride to other events. Josephine recalled that she did not campaign much for her husband and that others filled that role for him.
St. Cloud State University, "Josephine Marshall Oral History" (1988). Minnesota Legislators and Politics. 5.