My Contribution: I provided quality service and advice for Harrisburg’s African American community through my pharmacy on Boas Street, which was opened for decades. I also invested in Black sports leagues and brought entertainment acts to the city. I was well-connected.
My Legacy: My pharmacy was long running and was a staple of the Harrisburg community for more than two generations. Segregation notwithstanding, my support and promotion of Black sports teams fostered high-level competition among athletic teams and provided entertainment for the city.
About Me: “If you had a date with one of the girls you always wound up in Bud Marshall’s Drug Store having a coke or an ice cream soda, and they had booths in the back. Bud was quite a talker and a kidder and joker and he really had the personality. He had something to say to everybody that came in.” Mr. Robert Quann interview on Black Harrisburg in the 1920’s and 1930’s, February 27, 1977.
“The druggist, who has been host to many celebrated Negroes…has assisted many a boy with guidance and advice.” Patriot, March 11, 1951.
Full Name: William E. Marshall. Nicknames: Doc Marshall, Bud Marshall.
Birth Date: July 5, 1890 (WWI Draft Card), or July 7, 1893 (WWII Draft Card), or July 7, 1890 (Death Certificate).
Death Date: February 25, 1893
Place of Birth: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Race: Black (1900 Federal Census), “Mulatto” (1920 Federal Census)
Places of Residence: Harrisburg: 629 Boas Street, 516 N. 5th Street; 230 W. Simpson St, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
Connection to the Old Eighth Ward: Resident. Opened pharmacy one block north of Eighth Ward; promoted sports events in community including football, basketball, and baseball; attended Wesley Union A.M.Z. Zion Church.
Family Members: Grandfather: Alexander Dennee. Grandmother: Harriet Marshall. Father: William H. Marshall. Mother: Mary Lillian “Bessie” (Dennee) Marshall. Siblings: William Elisha Marshall, Dr. Forrest Scott Marshall, Catherine Condel (adopted sister). Wife: Rose K. (Comminger) Marshall. Father-in-Law: John William Comanger. Mother-in-Law: Emma Comanger. Sisters-in-Law: Edith Comanger, Georgia Ann Comanger, Mrs. J.W. Craighead.
Education: Harrisburg High School, 1907. Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, 1911.
Occupations: Pharmacist. Negro Baseball team owner and promoter.
Church Membership: Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church
Activism: Pennsylvania Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association; Junior League of Harrisburg Colored Baseball (president); Owner of Harrisburg Governors Football; Harrisburg Homes Company (board); Forster Street YMCA; Harrisburg Scholastics (organizer/manager).
Connections: Dr. A. Leslie Marshall (brother and neighbor on Boas Street), Alexander Dennee Bibb (cousin), William H. Marshall (father), Harriet (McClintock) Marshall (grandmother), Josephine Dennee Bibb Davidson (aunt), Morris H. Layton, Jr. (cousin), Morris H. Layton, Sr. (uncle), Morris J. Layton, Jr. (cousin).