Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MARSHALL, William Rainey, governor of Minnesota, born in Boone county, Missouri, 17 October, 1825. His father, Joseph M. Marshall, removed to Missouri, and thence to Quincy, Illinois, where William received a common-school education. At the age of sixteen he worked in the lead-mines of Galena, Illinois, and in 1847 he went to Minnesota (then part of Wisconsin territory) and engaged in the survey of public lands. In 1849 he established with his brother the first store of general merchandise in the Falls of St. Anthony (now Minneapolis). In 1848 he served in the legislature of Wisconsin, and in 1849 was elected a member of the first territorial legislature of Minnesota. He established the first iron store in Minnesota at St. Paul in 1852, and in 1855-'7 engaged in banking in that place. He presided at the meeting that organized the Republican party in Minnesota, and in 1855 was a Republican candidate for congress, but was defeated. He engaged in dairy-farming in 1857, and imported fine stock into the state. In 1861 he founded "The Daily Press" (now the " Pioneer Press"), and in the following year enlisted in the 7th Minnesota regiment, of which he became colonel, taking active part in two campaigns against the Indians. In 1863 he was assigned to the 16th army corps, and participated in several battles. He "commanded a brigade at the battle of Nashville, 15 and 16 December, 1864, and on 13 March, 1865, was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers for gallant and meritorious conduct. He was wounded at the siege of Mobile. From 1865 till 1869 he was governor of Minnesota, and he subsequently served as a railroad commissioner.
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