Sunday, May 26, 2013

Who was this Mary Marshall?

I couldn’t resist continuing to explore the neighbors and neighborhood of William Hunter Davis that I discovered from the 1870 census page described in my May 19 post.  The rich lady, 87- year-old Mary Marshall, really intrigued me.  She shows up in an 1874 Savannah city directory as “Marshall, Mrs. Mary M, wid James, r 47 West Broad” which translates as  “widow of James Marshall, residing at 47 West Broad.”  You can enter the address in Google maps and it takes you to current day Savannah, where Broad St exists as Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.  It’s hard to tell from a stroll down a Google satellite map if Mrs. Marshall’s home still exists.

A quick search on Google takes me to the history of the Marshall House Hotel, claiming to be the oldest hotel in Savannah having been built by Mary Marshall in 1851.  Born Mary Leaver, she was the daughter of a shrewd cabinetmaker and real estate investor named Gabriel Leaver.  He left land to Mary who continued to purchase and develop land in Savannah.  She lived to the ripe old age 93.  She died in 1877. (History of the Marshall House website)

In the same city directory, my William H. Davis shows up living on Zubly St at the southeast corner of Ann, which is right around the corner from Mrs. Marshall’s home on West Broad (Estill, p. 55). Today, there’s not much at the intersection of Zubly and Ann except for a parking lot, some boarded up apartments, and some industrial buildings. 

The city directory lists William H. Davis as a “down freight agent, CRR,” so he is still working for the Central Rail Road in 1874.


Estill, J. N. Publisher.  Estill’s Savannah Directory for 1974-’75. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Estill’s Savannah Directory. J. N. Estill Publisher, 1874. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.  Accessed 11 March 2009.

History of the Marshall House.  Accessed 26 May 2013.


  1. Welcome to Geneabloggers! I've been a members for about eight months. This is a great blogging community.


    Grant Davis