Biography of Barzilla L. Marble
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

BARZILLA L. MARBLE, who for many eventful years has resided at Bedford, Ohio, was born on the historic Libby Road, near Bedford, on the 6th of February, 1851, and is the son of Levi and Mary (Richardson) Marble, who became prominent citizens and most desirable neighbors in this section of the state. The grandfather of Barzilla L. was Thomas Marble, who, away back in 1832, came westward from New York State in the old fashioned way of traveling and settled on an attractive stretch of land on what is now Broadway and Maple Heights, about two miles from the present site of Bedford. Though this region was then populated with a scattered white population, all this portion of the state was wild and rugged and here and there could be seen camps of Indians who were steadily being driven westward to the prairies of the now "Great West." It was in this vicinity that Thomas Marble secured a rich tract of land and began the Herculean task of clearing off the timber and raising crops of grain and herds of live stock. Here he passed the remainder of his life, building up a fine farm and an enviable reputation as a superior citizen.

When Levi Marble, father of subject, was a lad of twelve years, he was brought to Cuyahoga County and worked for some twelve years for a farmer named Billings, whose farm is now a part of Garfield Park, learning the arts and angles of successful agriculture. In early manhood he engaged in the butchering business which enabled him to get a start in the financial world of the West. Still later he engaged in the occupation of making monuments, and engaged in other profitable business pursuits from time to time. He became one of the leading citizens and took an active part in the uplift of the community. He served as treasurer of Bedford Township, which fact proves his high standing among his neighbors. He was both industrious and successful. He passed away at the age of sixty nine years.

Barzilla L., during his adolescent period, received only a common school education, but managed to supplement this standing by outside reading and study. During the Civil war and for many years thereafter times were hard, money scarce and evasive and all people were destitute of means to advance in industry and literature. However, he managed to attend the night schools for a time and there revealed his superior aptitude for mathematics. At the very early age of thirteen years he began work in the old Purdy Chair Factory under the ownership and management of Chester Purdy and was there engaged for some time. Succeeding this experience he managed to secure a position with the Wheelock Chair Factory Company and was there employed during his early manhood. About the year 1871 he was given a position with the Taylor Chair Factory Company and was quickly promoted step by step until he occupied the important post of superintendent in 1880. In that capacity he mastered the problems of successful industry and gained the utmost confidence and esteem of his employers and his neighbors.

In 1885 he became one of the founders of the Marble & Shattuck Chair Company, which concern began at once active operations and continued with success until about 1895, when Mr. Marble disposed of his interests in the company and with others organized and established the B. L. Marble Chair Company, which is still in active existence. Under the directions and management of Mr. Marble the company grew and expanded until in 1901 it was duly incorporated with a capital of $50,000 and is nàw one of the most important and conspicuous industrial concerns of Bedford and even of this part of the state. It has a wide patronage over a thickly populated region, and its products are shipped to all parts of the Union. In 1913 Mr. Marble sold his interests in the company and has since lived practically a retired life in the same old town among his acquaintances and friends.

In 1873 he was united in marriage with Miss Mary A., daughter of Joseph and Martha (White) Matthews, and to this wedding three children were born: Bessie Lou, who became Mrs. I. G. Walling; Lloyd J.. who was called by death on July 2, 1907; and Lynn L. Their mother was given a good education in girlhood, loved her home, but died in 1901. Mr. Marble selected for his second wife Mrs. Ellen A. (Nelson) Hamilton, who by her first husband was the mother of two children: Lucius E. and Clark N. She passed away on February 20, 1920. Mr. Marble is a member of the Masonic order, is a Knight Templar, York Rite and a thirty second degree Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Mystic Shrine. He has firmly established his enviable reputation as a superior citizen and as an enterprising and successful business leader.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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