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Where did Thomas L. Marsalis go?

Posted by Jim Barnes 
Tonight I printed out everything that has been posted here on the Message Board since my last printing session in July. I now have a pretty big file folder full of T.L. Marsalis facts.
Two comments:
1). The newspaper article by W.S. Adair printed in the "Dallas Morning News" on 29-May-1921, titled "HISTORY OF OLD BUILDER RELATED" (posted by Jim Wheat on 18-November-2004) stated that a great fire destroyed Marsalis' business in January of 1889. This is different than the fire's date of January 1887 related in the article from "The Trenton Times" dated 27-Jan-1887 (posted by Sharon Marsalis on 19-July-2004). I wondered if the 1889 date would shed light on the question that Fred Ragsdale posed on 20-July-2004, "I wonder if the fire was one of the events that led to his (Marsalis') financial fialure and Dallas and led to his move to NY?"
Upon rereading the 1921 "News" article in detail,however I think that its date is unfortunately incorrect, because it talks about Marsalis' partnership with Armstrong forming after the fire. Armstrong and Marsalis opened Oak Cliff together in October of 1887, so the internal facts seem inconsistent with the 1889 date for the great grocery wholesale business fire.
2). I think we might be able to make something of the death date of Thomas L. Marsalis, Junior. On 19-July-2004 Sharon Marsalis posted a report indicating that a Thomas Marsalis who was born 05-Feb-1884 died in Queenstown, Queen Anees, Maryland) in June of 1966. Sharon's posting on 29-Nov-2004 provided c. 1913 information about a Thomas Lafayette Marsalis living at 115 Broadway in New York City. The source is a Harvard alumni directory. If we could confirm an exact date for Junior's death we might be able to find a family cemetery where everyone is buried. Though I doubt whether Harvard would have information on Junior's place of interment, I think we could easily find a Death Certificate from the State of Maryland for 1966 and that such a certificate might list a place of interment. Harvard might provide enough information to make the Maryland death certificate search valid. It's sort of far fetched, but that one possible maneveur.
Today I received a photocopy of the 1966 Death Certificate of Thomas L. Marsalis, Jr.
Data (handwritten on pre-printed form) is as follows:
Source: Maryland State Archives
Maryland State Department of Death
Certificate of Death: "08928 (stamped"
Place of Death: "Queen Anne's" County
Usual Residence: "Maryland, Queen Anne's"
City of Town: "Rural Queenstown"
Length of Stay (at above): "36 years"
Street Address(crossed out): "West Wye"
Is residence on a Farm?: "No" (box checked)
Name of Deceased:
First: "Thomas"
Middle: "---"
Last "Marsalis"
Date of Death: "6-22-1966"
Sex: "Male"
Color or Race: "White"
Widowed (box checked)
Date of Birth: "Feb. 5, 1884"
Age: "82" years
Usual Occupation: "Retired Stock Broker"
Kind of Business or Industry: "Self Employed"
Birthplace: "Dallas, Dallas Co., Texas"
Citizen of What Country?: "U.S.A."
Father's name: "Thomas Lafayette Marsalis"
Mother's Maiden Name: "Elizabeth Josephine Crowdus"
Was Deceased ever in U.S. Armed Forces?: "Yes", served in: "WWI"
Social Security Number: "220-32-0100"
Informant: "Thomas M. Lucke, Box 443, Valley Forge, Pa."
Cause of Death: "Cardiac Failure"
Due to: Arteriorsclerotic Hearth Diasease"
Interval Betwen onset and death: "Yrs."
Other conditions:
Accident was underlying or contributing cause (etc):
Was Autospsy performed:
I cettify that I attended the deceased from "Jan 1956" to "6/22/1966", that I last saw the decased alive on "6/21/1966" and that death occurred at "11:36 a.m." from the casues and onthe state stated above. Signature: "S.Krech, Jr.", attending Phys. (box checked), date signed: "6.24.66", address: "Easton, Md."
Burial: "Burial"
Date: "June 25, 1966"
Cemetery: "Old Wye Cemetery"
Location: "Wye Mills, Maryland"
Funeral Director: "James H. Barton, Jr., Barton Bros., Centerville, Md."
Date by Registrar: "June 28, 1996 (stamped)"
Registrar's Signature: "J. Charles Judge (stamped)"
a. Anyone wishing scanned copies of this document,please let me know (at the email address above).
b. The burial of Oak Cliff's Thomas L. Marsalis' son in rural Maryland in 1966, with the report that he had lived there for the past 36 years (since about 1930) and the indication that his father had died some ten years before the son had moved to Maryland seems to suggest that the father's internment is not likely to be found in the same Maryland cemetery as the son's.
Jim Barnes
Thanks to an email from Jim Barnes I went back to the NYTimes website, learned how to read, removed a "Cookie" and firewall protection and found about 50 articles concerning T.L.,Sr.and some business transactions in NY, his daughter Laila's grad. from Vassar, his wife Elizabeth J. Crowdus Marsalis's death and many articles on his son Thomas Lafayette Marsalis : Harvard Shooting team ; engagement ; marriage ; best man at John Phillip Sousa's daughter's wedding ; inheriting mother's estate ; his daughter Barbara's engagement and wedding ; many "curb" articles ; and ,finally, his death and earlier his wife's death and that they had a surviving grandson named Thomas Marsalis Lucke.
Still have not heard from NY concerning death search for Thomas Lafayette Marsalis, Sr.in other boroughs.
Sharon --- What great info! Obviously, if the kids went to Vassar and Harvard, the idea that T.L. Sr's poor luck in business followed him to New York is probably disproved. I'm sure you've already done this, but a google search for Thomas M. Lucke turned up one serving on the Board of the Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland. Are you going to try to track down this great-grandson?
Vivian, yes it has been great news and yes we are in the midst of trying to contact the one Jim Barnes and I think is the greatgrandson. We will keep you posted. In the meantime since you have done "talks" on T. L., Sr. and Oak Cliff if you would like some of the article copies I just sent Jim let me know and I'll mail them to you. {I do not now live in Texas)Sharon
New York says there is no death record of T.L., Sr. in the Bronx or Queens for the years 1918 and 1920.
Search for Thomas Marsalis Lucke
January 13, 2005 06:36PM
I wrote to Thomas M. Lucke of Oxford, Maryland on the 3rd of January. So far I have received no reply, but knowing that he also owns a residence in Florida and thinking that such an avid yachtsman would likely be sailing southerly waters at this time of year, I expect to endure a long wait for any possible response.
Meantime, I am interested in the 'large tract of land at the top of the mountain'in Montclair, New Jersey (cited in the "New York Times" newspaper clipping of June 1916) as the location of a Marsalis family country home. Is this perhaps a final retreat in terminal illness for Thomas Senior and his wife Elizabeth?
I emailed the Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland, which lists Thomas M. Lucke as a board member, and this morning received the following email:
I am the grandson of Thomas Marsalis who lived in Maryland from the late 20's. I know he worked in New York City and lived in New Jersey until he moved to Maryland. I don't have any family history that tells me if Thomas Laffayette Marsalis, Sr was his father. I suspect that possibly he was. I appreciate your email and will access the web site you mentioned.
Sincerely yours,
Thomas Marsalis Lucke
Thanks Vivian. Interesting that we have located him (the great-grandson of Thomas L. Marsalis, the founder of "Oak Cliff&quotwinking smiley, but disappointing that he has no family archives. Could you please forward the email address you contacted him through to Sharon Marsalis and me? He might enjoy the Marsalis family genealogical information that Sharon has.
I'm going to try going after Elizabeth Crowdus Marsalis (Mrs. Thomas L. Marsalis)'s probate record archive. I've ask for help for the Librarian at the New York Genealogical Society.
This weekend, Eric Laity of the Law School faculty at Oklahoma City University, suggested that the $1,000 estate ascribed to Mrs. Marsalis in her "New York Times" probate public notice of 1926 might indicate that there more substantial assets were held in a trust. That also might explain why Mr. Marsalis had no probate proceeding. He (and his wife) had virtually no personal wealth, their assests were already vested in some sort of trust, foundation, or corporation.
The U.S. Postal Service today returned my letter of January 3rd addressed to Thomas M. Lucke, apparently "undeliverable", the address scratched through.
Re: Search for Thomas L. Marsalis
February 04, 2005 06:27AM
The Texas Death Index microfilm listing at the Dallas Public Library, for years 1903-1940, does not include either Thomas L. Marsalis or Elizabeth J. Crowdus Marsalis.
Ladies and gentleman, for the past hour I've been reading all your post and I am quite astonished at the amount of work, research and information all of you have so deligently put together. I live in Oak Cliff and there is an old cemetery near by, called the Oak Cliff Cemetery. I will venture over there today and see if I can the burial of Thomas Layfayette Marsalis. The cemetery is just off 8th street and not to far from Marsalis Ave. I know that a large section of land just south of the Trinity River and where Oak Cliff now resides was once owned by Stemmons family. I know for sure that the Stemmons family is buried in the Oak Cliff Cemetery. I also know that several early mayors of both Dallas and Oak Cliff are buried there as well as a son of the famous General Sam Houston. If I recall correctly, the cemetery does have an organization sign posted just after you get into the cemetery. I will get that address and post it here. I also know another family member, however a distant cousin of Thomas owned an arena in the Dallas area. His tombstone is located in the cemetey and I have sent a picture of it to his ancestors. So I'll close for now and head off to the cemetery and hopefully this evening will be able to post a postive find for you.
If you are curious as to why I'm interested, well Thomas'grandfather Peter H. Marsalis also had a daughter named Sarah Jane Marsalis, who was married to a John Prestridge Gordon. John Prestridge Gordon was the son of Thomas Gordon and Letty Prestridge, and Letty was the daughter of my ancestor John and Elizabeth Walters Prestridge.
I have a picture of Sarah Jane Marsalis' tombstone and that of her husband. They are buried in the Gordon Cemetery in Amite County, Mississippi. You can find those picture of their tombstones online. Sarah also had a brother named William Peter Marsalis who was also married to a Prestridge descendant. Her name was Lucy Elizabeth Denman, who was the daughter of Hannah Prestridge and James Denman. I have some information on the descendants of Peter H. Marsalias, but I'm sure that you have most of it.
I also notice in some of your corespondences the mention of Tempe Fern Crosby. Tempe had a stroke several years ago and she and her husband are currently living in a retirement home. I keep in touch with her husband on a weekly/monthly basis. He says that Tempe has recovered very well. On a good note Ralph is doing great at 82 and still plugs away at the computer. I've sent him a link to you web site so that he could perhaps entertain Tempe and with the latest of Marsalis information. I'm sure she still loves to hear about the family.
With all the best,
Hal Prestridge
605 S. Brighton
Dallas Texas 75208 (Oak Cliff)
Thanks Hal. Glad to have you join the search.
Monday I received a fat letter from the Harvard University Archives, in response to an inquiry I made in late December about Thomas L. Marsalis (Junior). New tidbits of information includes:
Thanks Jim, and also thanks for the same package thru the mail. Still no "new" info as regards Sr.'s death.
The New York City researcher who was going to look up the probate papers of Elizabeth Josephine (Crowdus) Marsalis (Mrs. Thomas L. Marsalis, Sr.) has becomed involved in a sudden change in her own mother's health. So, I'm still waiting for that angle of research to be explored.
I stopped by the Oakland Cemetery today (2-15-05)and drove all through the grounds. I will have to admit they are in need of care.
afterwards I visited with the caretaker, Harold R. Williams, he said that the greatest need was money in the endowment fund so that he might hire some help. He operates on a budget of $47,000 per year. If he gets help to clean out brush he does not have the money to pay to haul it off. He could use a chipper to handle to brush and that would help
The gates are open from 8:00 AM to sundown.
If you would like to contact him his phone number is
The "Italian Genealogical Group"'s website has now expanded their death index listings to include data up through the 1930's.
Elizabeth J. Marsalis, age 71, 12th April 1926; Certifcate Number 11714, Manhattan, Soudex: M624
Sharon, would you please write to the New York City archives and ask for a copy of her Death Certificate?
what is the url for that genealogical group?
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