Monadnock Moments No. 23: The Marsh Brothers Seek Their Fortunes
Benjamin and Charles Marsh were born in Chesterfield, New Hampshire: Benjamin in 1823 and Charles in 1829. They were the sons of Reuben and Mary Marsh and the third generation of the family in Chesterfield. During the 1840s the Marsh brothers headed for Boston to make their fortunes.
The brothers worked on their own for a time, Charles was employed as a store clerk. In 1851 Benjamin joined with Eben Jordon to form a small dry goods store on Milk Street in Boston. They called the store Jordon Marsh & Company. Brother Charles joined the firm the following year. At the beginning they had only three clerks. Eben Jordon was allowed $1200 a year for expenses because he was married. Each of the other partners was allowed $600 each year. They lived on that income for the first eight years. By that time the store was doing $2,000,000 worth of business annually and they apparently felt that they could afford a bit more for living expenses.
The firm continued to grow under the leadership of these men. Benjamin Marsh passed away in 1865 after nearly fifteen years as a partner in the firm. Charles Marsh continued with the firm for more than thirty years. By 1880 the company had become one of the largest retail firms in New England with six acres of retail space and nearly 2,000 employees in a new retail store.
Today Jordon Marsh continues as a large successful firm with retail stores throughout the region. It all began with the business genius of Eben Jordon and the Marsh Brothers of Chesterfield.