Marshall Parks and Recreation History

Purchase of the Park

On March 20th, 1933, the City Council voted on purchasing the park and it was passed. On April 3rd, 1933, the deed was accepted; it included 110 acres and was purchased from Ralph and George Duggins. Since this time more acres have been added.

Celebrate the Opening of the Park

The City Council granted the V.F.W. permission to put on a 4th of July celebration for the opening of the City park, other organizations were allowed to participate in this event as well.

The First 4th of July Celebration

There were two baseball games played in the morning; one with Slater and the other with Hardeman.
A public marriage was performed by Judge Homer E. Rich between W.A. Davenport and Miss Laura Benton.
Speeches were made by W.L. Nelson of Columbia, Missouri, who had announced for Congressman for the 2nd District and Lou L. Lozier of the State Highway Department.
The Rollins Rodeo and show was held in the afternoon and evening.
The night ended with a fireworks show which became a tradition and is now a big event every 4th of July.

Naming of the Park

From the time of the purchase of the Park, April 3rd, 1933, until September 3rd, 1934, the Park was known merely as the City Park. September 3rd, 1934, the City Council with the approval of the Park Board named this area Indian Foothills Park. The name seems quite appropriate in as much as some think the hills might be Indian mounds.

The Public Pool

August 5th, 1935

The City Council called a Special Election to vote on a $30,000 bond issue for the construction of a Municipal Swimming Pool at the Park. The bond issue was not passed at this time.

August 12th, 1936

Another special eclection was called by the City Council for the purpose of issuing bonds in the amount of $30,000, for the construction of said swimming pool. The bond was passed.

August 17th, 1936

Bonds were sold and R.N. Perkins of Omaha, Nebraska, was employed as the architect for the swimming pool. Mr. Perkins recommended that the swimming pool be located in the south part of the park, north of the ball diamond.

September 11th, 1936, construction was started.

May 2nd, 1938

Volney Ashford was appointed manager of the swimming pool.

On June 1st, 1938, the swimming pool was opened to the publlic.


The Baseball Fields

Osage Field

In August of 1940, the City Council voted to sponsor a W.P.A. project for the construction of a wooden stadium at the park. It was the recommendation of the City Council to the Park Board that home base be located in the southwest corner of the ball diamond when the grandstand was complete. The project was completed in 1941. The whole complex includes rest rooms as well as a small concession stand.

Lyon Bowl

With the increase in the use of the present baseball field and the interest in the physical fitness program, more fields were built north of the baseball parking lot. A lot of time and generosity went into the 3 fields that are now known as the Lyon Bowl. Various bulldozer owners donated many hours of bulldozing in this area. The oil companies furnished the gas and oil for the bulldozers, all without charge. Because of the lack of funds to do the necessary tiling and to purchase lights, work was stopped on this project. In 1963 the City Council gave the Park money to purchase the lights. Other money was set aside out of the park budget for necessary grading and tiling. The fields were finished sometime in the late 60's.
In as much as this Bowl was long the dream of W.H. Lyon, who was the Park superintendent when this project was started, the Park Board and the Bowl Committee named this area after him. It is only through the cooperation of many people that this dream came coming true.


Guthrey Play Area

Travis Guthrey

This is a children's play area named after Travis Guthrey, a school teacher who was very fond of children. In 1940 Travis Guthrey passed away and left some money to the park to be spent on a playground. This amount didn't cover all the cost of the playground, but it set the ball in motion for building a play area. The original play area included: Slides, swings of all kinds, ocean wave, trapeze bars, jungle gym, chinning bars, fire chief, tilt-a-whirl, kiddie cars, sand boxes, swinging gate, rolling-log, see-saws, merry-go-round, spring horses, and many other things. Since this time Guthrey Play area has had a make-over, the play area was redone in 2008. It now includes a giant web, a rock to climb, swings, slides, and many other things.

Tennis Courts


When the project of the park development began a need was seen for adequate tennis courts. The result of this farsightedness produced four rock dust courts, which had large flood lights mounted on 35 foot poles, thereby allowing play at night as well as any hour of the day. Since this time the courts have been redone and they are no longer rock dust courts. There have been Junior championship tournaments held here and various leagues have held playoffs and tournaments. The Marshall Tennis Club is host to the other teams of the league to which it belongs.

Indian Foothills Golf Course

Golf Course

The building of the golf course was started in 1945. The plans for the course were drawn up by Tom Talbot of Kansas City, Missouri. It was opened for play on June 1, 1946.

Golf Groups

For those who like competition there is the Pocahontas Club for the women. They meet and play their matches each Tuesday morning. They have their social get togethers, and they have an individual tournament as well as their own city tournament. For the men there is the Tomahawk Club.

Pro Shop

The pro shop is operated in conjunction with the golf course. Here one may obtain everything that is needed for the game of golf.

The park is a beautiful growing place that continues to make changes to help make the park even more enjoyable for everyone. Without the help and support of the community the park would not be where it is today.