Marshall P Felch’s Dinosaurs

As I’ve been researching Marshall P Felch (FamilySearch: L7PD-KY3), one of my most surprising discoveries was that he discovered dinosaur bones while living in Colorado! There are several resources that discuss his dinosaur quarry.

Marshall’s ghost stories would have made him a very interesting ancestor by themselves, but add the fact that he was a dinosaur fossil hunter on top of that makes him a fascinating individual.

Marshall P. Felch and Ghost Stories

My great-great grandfather, Marshall P. Felch, has a lot of interesting life stories. One of the most interesting of his stories is a ghost story that my grandfather captured in his auto-biography titled “Canyon of Ghosts”. I’ve found a few other variations of the story here:

These all pretty much reference the same characters:

  • “Captain” Marshall P Felch – though I’ve found no evidence that Marshall ever held the rank of Captain in the Union Army.
  • Oliver Kimball – the poor fellow who was murdered.
  • Gertrude Osborn – the fiancé of Oliver who had bad dreams that something horrible had happened to Oliver and had sent letters to Marshall’s wife.
  • David Griffin – the man who murdered Oliver Kimball and left his knife with the initials D.G. in the back of Oliver as it was left in the canyon.

I decided to do some looking for the other characters in the story to see if I could find them in census, or other vital records. So far I haven’t found any luck. It was said that Marshall reported this story to a Colorado newspaper, and that would match the story that my grandfather recorded in his auto-biography. So, I began looking for mentions of Marshall in the Colorado Newspaper Archives. The website is free and allows you to search papers back in the 1800s to early 1900s.

I found no mention of the ghost story, but I did find this:

Marshall P Felch Death Announcement

I was quite surprised to find this information as I had seen no mention anywhere that Marshall had committed suicide. He sure had an interesting life of adventure, and I’m sure he suffered from all sorts of mental conditions that wouldn’t have been understood back in the day. I really feel sorry for him. Hopefully, I will get to meet him in the next life and listen to some of his stories.