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Tom & Louise, 1904-1911
Charting an Early Life Together


Miss Louise Henriette Foucar

The marriage of Louise Foucar and Tom Marshall occurred on August 24, 1904. She disliked publicity, so the couple traveled to El Paso to be married at St. Clements Episcopal Church by Reverend Henry Easter. One witness was present. The choice of church was somewhat interesting in that she was Methodist and he was Presbyterian. Only a few lines announcing the ceremony appeared in a Tucson newspaper. The relationship of this extraordinarily diverse couple had already attracted attention and generated gossip in town. She had come to the desert climate because of continuing poor health. This contrasted substantially with Tom's robust energy.

Louise Henriefte Foucar, was born on May 31, 1864 in Boston. She came from a strict and stable family. The Foucars were French Huguenots, religious refugees in 1690 who settled in a French speaking village near Frankfort in Germany. Her parents immigrated to the United States, arriving in Boston in 1855. Her father was a leather-varnisher. Through hard work and thrift, he was able to build the Foucar Leather factory in 1883, the year Louise graduated from the Girl's High School in Boston. Unfortunately Louise suffered severe respiratory problems which forced her to relocate from Boston immediately after high school graduation. For 18 months she lived in El Paso, Texas where she learned a fifth language, Spanish, to go along with English, German, French and Latin.

By the time she arrived at the University of Arizona, she had attended the University at Mexico City (1888-1890) and earned two degrees in four years (1890-1894) from the University of Denver. While still at Denver, she started graduate work and taught French and German. In 1895 and 1896, she took the "grand tour" of Europe, a study trip which provided her the opportunity to consult with doctors in Switzerland on her physical condition. Her health faded and she needed a dry desert climate. At that time, the only University in a dry climate was the fledgling U of A.

She arrived in Tucson on December 30, 1898, to take up graduate studies at the University. During the spring semester she was a graduate student in Botany under Professor James Toumey. A few months later, when Toumey left to take a position at Yale, he recommended his promising graduate student, Miss Foucar, to succeed him. During the course of her teaching career she also taught English, French, Spanish and plane geometry, and rose to be head of the Department of Ancient and Modern Languages in 1901-1902. She was the first female professor in University.

At the end of the 1902 academic year, Professor Foucar took a leave of absence and never returned to teaching. During her time at the University and for the next few years she counseled women students and, throughout her life, helped them financially make their way through college. She had developed an early business sense and maintained an adequate bank account which was started by her own savings and family contributions. In May 1901, Louise purchased land, a long, deep lot, directly north of the University and built a grand, two-story brick house for her own use and to provide housing for young female students at the University. It was her home that the couple lived in after their wedding.

Ladies and gentlemen on an excursion to the Catalina Foothills. Tom and Louise are on the far left.
Ladies and gentlemen on an excursion to the Catalina Foothills.
Tom and Louise are on the far left.

Carriage in the desert, Catalinas in distance; giant saguaro in foreground
A ride in the desert with a Giant Saguaro in the foreground and
Catalina Mountains in the background

Tom had been working for Louise regularly since the completion of the Santa Catalina Cottages at 803-811 East First Street in 1903. He provided light maintenance for the 8-room, two building complex. Louise's holdings were becoming extensive enough to warrant a manager and she chose Tom Marshall for the job. Early in 1904, he proposed marriage and was very persuasive. Tom was a handsome and a dashing figure. Louise eventually succumbed to his charms. She was happy and flattered by his attentions.

The house Louise built. Located directly north of the University.
The house Louise built. Located directly north of the University.
Tom moved in after marrying Louise in 1904.

Her decision to marry Tom, given their obvious differences was not as difficult as may seem. Louise's own family experience certainly contributed. Her mother had married a man seven years younger and enjoyed a very happy 45 year relationship. Her father passed away in December of 1900. Her brother Edouard, however, proved to be a pesky annoyance. Edouard hired a private detective to spy on Louise and Tom as he was "concerned about his sister's welfare." This concern proved to be unfounded as Louise kept virtually all her assets in land, buildings and finances in her name only. Instead of seeing Tom as a potential gold-digger, so to speak, Louise might have seen him as her protector against Edouard.

The transition for Tom must have been difficult. Nothing in his background prepared him for the lifestyle that Louise was accustomed to. His had been the Spartan lifestyle of mining camps and the conditions of the working class.

She was definitely Victorian in her outlook and manners, and the home reflected a well-to-do standard of living. Tom was attracted to business development and he spent considerable time and money in several entrepreneurial ventures. Louise always went by L. F. Marshall after her marriage to counter the general prejudice exhibited toward women in business.

The marriage of a prosperous, well-educated college professor to an impoverished former student six years her junior must have appeared preposterous to the public. Because of the innuendo concerning his intentions, he did not receive the respect of their neighbors, several of whom were his former instructors. They thought of Tom as a person who could not always remember to come to class and had not earned a degree. They did not think he was their social and intellectual equal. Perhaps some were envious, some resentful of his good fortune in the marriage. If only he had been more tactful, perhaps having a sense of humor about his new station, or if he had been a more diligent student when he was at the university.

The Marshall's first joint business project, initiated in October 1904, was to have a 100 foot deep well dug on their property and sell water to the neighbors. This type of project certainly appealed to Tom in that it used technology he had learned during his days in Telluride. Louise thought this would be an outlet for Tom's restless energy. Homes were being built across the road on Speedway, on Olive Road and on First Street west of Park Avenue. The city water lines did not reach the University area. This resulted in the University sinking deep wells for its own use, but not to furnish water to the nearby homes. Many residences at that time had metal windmills and shallow wells, so the existence of a nearby water service was to their benefit. The business continued for five years, but quickly exposed some serious problems. Tom wanted to be in charge and he resented having his authority challenged. Louise also soon realized how poor his business judgment could be.

Continue with Tom & Louise, 1904-1911