Settled in 1839, Marshall became the seat of Harrison County in 1842. When Texas seceded from the Union in 1861, Marshall was one of the biggest and wealthiest cities in the state. It produced saddles, harnesses, clothing, powder and ammunition for the Confederacy. When Vicksburg fell, Marshall became the seat of civil authority west of the Mississippi River, wartime capital of Missouri and headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi Postal Department. The Confederate Monument is displayed on the courthouse lawn.
Marshall is the home of East Texas Baptist University, Texas State Technical College and Wiley College. Several historic homes offer bed and breakfasts.
The red and white clay in the area is perfect for stoneware. There are 12 wholesale pottery manufacturers and four retail outlets in the city.