George U. Marvin for many years was a prominent newspaper man in Ohio, and from that profession was recruited for the responsible administrative duties of the state government at Columbus, where he is chief of the Ohio Division of Markets, State Department of Agriculture.
His father is the distinguished Judge U.L. Marvin, one of the oldest active members of the Ohio bar and one of the few lawyers who took their first cases prior to the Civil war. Judge Marvin was born in Stow Township, Summit County, Ohio, March 14, 1839. He is now eighty-five, and gives most of his time to his duties as professor of law in Kenyon College at Gambier. He was graduated from Bissell's Academy in Twinsburg Township, Summit County, a famous preparatory school of that day. He studied law at Kent, Ohio, was admitted to the bar and began practice there in partnership with D.L. Rockwell, whose daughter, Miss Dorena Rockwell, he married. Mr. Rockwell's father served as a member of the Ohio Legislature. While practicing law Judge Marvin also acted as superintendent of schools at Kent before the Civil war.
When the war came on he enlisted at Massillon in the One Hundred and Fifteenth Volunteer Infantry. With that regiment he went to Cincinnati, and subsequently was made first lieutenant in the Fifth Ohio, a regiment of colored troops. later he was promoted to captain, and served with that command until the close of the war. He was wounded at Newmarket Heights, Virginia. After the close of hostilities in 1865 he was stationed at Raleigh, North Carolina, as judge advocate general, and was brevetted as major for gallant and meritorious service.
He returned to his native state in the latter part of 1865 and resumed law practice at Kent, later at Canton, and in 1867 removed to Akron. He was in the general practice there until 1869, when he was elected judge of the Probate Court, serving two terms. He then resumed his private practice. In 1882 he was appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Summit County, by Gov. Charles Foster, to fill the unexpired term of Judge N.D. Tibbals. In 1892 Gov. William McKinley appointed him to what was then known as the Circuit Court, now the Court of Appeals, for the Eighth Judicial Circuit, comprising four counties in Northeastern Ohio. This appointment was made to fill the unexpired term of Judge Baldwin. He was elected to succeed himself, and by successive elections continued the important duties of judge of the Court of Appeals for twenty-three years. During his last year he was chief justice of the court. That long and capable service gives him rank as one of the ablest jurists of Ohio.
Judge Marvin's wife died in 1898, and soon afterward he removed to Cleveland. After retiring from the Appellate bench he engaged in law practice in that city with his son, the late Frank R. Marvin, who was a graduate of Williams College. Judge Marvin was elected to the chair of law in Lincoln Memorial University at Harrowgate, Tennessee, and served in that capacity until 1921. In the latter year he was chosen professor of law in Kenyon College at Gambier, and in spite of his advanced age is engaged in general practice in that town as well at attending to his law professorship. Judge Marvin's second wife was Miss Carrie Ensign, of Cleveland.
Judge Marvin had five sons: Frank R. Marvin; David L., who was educated in Kenyon College, became a lawyer at Akron, and at one time was engineer of the state board of public works; Richard, who died in infancy; Charles A., who was educated in Oberlin College and became a newspaper man; and George U., who is the only survivor of these five sons.
George U. Marvin was born at Kent, Ohio, in 1866. He was educated in Kenyon College and Oberlin College, and soon after completing his education took up newspaper work. His first experience was as correspondent at Canton for the Cleveland Press. Later he became a reporter with the Akron Beacon and Akron Journal, and then he joined the staff of the Cleveland Leader. For fourteen years he was political writer and correspondent for this paper at Columbus and Washington, and part of the time while he was stationed at Washington he acted as correspondent for the Toledo Blade. Mr. Marvin at one time was associate editor of the Warren Chronicle, and was editor of the Newton Falls Herald. He was at Newton Falls when, in September 1921, he was called to his present office as chief of the division of markets at Columbus. His administration of this important office has been one of highest efficiency and has made the division one of indispensable service to the agricultural interests of Ohio.
Mr. Marvin is a member of the National Association of Marketing Officials and chairman of its transportation committee. He is a pledged member of the Kenyon College Chapter Psi Upsilon, belongs to the Agricultural Forum and the Sons of Veterans. He married Miss Jessie O'Brien, of Akron. She was formerly a teacher in the public schools of that city.
History of Ohio, The American Historical Society, Inc., 1925, Volume III