Tueria Dell Marshall, the “father of higher education” for the Dallas African-American community, was born in Milligan, Texas, on October 30, 1883, to Edmon Lott Marshall and Texanna Dixon. Marshall’s mother died when he was three years old, at which time his grandmother, Laura Dixon, moved him to Dallas. He attended Dallas public schools for his primary education, followed with a B.A. from Wiley College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College (now Prairie View A&M University). In approximately 1901 Marshall married Anna Eliza Wilkerson, who went on to serve for thirty-five years on the board of trustees for St. Paul Methodist Church. Tueria Dell and Anna had one biological daughter, Imogene, born in 1903, and one adopted daughter, Willia Johnson, born in 1901. In the census of 1930, Marshall’s wealth was listed as $6,000, and he owned a home shared by his wife, grandmother, and a boarder.
T. D. Marshall worked for the Dallas Independent School District for nearly fifty years and served as both a teacher and principal. As principal, Marshall worked at Pacific Avenue, Wheatley, B. F. Darrell, Booker T. Washington, and Lincoln schools. Marshall was the first principal of Lincoln High School, which opened in 1939, half paid for by a Federal PWA grant. He served in that role for sixteen years. In addition to his work as a teacher and principal, Marshall organized the Wiley Extension School in 1927 and started evening classes for adults at the B. F. Darrell School. In May 1948 an evaluating committee of Texas educators honored Marshall at a faculty testimonial dinner celebrating Lincoln High School’s high rating. The committee reported that the quality of instruction was high and remarked how fortunate the school was to have a principal who was rated as superior. In 1953 Marshall was elected treasurer of the North Texas Colored Teacher’s Association. He retired from Lincoln in June 1955 and began serving as director of the Dallas-Wiley Extension Center in November of the same year.
While Marshall was primarily an educator, he also worked in the Dallas African-American community as a civic leader. He served as chairman of the education committee of the Moorland YMCA and chairman of the March of Dimes, Negro Division. During Marshall’s tenure as an educator in Dallas ISD, he exposed students to technical opportunities, such as typing, shorthand, and automobile repair, as well as accepted a basic trainer plane from the Regular Fellows Club in order to teach aviation mechanics to students at Lincoln High School. Tueria Dell Marshall died on October 26, 1960, in Dallas and is buried in Woodland Cemetery. For his outstanding work as an educator in the Dallas community, he was inducted into the African-American Educators Hall of Fame in February 2009.