Marshall Perkins, the son of former slaves, was a successful Cedar Rapids entrepreneur. Marshall and his wife Louisa, a German immigrant, operated a popular downtown restaurant for forty years and also ran their own hotel. By the early 1900s, Marshall and Louisa purchased a home valued at $5000—a clear indication of economic success. Significantly, they were an interracial family during a time when society frowned upon or even outlawed such relationships. Marshall’s Restaurant was open to white and black customers and employed a multi-racial staff. Marshall and Louisa were prominent community members, active in clubs, societies, and the Bethel AME Church.
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