Rural Missouri Magazine

A town's best friend
Marshall's Jim the Wonder Dog Memorial Garden

by Bob McEowen

Although it was once home to an airplane manufacturer and the world’s largest civilian flight school, Marshall’s real claim to fame is a Llewellyn setter named Jim.

Known around the world as Jim the Wonder Dog, Marshall’s canine favorite son supposedly possessed extraordinary abilities and, some say, supernatural powers. Legend has it Jim could follow written instructions, even those in foreign languages or Morse code. Even more amazing, Jim is said to have foretold the future, predicting the outcome of presidential elections and sporting events.

You can read all about Jim’s amazing talents at the Jim the Wonder Dog Memorial Garden in downtown Marshall (pictured on our cover). The memorial, which features a water garden, gazebo and a statue of Jim, is located on the site of Jim’s home at the appropriately named Ruff Hotel.

Nearby is the Saline County Courthouse, built in 1882 and featuring a dramatic four-sided clock tower (shown at left). Inside, a display recalls the history of the Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company and Marshall Flying School. In 1928 the company offered one of the world’s first monoplanes. Local historians hope to someday establish an aviation museum in Marshall.

Marshall is located along Highway 65, about 10 miles north of Interstate 70. The Jim the Wonder Dog Memorial Garden is one block from the courthouse square on Lafayette Street and is open during daylight hours. Ironically, no pets are allowed in the garden.

Rural Missouri | June 2020 Issue

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