Chas Marvin



Morton Ormando "Charles" Marvin (1839-1907) was the most famous trainer of trotting horses in the late 19th century. Born in Springwater Valley, NY, he spent his early life in Michigan, Illinois and Iowa. In 1862 he set off for California but stopped at Pike's Peak, Colorado to try mining. He joined the Second Colorado Cavalry in the Civil War where he began to be called "Charles". In 1866 Marvin managed a livery stable in Kansas City and trained his first trotter. He went to New Mexico in 1867 and then San Antonio but landed back in Kansas City in 1869 and began training trotters as a permanent career. He moved to California in 1874 and in 1877 was hired by Leland Stanford to train the horses at the Palo Alto Farm, which he did until 1892, becoming the winningest trainer and setting world records with horses of almost all ages and sexes. Friction with Ariel Lathrop, Mrs. Stanford's brother, drove Marvin away and in 1892 he went to work for Miller & Sibley, first at their Meadville, PA, farm and later in Lexington, KY. In 1900 he became trainer for U.S. Senator Joseph Bailey of Texas.

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