John Marshall School was completed in 1939 and dedicated January 9, 1940. The school was named in honor of John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
The builder was Armagost and Son Construction Company in cooperation with the Public Works Administration. There were nine classrooms, an auditorium, gymnasium, cafeteria, art room, music room, shop and two home economics rooms. A small library was located on the first floor with a part-time librarian provided by the City Library.
C.E. Strange was the first principal. The staff included 15 teachers, a part-time librarian, a visiting teacher who spent part time at Wichita High School North, and one secretary. The nurse came once a week. The school was built for 425 students; however, it opened with 325. As the school continued to grow, the suggestion was made that the Board of Education acquire more land to prepare for expansion. However, this was not deemed necessary, so no land was purchased.
In 1952, twelve rooms were added including a library with a full-time librarian, an additional art room, an instructional music room, shop, a language laboratory, four science rooms and four classrooms. This gave the school a capacity of 650 students. Subsequently, six portable classrooms were added as enrollment increased. Enrollment peaked at approximately 1,000 in 1969-70. After that date, there was a steady decrease to around 500.
It has been said that Marshall was built on the south side of the site because the area to the north was so undeveloped. Now the area is filled with neat homes and a stately church, and the school is the center of a stable community.
In the fall of 1988, all ninth graders were moved to high schools leaving seventh and eighth graders. In the fall of 1989, all junior high schools became middle schools (6-8).
In 2000, a school Bond was passed by the city of Wichita. The 2000 Bond allowed for the expansion of Marshall. Marshall received a much needed new cafeteria located on the first floor of the building as opposed to the second floor like the old cafeteria. Land was also purchased to the east of the school for faculty parking. The 2000 Bond saw the addition of a new band room, four new science classrooms, four regular classrooms, air conditioning throughout the building and an elevator to the second floor. Construction for the new additions was complete in 2005.