ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION
C. R. MARKS
Constant Roberts Marks is one of the most distinguished and venerable citizens of Sioux City, where he has been an active representative of the legal profession for nearly six decades and where during the past twenty years he has
been associated in law practice with his son, Russell A. Marks, under the firm style of Marks & Marks. His birth occurred at Durham, Greene county, New York, on the 11th of April, 1841, his parents being Almeron and Mary(Phelps)Marks, both of whom were natives of Burlington,Connecticut, the former born October 13, 1804, and the latter May 10, 1806. His paternal ancestors migrated from London, England, to Derby, Connecticut, about 1720 and their descendants intermarried with earlier immigrants. One of these, Governor Robert Treat, hid the Connecticut charter in the Charter Oak. Mrs. Mary(Phelps)Marks, the mother of Constant Robert Marks, was descended from William Phelps and William Gaylord, who emigrated from Tewksbury, England, and settled at Windsor, Connecticut, about 1630. Aaron Gaylord, granddfather of Mrs. Mary(Phelps)Marks, was in the revolutionary army at Boston, Massachusetts, immediately
after Bunker Hill and was killed by Indians at the massacre of Wyoming in 1775. Constant R. Marks,whose name introduces this review, acquired his early education in the common schools of New York and Connecticut. He prepared for
college at the Connecticut Literary Institute at Suffield and in the Hudson River Institute of Claverack, New York, while in 1863 he entered Yale University as a member of the class of 1867. Illness, however, prevented his graduation. He was a member of the college fraternity Alpha Delta Phi. His professional training was received as a student in the Albany Law School and he was admitted to the bar in Berkshire county, Massachusetts, in the fall of 1867.
Constant R. Marks spent the first ten years of his life at the place of his nativity and after his father's death lived with his grandfather in the ancestral home of the family at Burlington, Connecticut, there residing until 1859 save for the period of his absence at school. In the year mentioned his widowed mother removed with the family to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, which was the legal residence of Constant R. Marks until the spring of 1868. He was away at school, however, and during a part of the time served in the army, and he also followed the profession of teaching. Coming west in the spring of 1868, he practiced law in Chicago for a brief period and in April of that year
arrived in Sioux City, Iowa, where he took up his permanent abode and has remained an active representative of the legal profession to the present time. He practiced independently until 1874, when he became senior member of the first of Marks & Hubbard, his associate subsequently serving as a member of congress for three terms. In 1879 he became senior partner in the firm of Marks & Blood, which was maintained for four years, while in 1884 he formed an
association with David Mould under the name of Marks & Mould. David Mould afterward became district judge. During the past two decades, as above stated, Mr. Marks has practiced in partnership with his son, Russell A. Marks, under the firm name of Marks & Marks. He has devoted his attention principally to general law practice but in more recent years has specialized in probate work and real estate law. Mr. Marks was also identified with financial affairs for a time. During a vacancy he served as president of the National Bank of Sioux City, which was organized in 1890 with a capital of one million dollars, and was attorney for this bank and a director in other financial institutions.
Mr. Marks was one of the founders of the Sioux City Library, at first a corporation, and then taken over by the city of Sioux City, and a fine building was erected under statute as an educational corporation with a city library
tax, which eventually bought the property. Mr. Marks prepared the combined plan. We quote from his autobiography: "In 1884 Sioux City wanted waterworks, but was in debt to the limit. I prepared a plan by which a private company got a city franchise with an agreement that city levy a water tax for fire protection, and had right to buy the works at cost, and in a few years got it without a dollar of profit to anyone. It is worth millions now."
The military record of Mr. Marks includes service during the Civil war. On the 18th of April, 1861, he enlisted in the Allen Guard, Company K, Eighth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and the same day started for Washington, his
being the second regiment to depart for the national capital at the outbreak of hostilities between the north and the south. The Sixth Massachusetts Regiment was fired into by a mob in Baltimore on the 19th of April, 1861, and the Eighth Massachusetts Regiment, under General B. F. Butler, went by way of Annapolis, reaching there on the 20th of April and thence going through to Washington. Part of the company to which Mr. Marks belonged was guard on the
Constitution, "Old Ironsides," the naval school ship at Annapolis, for a few days, and was sent to help garrison Fort McHenry, Baltimore, for two weeks. The soldiers rejoined their regiment when General Butler opened up Baltimore. Mr. Marks contracted typhoid fever at Fort McHenry and was ill for some time, after which he returned home with his regiment. He participated in no battles. He has membership in the Grand Army of the Republic and proudly wears the little bronze button which proclaims him a veteran of the great civil strife. A stanch republican, Mr. Marks in his prime attended all political caucuses and conventions and did everything in his power to promote the success of the principles and candidates of the party but never sought public preferment for himself. In 1869, without his knowledge, he was nominated as candidate for
representative in the Iowa legislature, in which he served for one term, declining another nomination. It was also without his knowledge that he was chosen a member of the Sioux City school board, on which he served in all for
nine years, during three years of which period he filled the office of president. Since 1869 he has been a member of Sioux City Lodge, No. 164, I. O. O. F., in which he held all the offices years ago. Mr. Marks was one of the
organizers of the Sioux City Academy of Science and Letters in 1884, served as its president for many years and is now honorary president. The Sioux City Academy of Science and Letters maintains an excellent museum in the Public
Library building. It has published several annual volumes and maintains a weekly public lecture course during the winter months. Mr. Marks also belongs to the Riverside Boat Club, of which he served as president for eighteen years. He attends the services of St. Thomas Episcopal church in Sioux City. His paternal ancestors were active in the Episcopal church in Connecticut from the beginning.
On the 27th of June, 1871, at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Mr. Marks was united in marriage to Harriet Josephine Kilbourne, who was born at that place on the 25th of June, 1854, her parents being Russell and Harriett (Seeley)Kilbourne, the former born at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, May 5, 1802, while the latter was descended from an old Massachusetts and Connecticut family. Mrs. Harriet Josephine (Kilbourne) Marks is descended from Thomas
Kilbourne, who migrated from England to Wethersfield, Connecticut, in 1634, and from his great-grandson, Hezekiah, who graduated from Yale College in 1720, and
from his grandson, Robert Kilbourne, who with five brothers served in the Revolutionary war. Mrs. Marks has membership with the Daughters of the American Revolution and has been an active member of the Shakespeare Club for forty years.
Constant Roberts and Harriet Josephine (Kilbourne) Marks are the parents of two sons and a daughter, recorded below.
(1) Russell Almeron Marks, whose birth occurred at Sioux City, March 2, 1874, was graduated from Yale University in 1895 and is now associated in law practice with his father. He wedded Marie Shelly and has three children, namely: Kilbourne Payne Marks, a freshman at Yale University; and Marion and Margery Marks, both of whom are high school students at Sioux City, Iowa.
(2) Constant Roberts Marks, Jr., who was born September 29, 1876, resides at Montrose, Colorado. He married Bertha Prescott and has two children:
Constant Roberts Marks (III), a junior at Boulder College in Colorado; and Marilla Marks, who is eight years old.
(3) Josephine L., whose natal day was December 8, 1887, is the wife of David H. Bartlett and the mother of a daughter, Susan, who is five years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett are residents of St. Paul Minnesota.
Mr. Marks has for many years taken considerable interest in the history of this region. He has written special articles for newspapers and in commemoration of local occasions. He was associate editor of "Past and Present of Sioux City and Woodbury County, Iowa," published by the S. J. Clarke Publishing Company in 1904. He also furnished for publication in annals of Iowa, and in a volume of the Sioux City Academy of Science, an article on Monona County (Iowa) Mormons, a Mormon colony that flourished there from about 1850 to 1862. In 1908 he published in "Historical Collections of South Dakota," Volume IV, an article on the French pioneers of Sioux City and South Dakota, and in the
same publication edited the autobiography of Louis D. Letellier, an early French trader in South Dakota, who prepared the manuscript at the request of Mr. Marks. In 1924, in association with Albert M. Holman, an early settler in Woodbury county, Iowa, Mr. Marks published a book entitled "Pioneering in the Northwest," in which Mr. Holman gives an account of personal experiences in 1865 in building a wagon road by the Sawyer expedition from here to Virginia City - sixty-four wagons, about three hundred oxen and one hundred miles - which met great difficulties and was surrounded by Indians and several killed. Mr. Marks' contribution to this work consists of a record of the life of Sergeant Charles Floyd, who died on the Lewis and Clark expedition and was buried in Sioux City and a monument to whose memory was erected in 1904. Mr. Marks was one of the Iowa commissioners in charge of the state appropriation to aid in building the monument. Charles Floyd's relationship to the expedition and to the Floyd family is traced in this book. In the same volume appears
the story of the life of War Eagle, local Indian chief, and his son-in-law, Theophile Bruguier, who was the second settler in this region and was a man of marked ability and historical importance. There is also a sketch of William B. Thompson, the first actual settler, and an account of his murder of an Indian trader at a dance attended by half-breeds in 1852.