Constant Roberts Marks
- Born: 11 Apr 1841, Durham, Greene Co., New York
- Marriage: Harriet Josephine Kilborne on 27 Jun 1871 in Great Barrington, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts
- Died: 17 Dec 1932, Woodbury Co., Iowa at age 91
- Buried: Logan Park Cemetery, Woodbury Co., Iowa
The 1860 Federal Census for Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, dated July 19, 1860 records Constant R. Marks (19 - NY) living with his widowed mother Mary P. Marks (53 - Conn) and siblings Arthur Marks (22 - NY), Roland P. Marks (15), and Lorena Marks (13 - NY). Arthur is a Clerk at a Dry Goods Store and Constant is a Book Keeper.
The 1930 Federal Census for Sioux City, Woodbury Co., Iowa, District 46, page 19A, dated April 14, 1930 records Constant (89 - NY/NY/Conn) and Josephine (79 - Mass/Mass/Mass) Marks living in a home at 1205 Douglas Street valued at $15,000. They have been married for 59 years. Constant is a Lawyer in General Practice.
American Civil War Soldiers <http://www.ancestry.com>
Name: Constant Marks
Residence: Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts
Enlistment Date: 18 Apr 1861
Side Served: Union
State Served: Massachusetts
Service Record: Enlisted as a Private on 18 April 1861 at the age of 20. Enlisted in Company K, 8th Infantry Regiment Massachusetts on 30 Apr 1861.
Mustered Out Company K, 8th Infantry Regiment Massachusetts on 1 Aug 1861 at Boston, MA.
Film Number: M544 roll 25
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 the city levy a water tax for fire protection, and had rights 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 [census records seem to consistently indicate her birth year as 1850], 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 mules - 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.
This is the story of the life of Constant Roberts Marks, grandfather of Kilbourne Payne Marks, copied from penciled sheets, which he wrote a year or two before his death in 1932 at the age of ninety-one.
It has been typed by his daughter, Joesphine Marks Bartlett and this first copy (incomplete) is presented to her nephew, Kilbourne Payne Marks, for Christmas 1945, in loving memory of his father and her older brother, Russell Almeron Marks, and of her father and his grandfather, Constant Roberts Marks, and also in memory of those happy earlier Christmas we spent in the family home in Sioux City, Iowa.
Note: Constant Roberts Marks IV converted the typed text to electronic format 31 January 2002. Scanning the typed versions may have introduced some errors.
It should be noted that some additions and corrections were obviously made by the Joesphine and are usually indicated with parenthesis (). Corrections and additions by CRMIV are indicated with brackets . Minor corrections from the original were made without notation.
CONSTANT ROBERTS MARKS
Born: April 11,184l ( Durham, Greene County, New York )
( Died: December 17, 1932 Sioux City, Woodbury Co., Iowa )
For my family and friends I have been asked to write a sketch of my life. In so doing I will preface it with some of the family history.
All my ancestors came from England and settled in Connecticut commencing about 1630. The first Marks, however, did not come till about ninety years later but he and his descendants married into the older families in the Connecticut and New Haven Colonies. Among these older families included in my ancestry are the following: Robert Treat, who was Governor at the time of the hiding of the Connecticut Colony Charter in the hollow of the Charter Oak at Hartford - at that time: a delegation from the Massachusetts Colony had come to Hartford and demanded its surrender; Richard Bryan, Robert Baldwin, William Pantry,.... Beach, Edmund Tapp, and Joseph Platt. The blood of their descendants mingled with that of my Marks ancestors.
Mordecai Marks was born in London, March 23, 1706 and came to the vicinity of Derby, Connecticut, when he was a young man. He had been of the Jewish faith but was baptized into the Church of England at Derby, Connecticut, May 20, 1729, by Reverend Samuel Johnson, a sort of Church of England missionary to the comparatively few members of that church in Connecticut. He made a report of this baptism to his superiors at London, England. Mordecai Marks name appears frequently in the records of that church in Connecticut and in his will he made certain bequests to the church.
In 1729 he married Elizabeth Hawkins, daughter of Joseph Hawkins, a merchant of Derby, Connecticut, and became a partner with his father-in-law and succeeded him in business. He died January 8, 1771 and left his business to his two sons- Mordecai and Zachariah. I am descended from Zachariah.
[The information on Elizabeth is suspect, especially her last name, ed.]
Zachariah Marks was born June 28, 1734 and died August 25, 1802 at Milford, Connecticut. He was a forceful, successful, aggressive man. He married Sarah Bryan about 1753. They had ten children- six boys-David, Zachariah Jr.., Abraham, John, Edward and Richard- and four girls- Sarah, Polly, Comfort, and Content.
He was for those times evidently prosperous. My grandfather, William Marks, relates that when he was a small boy, his grandfather, Zachariah Marks, came to his father's house (David Marks) in Burlington, Connecticut with his youngest son Richard on his way to northern Connecticut to buy Richard a farm. William Marks, my grandfather, remembered that one night they counted out on the stone hearth one thousand dollars in silver, which were to be used in buying the farm. This was about 1790.
David Marks, the oldest son of Zachariah, was born in 1754 and married Susannah Beach September 7,1775. David Marks was not a soldier in the Revolutionary War though in the State records he is reported as a Captain in the Militia. He had when a young man been accidentally injured with an adz which cut into his heel cord, rendering him slightly lame for life. He probably settled at Bristol, Connecticut in the part that afterwards [became] Burlington, before 1782, as the Episcopal Church records there show his services and the baptisms of his children from that date.
He built a large eight-room, two-story house, which had two large chimneys, seven fireplaces, and an oven. David Marks and two of his brothers-in-law, Wilmot and ---- Beach [owned] about 320 acres of surveyed land -a mile long, east and west, and half a mile, north and south- evidently in eight acre lots, a half mile long. After many years the Wilmot's and Beaches died or moved away and my grandfather, William Marks - David's son- had it all. David Marks was a man of much force. He had seven children-four boys and three girls.
Politically Connecticut was a Congregational Church Colony and taxes were levied to support this church. The deacons and some other officers of the church were elected at town meetings. In the early years an Episcopalian, like the Baptists and the Methodists, had not much chance to be elected to office except in some large towns.
Zealous Episcopalians, Baptists, and Methodists were sent to jail for refusing to pay the church taxes. There was a fight to change the law and by degrees alterations were made and an actual member of some church other than Congregational was exempt from such church tax. These opposition churches, led by the Episcopal Church, made the fight for partial religious freedom. David Marks became a candidate for the State legislature from Burlington and was elected, much to the indignation and scandal of the Congregationalists. It was the first time anyone but a deacon in that church had been elected to that office from that town. Episcopalians, Methodists, and sinners generally, had elected an Episcopalian. There was a hot fight in the Legislature and warm words were used. Finally all churches were put on the same basis. Peace reigned, and political party affiliations were the basis of division and not church creed.
Other relatives of David Marks also settled in Burlington but after many years, all died or moved away and there were none of the name left when William Marks died in 1867.
David Marks died in 1826 and his son William bought the home place of the heirs. William's half-brother, Enoch Marks, the youngest of the family, then was the only one at home. He was born about 1803 and was only about a year older than his nephew, Almeron Marks, son of William, my father. These two, Enoch and Almeron, had been brought up on adjoining farms and were close friends all their lives. Enoch's wife was a girl friend of my mother's and our families visited to the second generations. Uncle Enoch left Burlington and lived at Camillas, New York, till after the Civil War. Then he moved to Oak Park, near Chicago, Illinois, in which vicinity his children had settled. My brothers, Arthur and Roland, moved to Chicago after 1865 and for a time there were several of our Marks families at Oak Park and again at Davenport, Iowa.
One of David Marks' sons, David Jr., was a local preacher in the State of New York and a son of his, David Marks III, became a traveling Baptist preacher commencing when he was fifteen years old and was in his time quite noted in New York and Ohio. His life was published. At the time of his death he was connected with Oberlin College in Ohio, and was buried in Oberlin, Ohio. My nephew, Walter Marks of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1929 while visiting his daughter at the College there found an old and new monument erected to the memory of David Marks in the local cemetery.
A sister of David Marks (III), Mrs. Eliza Farnhan became a resident of Shenandoah, Iowa, and about 1900 she renewed family acquaintance with me. She was a woman of great intelligence and striking personality and had through Uncle Enoch kept track of the family.
William Marks, son of David, grandson of Zachariah, was born November 11, 1783 at Burlington, Connecticut, and lived there on the same general farm till his death in 1867. He was educated in the public schools and taught school as a young man. He was a prominent public-spirited man in a small town and held many offices. He served in the lower House of Representatives and in the Senate of Connecticut. For forty years he regularly attended the State Democratic Convention and was Vice-President for his Hartford County, sitting on the platform with the officers until his death. He dispensed the public patronage for, his town and wisely and quietly designated those who should run for the Legislature each year. He made campaign speeches to the last. He was disturbed during the Civil War by being voted for the Legislature as a war Democrat-Independent, and was beaten by a few votes as he was not brought out as a candidate till after the polls had been opened a couple of hours and many of his friends had already voted.
William Marks married Polly Roberts on October 12, 1803. They had ten children. The youngest died in infancy. The next youngest, Constant Roberts Marks, died when about sixteen years old, about the time I was born and I was named after him. There were eight other children - Almeron, my father, born October 13, 1804 - William, David L. -Milton Monroe, Susan, Polly, Ann, and Malvinia.
The son William married Emily Holcomb and lived and died at Naples, New York where he was a merchant. They had three children that grew up. Ida married Captain Edgar A. Griswold and had several children. Emily married and lived in New York City. The son, William R. Marks, moved to Canandaigua New York, and became Clerk of Courts. He had several sons and was a shoe merchant there. Our families always kept in communication with these cousins as they did with all the other Marks cousins. I visited these in 1900.
David L. Marks became a Methodist preacher and preached for fifty years along the Hudson River from Hudson to New York City. At the latter place he lived many years in charge of the Church Board of Extension. He was a tall fine looking man of excellent executive ability. Of his daughters, Ellen married Dr. Joseph Hasbrouck and had one son David Marks Hasbrouck, and Minnie who married Archie Merrick and lived in Batavia, New York, and had two daughters. I visited them in Batavia.
Milton Monroe, the other son of William Marks, married and lived on part of the home farm. He had one son Constant Monroe. They all died early.
Susan, the oldest daughter, married Noble Hill. They had three children. The oldest, Viette, married and made his home with his grandfather till he died. He had two or three children. Mary Hill and her sister Ann lived in New York City and ran a short hand school. Ann died in a New York hospital a few years ago, where she had been an invalid for several years.
Polly Marks married Sidney P. Burwell and lived at Bristol, Connecticut, many years and later moved to Mercer, Pennsylvania. After her death, her husband moved to New Jersey and then to Cleveland, Ohio. He with his two brothers lived to be over ninety years old. The Burwells had two sons, William and Sidney E. ; the latter in 1929 was living in Cleveland, Ohio, where he has several children.
Ann Marks married E.W. Twing and lived at Springfield, Massachusetts. He was one of the early Abolitionists associated with Garrison, Phillips, and others. They had one son, William E. Twing, who was cashier of the Holyoke National Bank of Holyoke, Massachusetts. He had several boys. He died many years ago.
Malvina Marks married Louis F. Sperry who lived in his later years at Pittsfield, Massachusetts where he was a successful merchant. They had five children. Mary, the oldest, about my age, married James A. Burbank of Pittsfield Massachusetts. He is dead but she is still living (about 1930) and has one son in Pittsfield. The other daughters of Mavina , Lydia and Clara, married and lived in Chicago. Both are now dead. A son of Mavina's, W.H. Sperry, is a successful merchant at North Adams Massachusetts, and has a grandchild. The other son, Louis E Sperry lives at Auburn, New York and has several children.
The other children of William Marks were Viette Volney, who died in infancy and Constant Roberts who died at the age of sixteen.
On my mother's side I am descended from several families who cane from England together in the same ship in 1630 and first settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts and in a year or two migrated together overland to Windsor, Connecticut near the Hartford Colony. They came with their two ministers. This Windsor Colony has been written about by historians more definitely than any other settlement in the United States. Stiles' History of Windsor, Connecticut has been through several editions.
Much of my information about my mother's family is found in the two-volume History of the Phelps Family of the Windsor Colony, published in..... The Phelps family is traced back to Tewksbury, England, to James Phelps, born there in 1520; then through his son, William Phelps, born in 1560, and to his son William born there in 1599. This William Phelps immigrated to Windsor, Connecticut with his wife, Mary Dover, and several of their children in 1630. He was one of the leaders of the colony at Windsor and served in the Legislature.
We are descended from William Marks [Phelps], the immigrant through his son, Timothy born 1639, then Samuel Phelps born 1675, Joshua born 1728, Lynde Phelps born 1771. Lynde was my grandfather.
In the Phelps line we also trace back to several other members of the same Windsor Colony, to-witt James Eno, Samuel Bissell, John Hosford William Thrall, Richard BirgeEdward GriswoldEdward Stebbins, and William Gaylord, whose father was a French refugee from Normandy and who, himself, emigrated from England with his family of several children and became a leader in the Colony.
I am descended from William Gaylord through his son Walter Gaylord, born in Exeter England in 1622, then Joseph born 1649, John Gaylord born in 1677, and Aaron Gaylord born in 1745, who was killed by the Indians at Wyoming, Pennsylvania, in July 1778. The History was published many years ago. These decedents of the Windsor Colony lived in the same general neighborhood for two hundred years, scattering by degrees. Aaron Gaylord was born in Bristol, Connecticut, in 1745, and married Katherine Cole, born in 1745. They had three children, Le??el [Leruel], Phoebe, and Lorena. Lorena married Lynde Phelps, my grandfather, who lived in Burlington, Connecticut. Katherine Gaylord lived with this daughter and her husband till her death about 1840. Lynde and Lorena Phelps had six daughters who grew up and married, Marilla, Mary -my mother-, Laura, Phoebe, and twins Lorena and Lovina.
Marilla married Chauncey Brooks of Burlington, Connecticut. He moved to Baltimore, Maryland and became a successful merchant and banker. Before the Civil War he was President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and a director of it till he died about 1880. My mother who was not married until she was thirty years old, spent much time with then in Baltimore when their six boys were young. The oldest son, Walter, was very successful - in his later years he was president of the Canton Company, the great railroad terminal in Baltimore, and his son held that position the last I knew. This son, Walter, was Republican candidate for Governor of Maryland in 1892. The second son, Henry Brooks, was a lawyer. He studied law for a time with my father but he was not a great success. He was a Captain of a Maryland regiment in the Civil War. Another son, Thorndyke Brooks, went into the Confederate Army and served to the end. He was a Lieutenant Colonel and was one of those who got out of Fort Donelson with General Floyd just before its capture.
John Brooks, another son of Chauncey Brooks, was with his father in business for a while and later settled on a farm near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and was there at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg. Frank Brooks was in Texas when the Civil War broke out and died there at that time. Albert Brooks, the youngest, was just about a year older than myself - was smart but not successful. He was a lieutenant in a Maryland Regiment in the Civil War.
My aunt Marilla Brooks died early in 1861. When I was taken sick in the Army in June 1861 at the Relay House in Maryland, I got a leave of absence and went to Baltimore and was there about a month. My mother came from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to see me. In May 1862, Mr. Brooks married my mother. She had been a widow nine years and was a favorite aunt of his children and it was a very agreeable family relationship to all. My younger brother and sister, Roland and Rena, went to Baltimore to live with Uncle Brooks and my mother, who lived together seventeen years until Uncle Brooks death in 1880.
Uncle Brooks was a very just man and was a millionaire. He left five sons and numerous grandchildren with whom my younger sister especially kept up friendly relations down to this date. Uncle Brooks by his will left his estate about as follows: $5000 annually to each of his children and $1000 each to his numerous grandchildren. When his last son was dead, then the estate was to be divided among the grandchildren.
Now to return to the list of my mother's sisters, the daughters of Lynde and Lorena Phelps. Laura.. Phelps married Isaac Steele. of the adjoining town of New Hartford. , Connecticut where they lived and died. They had a large family of sons and daughters: Newel.. who died of consumption when a young man; Hubert; Gaylord ; Isaac NewtonXE "Steele:Hubert Gaylord about my age; Catherine who married a Mr. Woodard of Torrington, Connecticut; Abby Ann. who died single; Angeline - an early graduate of Mt. Holyoke College became a teacher in South Africa and later the State manager for Connecticut of the Women's Christian Temperance Association for many years; Caroline who married a Mr. Humphreys and moved to Oregon and died there a few years ago; and the youngest Cora who lived at the old homestead in New Hartford and married Seth W. Payne and had several children. I always visited her when I went east. She died late in 1923.
One incident in connection with this family has always appealed to me. When I was a boy at Durham, New York, a dog adopted us. We called him a Newfoundland and he was tall, slender and young. We found that he ran away from a farmer near town who had tried to make him tread a dog chain and he had run away and came to us. We were afraid to ask our father to try and buy the dog for us, as we knew he would never keep a dog. So we asked our hired man, Cooley, who took care of the horses, to go and see the man and get the dog if he could. He reported that when he saw the man he found our father had already seen him and bought the dog for us but had not told us of the purchase. The dog, Jack, lived with us for a year or two and would play hide-and- seek with us. He would take his turn at the game and could always find us.
When father's health broke down a year or two before his death and we moved back to Connecticut, we gave the dog to Uncle Steele. and he became a great pet in that family. Uncle Steele for a great many years was the town tax collector for New Hartford, Connecticut, that had several villages and a number of wealthy manufacturing corporations. He did his collecting by traveling from house to house through the town. Jack always made these trips with his master and on more than once occasion had protected Uncle from robbery. Uncle died about the summer of 1858. Funerals were still held for that original settlement of Town Hill at the Old Church and burials in the near-by cemetery. I went to the funeral. Jack had been kept out of the house after Uncle's death as the body was laid out in ore of the rooms. But with the coming of the crowd to the funeral which assembled at the house first and formed a procession to the cemetery [first] where the body was buried. Then the funeral services at the Church followed immediately.
When the house door was opened, Jack in some way got into the bedroom and saw the dead body. As it was brought out and put in the hearse, Jack followed under the hearse to the grave and saw the burial. While the church service was in progress, Jack's howls could be heard in the church. He kept' up his mourning till far into the night. The next morning he was at the daughter's, Catherine Woodward's. He came home and then he took his journeys all over the town following the trail of his master's journeys. He became a vagabond, would not stay home and disappeared in time.
Phoebe Phelps, another daughter of Lynde and Lorena Phelps, married Uriel Bradley, a businessman. She was a large self-possessed woman. They lived in Burlington, Connecticut, near the old Phelps farm, then in Baltimore when I was seven or eight years old they lived in Durham where he managed a store, which my father bought for him. Later they moved back to Connecticut. They had three sons and two daughters. The oldest son, Phelps, from some accident had one stiff leg. The next one, James W. was brilliant intellectually. He ran away from home and enlisted in the Army before the Civil War. His father got his discharge on the Mexican border. He had fought Indians. He was in the Civil War in the Ira Hanes (Harris) cavalry. He had contracted the morphine habit, he claimed, on the Mexican border and it followed him all his life. He appeared in Sioux City about 1880 and I kept charge of him for two or three years and sent him back east where he lived a few more years.
The third son of the Bradleys, Hoyt, lived at the old home in Burlington. He married and enlisted in 1862 and was taken prisoner and confined in Andersonville, later released, and died in Savannah, Georgia shortly after. His son lives at Bristol, Connecticut. At the time of his death in Savannah, his mother, and sister, and brother in Burlington, Connecticut, saw his apparent body standing at the kitchen door at the old home in Connecticut.
The oldest daughter, Helen, married H. Seymour Potter, of Burlington, Connecticut. He became a superintendent of a knitting factory in Plainville, Connecticut. The Potters had a son and a daughter, both living at Springfield, Massachusetts, the last I knew. I have visited them there. The son, Clifford Potter, is a successful manufacturer of knit goods.
The youngest daughter of the Bradleys, Mary, married Baxter Gridley, of Southington, Connecticut. They had one son, who married Ina Ward, my sister Cordelia's stepdaughter. My Aunt Phoebe Bradley lived to be over ninety years of age. When she was eighty-seven years old, coning out of a strange church at Plainville, Connecticut, she stumbled on the steps and broke her hip. She was so old that they did not think it worthwhile to have it set. She lived many years, using crutches and was in great pain, taking hypodermic injections of morphine. She could not see why she continued to live. She had never been sick in her life.
Lorena Phelps was one of the pair of twins born to Lynde and Lorena Phelps. The other one, Lovona [/Lovina] died when almost a young lady. Lorena lived at home till after her father died and was something of an old maid, married a widower, a townsman, Lyman Spencer. She was the only one that had never been away from home. They had one son, Edward Phelps Spencer, who is still living at the old Spencer family hone on the town line between Burlington and New Hartford. (He died in December 1932.) They were careful and thrifty and always had a little bit of money. The son was never sent away to school. He married and lived on part of the farm. They inherited two or three small farms but help was high and they were land poor. I visited then in the fall of 1892 with my son Russell when he was in College. My aunt said she was never so poor in her life as then. They could not afford to hire help and Uncle did what he could. Edward had three boys and had all he could do to support his own family.
Edward Spencer was a great wag and a keen observer of people and their ways and sized up the gist of things. He was interested in politics and in his trips to the different parts of the town got pretty well acquainted with every one. One year the Republicans nominated for candidate for the Legislature a prominent manufacturer and the Democrats nominated Ed Spencer from the backwoods side of the town. Much to the other fellow's surprise, Ed was elected. He did not lose his lead but studied the questions as they came up and acted wisely. He was re-elected two or three times. It was a great education for him. His sons went to agricultural college and they applied modern methods to the farm. He had about sixty acres of timber that had never been cut over. He sold the timber on it for a large price and that made him very comfortable. When I was last there he was dairying, had two automobiles, horses and buggy and was enjoying life. He visited me in Sioux City a few years ago. He is still living on his old place with his wife and two sons.
The youngest of the Phelps' girls was Caroline. She did not marry young. She visited us at Durham, New York, about 1850 and while there married a widower, William Pierce, and died there. She had two girls by this husband, Caroline and Cordelia. The latter we always called Delia. She married twice. Both husbands are dead and she is now living at St. Cloud, Florida. I heard from her during the last winter. She used to visit her cousins as an old maid before she married and she was proverbial for the good, shrewd advice she gave us all, not to mention our shortcomings, but all kindly done.
I have so far given a summary of my ancestors and collateral relatives. My father, Almeron Marks, the oldest of the family of William and Polly Roberts Marks, was born at Burlington, Connecticut, October 13, 1804, on the farm at the four corners of the old homestead built by his grandfather David. He was rather under average size, about five feet five inches tall, of dark complexion-capable and energetic. He lived at home until he was twenty-one years of age. He then went to Farmington Academy and later taught school. For a short time he took up the then very common occupation of peddling clocks and worked at it in New York City. He soon commenced the study of law, first under Gideon Wells at Wethersfield, Connecticut, the Gideon Wells who became Secretary of the Navy in Lincoln's cabinet many years later. Almeron finished his studies at Durham, New York. I do not recall how he came to change his residence but it was through some acquaintance. He also studied short hand. In those days one had to study several years before being admitted to practice. He was a good penman and evidently stood well in his profession. He was a member of the New York State Legislature in 1847 and was defeated as a candidate for Congress. He married Mary Phelps September 20, 1834 at Burlington, Connecticut when he was thirty years old. They had been engaged for about ten years. He died December 15, 1853, and was buried in Burlington, Connecticut.
He took a great interest in fruit growing and was president of the County Agricultural Society. I have some of the addresses he delivered before that body and on other occasions. His home grounds fronted on the main street of that village about three hundred feet and widening to the south to compose about thirty or forty acres. At the west was the dwelling, a large commodious house with family carriage shed and other buildings at the rear. There was a wide driveway with horse barn, bee house, larger barn and chicken house at the rear. East of the house and in front of it was a large flower garden fronting on the street. East of the garden and on the street was a story and a half with office with a basement and green house in the rear part heated. East of the office was a strawberry and vegetable garden and at extreme east was a narrow walk leading to a house at the rear used by the hired man, Monroe Cooley and his family, who drove the horses and took care of the grounds. Then in the immediate rear were the orchard, fruit trees and some young nursery stock, grape vines in abundance and plenty of peaches. The office in front had a flagstone porch with heavy wooden columns. On the porch in the fruit season was kept a box of peaches and other fruit in season free to all who would help themselves. This was done to discourage thieves.
My father, I judge, was the ordinary country lawyer, attending courts at the county seat and at various towns in the vicinity, driving his own span of ponies. He did quite an office business and acted as banker for the village and vicinity. He generally had a law student who slept over the office and boarded with the family.
I can recall several trips I took with my father when he went to near-by towns on business. I remember once we stayed over night in the Catskill Mountains to the West and in the morning came down the mountains towards the east and could plainly see the Hudson River twenty-five miles or more away with a clear sky above but the ground below almost to the river was covered with fog. Soon as we cane lower down in our drive, we got into the fog cloud and it was almost raining.
On another occasion we had driven several miles to Freehold or near the border of the adjoining county of Albany where my father was trying a case. A young man on horseback cane riding past to the village and announced that a deputy sheriff had been shot by the anti-renters when he came to collect the rent on one of the Van Rennesslar farms, that had perpetual leases. It was at a time when the tenants had organized and were refusing to pay rent. They assembled dressed as Indians. I know it broke up the lawsuit.
Potter Palmer, later the rich Chicago merchant, clerked in the store next to our house [in Durham]. His father lived at Potter's Hollow, a near-by village. His brother William taught our village school. George Tabor, a fellow clerk in the store, roomed with our law student and for a time boarded in our family. He married Mary Best, a daughter of one of my mother's best friends.
This acquaintance affected the career of our family in later years; I will refer to it here. In 1862 mother was in Chicago and stopped at the Sherman House, I think, and in the morning looking out of the window onto Lake Street saw on a building across the street a long sign - " Potter Palmer Dry Goods". She thought it was more than ten years since she had heard this name. She felt sure that it was the same person. She went across the street into the store and the first person she met was George Tabor who had followed his friend, Potter Palmer, out west and was head clerk in the store. She renewed her acquaintance with him but did not meet Mr. Palmer.
After the War was over in 1865, my younger brother, Roland P. Marks came out of the Army and were looking to get back into the dry goods business at which he had worked in Pittsfield, Massachusetts- the H.G. Davis Company. Mother wrote to Mr. Tabor and Roland went to Chicago and was in that store thirty-five years. A couple of years later, my older brother, Arthur, who before the War had clerked in the same store in Pittsfield, went to Chicago and worked in the Potter Palmer store several years. They soon came in contact with Marshall Field who became a partner of Potter Palmer's and later the principal owner of the big Chicago store that bears his name. Marshall Field had also learned the dry goods business in the H.G. David Store in Pittsfield. He soon took over these old clerks.
When I came west in 1868 and stopped in Chicago, I had a letter from a law school classmate, D.T. Humphreys, who had landed in Sioux City, advising me to locate there. My brother said: " Why, that is the town where Joseph Field came from ". He was an older brother of Marshall Field and had been in Sioux City several years. He was Clerk of the Courts there. He left Sioux City about 1864 to become a partner of his brother's in Chicago. It was on his advice that I came locate in Sioux City. So a small circumstance back in Durham influenced the lives of we three brothers.
My father and mother, Almeron and Mary Phelps Marks, had five children who grew up. They were all born at Durham, Greene County, New York. The oldest, Cordelia, was born in 1836 and moved with the family to Burlington, Connecticut, in 1852. She taught school one summer. She went to my aunt's, Mrs. L.F. Sperry's in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1857 and there in the fall of 1859 she married Zadock A. Ward, a contractor and architect who died after many years. They had three children, Mary, born in 1865, Almeron, and Herbert; Mary (Mollie) lived in Pittsfield and married Charles A. Raymond, assistant cashier of the Pittsfield National Bank. They have one daughter Helen, now married. Mary died in 1928. Her husband and daughter yet survive. Almeron Ward lives in New York City and Herbert Ward lives in Springfield, Massachusetts. He has several daughters. He was in the Spanish-American War and was appointed Aide-de-camp on the staff of the governor of Massachusetts.
My older brother, Arthur Marks, was very bright as a scholar. He went to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1858 and clerked in the dry goods store of H.G, Davis Company, where Marshall Field had his apprenticeship. Early in 1862 Arthur married Fanny Backus in Pittsfield. In the fall of 1862 he enlisted as a sergeant in the 34th Massachusetts infantry commanded by Colonel Wells. This was one of the best drilled regiments in the service, composed as a whole of very capable, reliable men, and was kept near Washington as a show and guard regiment. My brother, a bright scholar, studied military movements and went before Casey's Military Board for examination for Officers' Rank and passed as first rank Captain, the highest given, and was appointed Captain in the 22nd U.S. Colored Infantry. He was at Petersburg, Virginia during the whole siege in rifle shot of the enemy. He had many close calls but was never wounded. At the close of hostilities his regiment went with Sheridan to the Mexican border and was discharged early in 1866. He always regretted that he did not apply for a commission in the Regular Army.
Arthur had four children: Arthur born in 1863. He married and has one son and lives in Milwaukee. (Now dead) The second son, Walter B. Marks and has two daughters. He lives at Milwaukee and is manager of the branch there of the National Lead Company. (He was killed in an auto accident in December 1944.) The daughter, Helen Marks, never married and has for many years been office manager of the Hanan Shoe Company 's Chicago branch. (She lives in Milwaukee now.) Arthur's youngest son, Albert, or Bert as he was called, was a very bright capable man and died at Milwaukee several years ago while manager of the National Lead Company's branch there.
My brother, Arthur, after he came out of the Army, followed my younger brother to Chicago and was advanced rapidly. After the Chicago Fire and at the instigation of his wife's uncle Wilmarth, who was Vice-president of the Home Insurance Company and had come to Chicago to adjust the big fire lose, Arthur bought out an insurance agency at Davenport, Iowa, which he managed for a few years, coming in contact there with his second cousins, Morton and Welton Marks and another cousin, Laura Pond. He went from there to Detroit, Michigan General Agent of the Home Insurance Company of New York and was there many years until his health failed. He died there when about sixty-five years old, very suddenly of heart disease. His wife followed the family from Detroit to Milwaukee and then went to Chicago with her daughter, Helen, where she died about 1926.
My brother Roland Phelps Marks, born about 1843, followed the family to Grandfather William Marks' in Burlington, Connecticut but lived at times in Burlington with my aunt, Mrs. William Bradley and at Durham, New York with my aunt, Mrs. William Pierce. He went to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, about 1859 when my mother moved there. He went to high school there and then went into the dry goods store of H.G. Davis Company. He went one term to school at Claverack, New York, with me.
Roland was rather frail at eighteen years of age and was only five feet high and weighed only ninety pounds. After my mother went to Baltimore in 1862, he with his younger sister, Rena, followed. He became Clerk in the U.S. Quartermaster's Office and in the winter of 1865 got the war fever. He had grown rapidly and was now the tallest of the family. He decided that he would always feel ashamed if the war closed and he had not enlisted. So, with two other clerks, he enlisted and the day he was mustered in, Richmond fell. He joined his Maryland Regiment and when the Colonel heard he had some recruits from the Quartermaster's Office, he detailed then much to their disgust as clerks. Roland dodged service of the detail and stood guard one day and in all served three weeks, kept to the last man as paymaster's clerk. After his discharge he went to Field, Palmer, Leiter's store in Chicago where he served for thirty-six years, for many years head of the wholesale woolen department. He was on especially friendly terns with Marshall Field. When he voluntarily retired they made him a present of $5000.
Roland took a long trip to Europe with his two daughters going to North Cape, Norway, Stockholm. St. Petersburg, Moscow, Vienna, and then home. He had an interest in some oil wells in Indiana and while on a visit there had a severe attack, which stiffened one leg permanently. He was fighting for his life with kidney trouble. He went to Texas and Arizona and died in a Chicago Hospital in 1906 after an operation for the removal of a kidney.
He had married Emma ..... of Southold, Long Island, about 1872 and had two daughters, His wife died when the daughters were young and they went to a maiden Aunt's at Southold. When they became young ladies he brought them to Chicago where they kept house. The older girl, Grace E. Marks, published a story, called " As a Falling Star." Before her father's death she married Lionel Parker, a brother of Sir Gilbert Parker and has two daughters now at school. The Parkers had a large grape fruit plantation in Puerto Rico .He died there of fever and later she married Arthur B. Mitchell, his associate. She spends part of her time at the old Parker home in Belleville, Ontario, Canada. This family during the (first) World War was on their way from Puerto Rico to New York, when a German submarine torpedoed their boat. After two days in a lifeboat and on a lumber schooner, they were rescued.
The other daughter, Edith Marks, was much like her father, bright and quick. She married a Staten Island Doctor- Charles E. Pearson - and lives on Staten Island and has a son and daughter.
Roland for three years had been the New York buyer for his department and was called from there to take the management of it (Wholesale Woolen).
He sent his girls after they finished school at Mt Vernon Seminary in Washington, D.C. For a several months European trip with an accomplished chaperone. They took the usual trip, up the Nile and to the Holy Land. He had required each girl to write him long letters and to give different phases of the same trip. They sent him such letters, which he had typewritten and bound and passed around among his friends. They were very interesting especially the different views of each girl on the same subject.
When Roland took his own trip with the girls, he kept a rambling diary in a large bankbook and carried a camera. He had pictures developed along the way and pasted in local post card pictures, bills of fare, and local scenes. He had a couple volumes of these, which were very interesting.
He had quite an adventure, as it were, with Melba, the noted singer. She was intending to give a concert in Chicago but the local theater trust controlled most of the theaters there and demanded what she thought were exorbitant terns. An independent theater man she knew found he could get the Auditorium at a big figure but he was unable to finance it. He brought the matter to my brother Roland who advanced the money, a snug sum, and made the arrangement with Melba. She was very much interested in the adventure of beating the trust as their refusal had become well known. They advertised the concert, got a packed house, and made a great success. Roland made a handsome profit on the venture much to the delight of Melba, whom he met quite intimately in the course of the venture. Two or three years later he was In London, England where Melba was to sing. He sat in the audience where she recognized him, sent him a note and after the concert had quite a visit with him.
My younger sister, Mary Lorena, born about 1846, which we called Lorena or Rena for short, lived at home with our mother in our various moves. She went to Pittsfield when she was about thirteen years old and attended high school and Maplewood Institute, a somewhat famous young ladies' school there. It was while she was there as a day student that the most fatal malaria epidemic broke out in the school. Over thirty out of over a hundred students died after a short illness. It was traced to drinking from a well poisoned by drainage into it of water from an outdoor toilet. My sister got a touch of the malaria, which much impaired her health for several years. She and I went to the Water Cure Establishment of Dr. Mund's at Florence, Massachusetts, where she stayed several months till the institution burned. She went to Baltimore about 1863 to be with our mother but visited in Pittsfield. She and I were at hone together when young longer than the others and we both had more school education and were very congenial in tasks.
Before my marriage while I was in Sioux City, my intended wife had with her sister formed quite an intimacy with some Bridgeport people. Among these were Alexander Wheeler and his sister. They visited Bridgeport and were entertained at boating and other parties and in return the Bridgeport party came to Great Barrington for a house party at the old Kilbourn home. They made various excursions to points of interest, one of which was to the Lebanon, New York Shakers.
Alexander Wheeler was the local correspondent for the Bridgeport Daily Standard and wrote up these trips at length. He had free passage on the Housatonic Railway and later made frequent trips to Barrington and the people there assumed he was the man Josie Kilbourn was going to marry, as I had not been seen in the town. He was best man at our wedding and after my wife came to Sioux City we had some correspondence with him while my sister Lorena spent that first winter with us. On her return east she went to Great Barrington to visit my sister Cordelia at Pittsfield. When she got off the train there Alexander Wheeler was at the depot to take the same train south and greeted her, saying " I am Alex. I will be up soon to hear about the Sioux City folks." Inside of two weeks they were engaged. A year or so later they were married at Baltimore.
I might mention that a short tine before this my cousin, Walter Brooks, daughter Caroline married one of the McCormick sons of Chicago and they had a grand society wedding with a whole brass band. When Rena was to be married Uncle Brooks, my stepfather, quietly ordered the Brass Band for the occasion. The Wheelers were an old colonial family and lived a long time on part of the home grounds the Wheelers had bought from the Indians, always occupied by a Wheeler. Part of it is now part of the City Seaside Park. P.T. Barnum, had part of it. Later my sister, after none of her family desired to occupy it, sold the old home site with the modem house.
Mr. Wheeler became business manager for the Bridgeport Daily Standard and with Mr. Candee, the Editor, were sole owners of the paper. The old Wheeler home place had been kept by an uncle, who had been an invalid confined to the house for many years. He had his nephew, Alex, transact his business for a great many years, P.T. Barnum, a neighbor, became custodian of a deed from the uncle to his nephew, Alexander, to the old home property to keep it in the Wheeler name. This deed was delivered upon his death and was acquiesced in by his widow and daughter who depended on Alex to continue to manage their affairs. They vacated the house in due time and Alexander moved in with his family. In his zeal working about the grounds to clean up the grass, he cane in contact with poison ivy, which resulted in blood poisoning from which he soon died. He left my sister with four young children, the oldest possibly under twelve years of age. The oldest, Lynde Phelps Wheeler, entered Yale College in 1891 the same year as my son Russell. But he attended the Sheffield Scientific School and remained there as instructor and assistant professor till two or three years ago. I think he is on leave of absence now. During the World War I, several men in his electrical department were loaned to the U.S. Government and worked on electrical matters. Lynde is now adviser to the U.S. Navy Department at Washington, quite an important position. He is married and has a daughter.
Rena's second son, Alexander, graduated from Yale in the academic course and was quite a brilliant scholar. After graduation he taught in the Bridgeport High School and was drowned in early spring trying to rescue a pupil who had been wrecked in ice-cold water.
The next child was a daughter, Hetty Sheppard Wheeler. She graduated from Wellesley College and became a teacher there and was for fifteen years secretary of the musical faculty. She had exceptional business ability. She is now Dean of Pine Manor, a young ladies' finishing school in Wellesley.
The youngest daughter, Mary, went to Wellesley but did not graduate, coming home on account of her mother's ill health. She later took up charity work and was for several years with the consolidated New York City Charities coming in at the bottom and later having charge of a bureau in the business district. She was prompt, shrewd and competent. While she was in New York, her mother had moved to New Haven, Connecticut, to be with her son L?uncde [Lynde ?]. Mary on account of her mother's health came home from New York and was in public charities in New Haven for a while after her mother's death in 19.. She and her sister Hetty then moved the family hone to Wellesley. An old aunt, Cordelia Wheeler, their father's sister, made her home with them in Wellesley until her death.
Mary went into a school for training in charity work in Boston and taught there. A man who knew of her work went to St. Paul, Minnesota, as head of the Bureau of United Charities and sent for Mary to come and be his assistant. After three or four years, he died and she was put in charge of this Bureau as his successor. She is bright and of very attractive personality and prompt and decisive in action. She has put on a course of lectures at the University of Minnesota. Since she has been in St. Paul she has kept in touch with my daughter, Mrs. David H. Bartlett, who has lived there since 1919.
After the death of Uncle Brooks, my mother made her home with sister Lorena. Mother hurt her hip in a fall. Painful sciatica developed which in a few months wore her out and she died there in Bridgeport. While she was ill there we five children all went there together, the first time in twenty-five years. Though in great pain, mother greatly enjoyed the gathering. She was buried in the old Marks Family Cemetery Lot at Burlington, Connecticut beside our father. To return to my childhood: When I was ten years old in 1851, my father's health broke down and he failed rapidly and lived but a year or two. He had made some large loans and had lost much money. He died December 15, 1853 in Burlington, Connecticut, where we had moved in 1851 from Durham, New York. He was only forty-nine years old at the time of his death. There were five of us children, the oldest about fifteen and the youngest about five. Mother had not sufficient resources to care for the family from her income, we made our home with my grandfather William Marks in Burlington and the family soon scattered.
Cordelia taught school. Arthur went for a time to an Academy, then became a messenger for the manager of a clock factory, and later clerked in a dry goods store in New Haven, Connecticut. He followed his sister to Pittsfield, Massachusetts where he went into the H.G. Davis Dry Goods Store, We had an uncle and aunt residing there - Mr. and Mrs. L.F. Sperry. My mother, younger brother Roland and sister Lorena and myself lived at Grandfather Mark's home in Burlington, Connecticut until 1859. Mother then moved to Pittsfield and had her family together again there.
My sister Lorana and I up to that time had been at home together more than the others. We went to the District School. Before I was sixteen, I went one winter to the Academy at New Hartford north end and the next winter I went to the Connecticut Literary Institution at Suffield, Connecticut. I made up my mind that I would go to College and went back to Suffield and stayed a year. I had earned money on the farm and saved it. Grandfather Marks paid me wages and I saved practically all of it and took my first term at Suffield before I was seventeen.
I taught school the winter of 1859 at Windeer Locks near there. That winter I boarded with the Webb family and that acquaintance was a pleasant one for many years. The boys, Charles H. and William Webb, went to New York into the dry goods store of Phelps, Bliss and Company, 340 Broadway, and later became principal owners. My children will remember when Charles H. Webb visited us in Sioux City about 1890.
I finished teaching my first school in Windsor Locks in the spring of 1860. I used the money I had earned to pay back a little of what I had borrowed to pay for my fall term at school from Julius A. Pond, a cousin of my father's. He had a son Julius Almeron Pond, who was named after my father. He had gone to school with me the winter before. I kept up my acquaintance with Almeron Pond all my life. He died about 1897. When Russell, my son, was at Yale, he took a short trip with me to Burlington and we called upon Almeron Pond.
In the summer of 1860 I kept books for Ward and Glentz at Pittsfield, Mass. Mr. Zadock A. Ward had married my sister Cordelia in the fall of 1859. In the winter of 1860 and 1861 I taught school in the backwoods district of Hinsdale, Massachusetts. I boarded around among the parents of my pupils with my headquarters at the home of the committeeman Mr. Smith, a farmer doctor.
That summer of 1860 had been a strenuous one politically. It was the year Lincoln was elected to the presidency. I was not old enough to vote. Having been brought up a Democrat, I shouted for Douglas but I was opposed to secession and during the winter I had said that if the South seceded I would be the first man to enlist.
(To be continued)
Constant married Harriet Josephine Kilborne, daughter of Russell Kilborne and Living, on 27 Jun 1871 in Great Barrington, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. (Harriet Josephine Kilborne was born on 25 Jun 1850 in Great Barrington, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, died on 12 May 1935 in Sioux City, Woodbury Co., Iowa and was buried in Logan Park Cemetery, Sioux City, Woodbury Co., Iowa.)
Massachusetts, Town Vital Collections, 1620-1988 <http://www.ancestry.com>
Name: Constant R Marks of Sioux City, Iowa
Birth Date: abt 1841 in Durham, NY
Event Type: Marriage
Event City: Great Barrington
Marriage Date: 27 Jun 1871
Marriage Age: 30
Father Name: Almeron
Mother Name: Mary
Spouse Name: H Josephine Kilborn of Great Barrington, Mass
Spouse Marriage Age: 21
Spouse Father Name: Russell Kilborn
Spouse Mother Name: Harriet