Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden
Josephine Marks was born in Wisconsin in 1847. She married entrepreneur Jacob Marks in 1868. She reportedly came to Prescott with him in 1882, although it is more likely she came on his earlier trip in 1871. Her obituary in The Arizona Miner noted that she was “one of the first white women to come to Prescott. . . Her arrival by stagecoach was marked by one of the last raids by Indians on the Burnt Ranch.”

Jacob Marks was an adventurer who booked passage for San Francisco during the Gold Rush in 1852, when he was 16. He became a part-time miner and post trader at Ft. Jones, California. In 1858, he went to British Columbia, where he worked in mining and merchandising for 10 years. At the time of Jacob's and Josephine’s marriage in 1868, he was in business in Elko, Nevada.

It is not clear whether Josephine moved around the West with him, but because of his prominence it would seem she probably did. He arrived in Prescott from California on a buckboard in 1871 and lived here until 1876, during which time he was a member of C.P. Head & Company, engaged in general merchandising.

Marks sold his interest in the Head Company and spent a few years in California before returning to Arizona, where he joined the firm of Goldman & Company, a wholesale liquor business in Phoenix. He remained there for six years.

Jake and Josephine returned to Prescott to stay in 1890, and Marks opened his own wholesale liquor business. In 1894, they built the venerable “Marks House” on the southeast corner of Union and Marina Streets. Josephine and Jake adopted one child, Florence Mae.

The Miner reported that Josephine “was closely associated with many people and events of importance in the history of this country during the early stages of the territorial government here.” Because of her husband’s prominence in politics and the community, she was one of Prescott’s elite, and as Jacob Marks’ “most estimable wife, [she] presided over his beautiful residence.”

Josephine died at her home on April 3, 1917, and was laid to rest beside her husband at the Odd Fellows Cemetery. He had been exalted ruler of Prescott Lodge No. 330, Order of BPOE.

Josephine's daughter, Florence Mae Marks Bate, is also commemorated in the Rose Garden.

Nominated by Mona Lange McCroskey
March 2007

Additional documentation and photographs may be available in the Sharlot Hall Museum Archives and Library.