A local historian, Sam F. Elton, described Anna's arrival in the Eureka area in the following way:
"In the early days of Tintic... two men, John O. Freckleton and Hyrum Gardner claimed the land in the west end of Pinion Canyon. They opened the first road through Pinion Canyon. They placed a toll gate in the narrow part of the canyon charging a fee for all who entered.
A Jewish lady, Anna Marks and her husband, Wolff, hearing of the opportunities in Tintic, proceeded up Pinion Canyon with their outfit. She in the lead in a buggy followed by many wagons loaded with everything necessary to open a store. When she came to the gate she refused to pay the toll. A verbal war was on, the air turning blue with Anna's cuss words. She summoned her bodyguard and with guns drawn they tore down the toll gate and went on to Eureka.
Anna took possession of some ground on the south side of the street and was soon in business. Her right to the ground was hotly contested by a man named Pat Shay. Many verbal arguments followed. Finally she pulled her guns on Pat. He went flying and so did the bullets. He made it to a pile of posts. He wasn't hit, but she sure made the bark fly. From then on no one crossed Anna Marks."
Anna Marks reputation for being the most feisty woman in the state, was built solidly on many similar reports. An outstanding example of her feuding occurred when "she carried on a historic battle with the Denver and Rio Grand, holding up the building of a railroad at gunpoint until the Denver and Rio Grande met her price to cross the section of her land."
Anna Rich Marks was born in Russian-occupied Poland in 1847. Raised in poverty and haunted by the constant threat of pogroms, she left Poland and traveled to England where she met and married Wolff Marks in 1862, at age fifteen. The couple ventured to America, eventually settling in Eureka City, a rich mining area sixty miles south of Salt Lake City. Anna Marks made her fortune in real estate. She owned controlling interests in two mines near Eureka and was known to have invested money in diamonds as well. Anna Marks died of a heart attack in Eureka City on April 19, 1912.
Elsewhere on the web
- Beth Kay Harris, Towns of Tintic (Denver, 1961), p. 85.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Anna Marks." (Viewed on December 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/westernpioneers/marks-anna>.