Belle and Martin Marks

10229 Lake Shore Boulevard
Martin Marks
Martin Marks

Belle Hays was born on June 25, 1862, in Cleveland to Kaufman and Lizzie Hays. She met Martin Marks while he was traveling to Cleveland on business. They married on October 28, 1885, and he moved to Cleveland two years later. They had two children: Florence (Moss) and Ethyl (Kingsbacher).

Martin A. Marks was born on February 6, 1853, in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Aaron and Sarah Marks. He quit school at age 13, and as a young man became active in B’nai B’rith. He joined the board of trustees of the Jewish Orphan Home in 1885.

Belle was associated with the Cleveland Jewish Orphan Asylum and the Cleveland/Denver Hospital for consumptives (tuberculosis).

Marks purchased an interest in a wholesale clothing firm. In 1890, he worked for Northwest Life Insurance Company, and a year later became the northern Ohio manager for the Equitable Life Assurance Company of New York, remaining there 14 years. In 1902, Marks became a director of Cleveland Worsted Mill Company, and in 1906, he became secretary-treasurer, a position he held until his death. The company had over 700 looms in operation.

He was on the board of directors of First National Bank and a member of the Executive Committee of the Guardian Savings and Trust Company.

Marks was president of the Temple from 1890 to 1904 and 1906 to 1915.

A lifelong philanthropist and civic organizer, Marks was one of the founders of the Chamber of Commerce, Visiting Nurse Association, Humane Society, The Cleveland Society of the Blind, Anti Tuberculosis League, National Jewish Hospital for Consumptive Diseases in Denver, and National Jewish Corporation for Charities.

Martin died on August 31, 1916, and Belle died on November 8, 1932, buried alongside Martin in Mayfield Cemetery.