William, Rosanna and Ephraim Marks–Sources?

I’m away from home, and hence away from archive heaven, but not wanting to be completely idle, I’m asking for a favor–.

One of Joseph Smith’s funeral sermons that is extant to some reasonable degree is one delivered for 24 year old Ephraim Robinson Marks. Son of William and Rosanna Marks, the cause of death is obscure. In many ways the sermon was classically Protestant in flavor. But not all. William and Rosanna were prominent Nauvoo Mormons. Ephraim, like so many other people in Nauvoo, seems to be invisible.

I’ve not really burned any candles over Ephraim as yet (I mean in the sense of extensive study, not ritual!), but if you happen to know something about him, associates, reputation, his family, his parents, etc., how about sharing such sources. You can email me (see to the right) or comment here, as you please. I won’t respond unless you wish it. Yes, I want to poach your sources.

William Marks is a bit of a puzzle as well. His participation in Kirtland and Nauvoo was public, but it is difficult to get at the man himself. Became stake president in Kirtland after Joseph departed. Did not go the Missouri route even though appointed stake pres. in Far West. Then president of the Nauvoo stake. Council of fifty, quorum of the anointed, jumped in with Strang. Joined Thompson’s church, then the RLDS. Counselor to JS III. He was Emma’s favorite to succeed JS (partly because of D&C 107 so she said), but Marks favored Rigdon. What did he think about things?

Dope on the Marks family is appreciated, and will give me some starting points when I get back home. Got to be some theses out there on Marks and/or his family. Things on teens and twenty-somethings of the city are welcome. Have at it. Sam Brown, I know you’ve got stuff. Stapley? Adieu.


3 Responses to William, Rosanna and Ephraim Marks–Sources?

  1. J. Stapley says:

    Fascinating. You would think that a person of such prominence would have more written on him. I could very well be missing somethings, but besides the standard secondary sources on Nauvoo/Succession/Polygamy/etc. there just doesn’t seem to be much at all. I would imagine that if there were papers to be had, they would be in the RLDS archives; but you don’t ever see anything cited, so I wouldn’t hold up hope. The primary biographical writings (scant as they are) of which I am aware are:

    Heman C. Smith, “William Marks,” Journal of History 1 (Jan. 1908): 24-29.

    Roger D. Launius, “William Marks and the Restoration,” Saints’ Herald 126 (1 May 1979): 7-8, (1 June 1979): 6-7.

    With all the good stuff going on with the JWHA, they might have something on him published as well.

    Keep up the great work – but for those of us persistently away from the archives, you will find little sympathy (grin)

  2. boaporg says:

    Well, thanks J. Perhaps there just is not a lot more out there aside from the padded stuff lurking in old RLDS histories. The Heman Smith papers have some letters from Marks. I guess I’m on to a contact at CoC archives hoping for some kind of unified register of Marks items from Nauvoo. Going too far afield is always a temptation. Another adult son of William and Rosanna died not long after Ephraim. There is more information about him, but no sermon for him.

  3. smb says:

    He dies before the Sexton reports are terribly informative. I have little on him beyond the way his death recalled for Smith Alvin’s death, which is pretty clear from the sermon. Good luck.

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