Monday, November 24, 2014

John J. Marquart - An Interview with an Early Sanduskian in 1947

In the Twin Anniversary Edition of the Sandusky Register Star News, dated November 24, 1947, Harry Stack featured highlights of an interview he had conducted with John J. Marquart, who at that time had been a resident of Sandusky for eighty five years. Mr. Marquart is pictured below in a photograph taken at the Pascoe photographic studio. (He is seated at the left, opposite C. J. Pascoe.)

John J. Marquart was born in New York City in 1853, and moved to Sandusky in 1862, in the midst of the Civil War. As a youngster, he resided on East Adams Street above the Marquart family grocery store. He helped his father in the grocery store for a time, then around 1890 he became involved in a business which dealt in furniture and undertaking. By 1906, he was a funeral director and embalmer, on the street level of the Odd Fellows Temple on Washington Row, and for a time in partnership with a Mr. Meyers.  In 1925 Mr. Marquart took Lee B. Keller on as a partner, and the business was known as Marquart and Keller. For thirty nine years prior to 1932, Mr. Marquart was in charge of the burials of veterans at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home. You can see a portion of Marquart’s funeral business in the Odd Fellows Temple in the picture below, in the early 1900s.

In his interview with Harry Stack, John J. Marquart recalled the pioneer businesses of Sandusky. He personally knew Jay Cooke, and members of  the Hubbard family. He recalled seeing Confederate officers arriving by train at the Lake Shore and Michigan Railroad office at Warren Street, before being taken to the prison at Johnson’s Island during the Civil War. He remembered when the harbor of Sandusky was filled with full-sail schooners transporting lumber to and from the city. The ice industry was another vital business in Mr. Marquart’s early days in Sandusky.  He recalled when the streets were made of cobble stone, and horse drawn vehicles were used. A quote by Mr. Marquart appeared toward the end of the interview: “I’ve seen many changes and much improvement in the 85 years I’ve lived in Sandusky. It used to be more important than Cleveland, but somehow or other it grew to a certain size and stayed there. Still and all, Sandusky is all right. It’s my home and proud of the fact.”  To read the entire interview, visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center where copies of the Twin Anniversary Edition of the Sandusky Register Star News are available in print and on microfilm.

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