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Marcus family papers

Identifier: MSS 3775

Scope and Contents Note

This collection contains letters, financial papers, receipts, newspaper clippings, theatre and opera pamphlets and clippings, school papers, brochures, travel papers, photographs, and books created and collected by Louis Marcus, his wife Gertrude L. Marcus, and their son L. Howard Marcus, starting with family photographs in 1848 ending with the death of L. Howard Marcus in 1984. However, the bulk of the material is from 1911-1955, beginning with the engagement of Louis Marcus and Gertrude Levin in 1911 to the death of Gertrude L. Marcus in 1955.

In this collection are personal letters, financial and business papers of Louis Marcus, especially having to do with his theatre ventures. Also included is a day by day history of the actions taken by Louis Marcus as mayor of Salt Lake City. The papers held in a three ring binder are inscribed and signed by Louis Marcus. There is also a Flag of Destiny Vol. II piece by C. Switzer, with a picture portraying Francis Scott Key and the flag, a text about the piece and a copy of the original manuscript of "The Star-Spangled Banner" that was sent to the Hon. Mayor Louis Marcus.

This collection also contains Gertrude L. Marcus' household business correspondence and her papers as the president of the Salt Lake unit of the Women's national Aeronautical Association which, along with information on the association, contains many newspaper articles on various pilots including Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, and "The bat man" Clem Sohn, as well as a few issues of the organizations magazine Contact. Among the letters are those written during World War II from soldiers, mostly to Mrs. Marcus.

There are several collected materials including brochures and maps from the 1930's and 1940's, notably one of Havana from the 1940's, and materials related to the theatre in the early 1900's. Also in this collection are Howard's personal correspondences from friends and family, including several letters he wrote to his mother. There are a few Stanford University records and course offering from the 1930's and 1940's and other items relating to Howard's time spent at Stanford. Various forms that Howard was required to fill out during his employment for the government during World War II, as well as different versions of his resume, can be found in this collection. There are several newspaper clippings having to do with the family activities, as well as many recipes.

This collection contains several family photographs, from portraits taken in a studio to family snap shots. Included are photos from Gertrude L. Marcus' childhood and family, photographs of the professional activities of Louis Marcus, which feature several famous actors and prominent business and political leaders of the day, and many family portraits and snap shots, including those taken on their extensive travels. A few photographs appear to be of Louis Marcus' parents and from his youth. There are a few books included in this collection, notably those given to Louis Marcus which are inscribed and signed by Heber J. Grant, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


  • 1848-1984


Access Note

Open for public research. Negatives are kept separate in cold storage; access requires 24 hours advance notice.

Conditions of Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Marcus family papers and photographs must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Louis Marcus (1880-1936) was a Salt Lake City mayor and businessman in the motion picture industry.

Louis Marcus was born on January 9, 1880 in Brooklyn, New York to Eleazor Albert and Diana Gumpel Marcus. He moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1907, where he married Gertrude Levin on January 16, 1912. Together they had one child, Louis Howard Marcus in 1919.

In Salt Lake City, Marcus became involveed in the motion picture business as an operator, exchange manager, and owner of film exchange and theatres. He established a theatre chain in Utah, as well as other mountain states. The companies he was involved in include Louis Marcus Enterprises, Publix-Marcus, Inc., Gem State Theatres, Victory Amusement Company, Notable Feature Films Company and others. In 1927 he purchased the Orpheum Theatre, to which he increased the seating capacity, added a Wurlitzer organ, changed its name to Capitol Theatre Building, and in 1929 showed the first talking picture in Salt Lake City.

Marcus's business ventures extended into real estate and was the president of the United Realty Co., and served as the director of Tracy Loan & Trust Co., as well as Walker Bank & Trust Co. He was also very active in his community and civic service. He was a member of the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce, was a York and Scottish Rite Mason, and member of the B'nai B'rith.

In 1931 he ran for and was elected as mayor of Salt Lake City, and served from 1932-1935. He was the first Jew to be elected to this position. Louis was also a member of several clubs, including Alta, Rotary, Ft. Douglas, and the Country clubs in both Salt Lake City and Ogden, UT.

Marcus died on July 27, 1936 in Salt Lake City, UT.

Biographical History

Gertrude Levin Marcus (1885-1955) was the founder and president of the Salt Lake City Unit of the Women's National Aeronautical ASsociation and wife of Salt Lake City mayor Louis Marcus.

Gertrude Levin Marcus was born in 1885 in Chicago, Illinois to Hyman and Jennie Shocken Levin. She lived in Pueblo, Colorado until her marriage to Louis Marcus in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 16, 1912. On April 22, 1919, she gave birth to Louis Howard Marcus, her only child.

Along with managing her household and raising her son, she was the founder and president of the Salt Lake City Unit of the Women's National Aeronautical Association, was one of the founders of the Town Club, and was a supporter of the Garden Club, as well as being a member of the Alta Club and the Salt Lake Country Club. Later she became a member of the board of directors of the Neighborhood House, as well as sponsored and supervised construction of the Neighborhood House Thrift Shop. She was commonly referred to in business correspondence and newspaper articles as Mrs. L. Marcus or Mrs. Louis Marcus.

She died on May 25, 1955 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Biographical History

Louis Howard Marcus (1919-1984) was a member of the Salt Lake City Planning Committee and was a key figure in many developments in the city.

Louis Howard Marcus was born on April 22, 1919 to Louis and Gertrude Levin Marcus in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from East High in Salt Lake City and afterward attended Stanford University, graduating with an economics degree in 1940. He then attended Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration from 1940-1941.

During World War II he served in the Salt Lake City branch of the U.S. Office of Price Administration, and then in the San Francisco branch of the U.S. Office of War Information, working in Psychological Warfare. After the war he served as vice president of the R.T. Harris Advertising Agency and was the president of the Tower Theatre, where he was active in the theatre community, not unlike his father.

Marcus married Wilma Ferderber, of a prominent family in Los Angeles, on April 10, 1947, with whom he had three sons--Stephen, William, and Roger.

Marcus was considered a civic and philanthropic leader and during his life time he served as a member of the Utah Symphony Board of Trustees (1948-1951), was named to the Salt Lake City Planning Committee in the 1950's and served as vice chairman of the commission from 1957 to 1961. Also during this time he was chairman of the zoning subcommittee, chairman of the Civic Belt Route Planning Committee and vice chairman of the Salt Lake County Gravel Study committee. In 1963 he was named president of First Capital Corp. and was very active in personal investments.

He was also chairman of the Salt Lake City Aviary Commission and was later appointed to the Tracy Aviary Advisory Board. He was a member of the Congregation Kol Ami and B'nai B'rith and served as chairman of the Israel Bond Drive for Utah, as well as being a trustee and treasurer for the Congregation B'nai Israel. He was very active with the National Hemophilia Foundation being a trustee and member of the foundation's national executive committee, as well as the vice president and trustee of the Utah chapter. He was president of the Duckville Gun Club, the Utah Skeet Shooting Association, and was a member of the Holladay Gun Club.

Marcus died on February 13, 1984 in Salt Lake City, UT of heart complications at the age of 64, preceded in death by his son Roger. He was often referred to as L. Howard Marcus in newspaper and business correspondence, but was commonly known as Howard to family and friends. Occasionally he is referred to as Louis or Louis Howard in personal letters.


2 oversize folders (0.2 linear ft.)

5 oversize boxes (6 linear ft.)

15 boxes (7.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

Materials are arranged into 5 series: 1. Louis Marcus papers, 1911-1936. 2. Gertrude L. Marcus papers, 1907-1955. 3. L. Howard Marcus papers, approximately 1930-1982. 4. Collected materials, 1912-1984. 5. Photographs and paintings, approximately 1848-1982.

This collections is arranged into five series: Louis Marcus papers, Gertrude l. Marcus papers, L. Howard Marcus papers, collected materials, and photographs and paintings. It has been left in original order as far as possible.

Other Finding Aids

Box-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

This collection was held by the Marcus family until it was donated to the L. Tom Perry Special Collections in 1988 by Wilma Marcus.

Acquisition Note

Donation of Wilma Marcus, 1988.

Appraisal Note

Utah and American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).

Processing Note

Processed; Melissa Cowles; 2007.

Processed; Kiren Dulai; 2010.

Processing; Elizabeth Knuth Peterson; 2011.

Register of Marcus family papers
Under Revision
Elizabeth Knuth Petersen, Manuscript processor
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States