Joseph Marks

Biography of Joseph Marks

Marks Mountain

One Brookfield resident became involved in the hostilities between the English of New England and the French & Indian allies of Canada. Joseph Marks, a land proprietor at Brookfield, but probably not yet a resident, had enlisted in a military detachment which went to the relief of the settlement at Schenectady, New York. He was captured on February 6, 1690, during an assault on that town by a French & Indian military force and taken to Canada where he was kept until the summer of 1691.

On September 29, 1691, at the County Court held at Springfield, Joseph Marks appeared as plaintiff in two cases of debt vs. Joseph Woolcot of Brookfield and Thomas Lamb. The Court found for the plaintiff in both cases. This action identifies Joseph Marks with Brookfield in late 1691.

Upon his arrival in Brookfield, he was granted a house lot near the junction of the brook leading from Wickaboag pond to the Quaboag River. In 1701, He was granted additional parcels of land near his home lot and eventually acquired at least 240 acres, occupying the area now lying between the Warren Road (Route 67) on the East, the West Brookfield-Warren town line on the West, the Ware Road on the North and well down into the present town of Warren on the South. On this land he built a fortified house, which is referred to on some of the descriptions of Indian hostilities around Brookfield. This building was located somewhere near the site of the present Copper Lantern Motel. A bridge across the Quaboag River carried the name “Marks Bridge”, at least till 1740. He and his sons, Joseph, Jr. and Hezekiah acquired many later grants of land extending on both sides of the Quaboag River into Warren. “Marks Mountain” is named after this family.

On October 25, 1692, Joseph Marks’ name was on the list of signers of a petition concerning land grants in Brookfield. This list was probably a fairly complete roll call of heads of families in Brookfield on this date. A further verification of the presence of Joseph Marks at Brookfield is the following, dated November 3, 1700: “Let out two steers which I have at Sam Owens of Brookfield unto Joseph Marks of said Brookfield.” (Pynchon Account Book)

Source: History of East Brookfield, Massachusetts 1686-1970 by Louis E. Roy, M.D.