Sigmund Marx

Born 1854

Born in Germany

Clothier/Traveling Salesman

Brother of Joseph, Louis, Theodore, and Julius

Died 1888


Joseph Marx

Born 1856

Born in Germany

Watch Maker

Brother of Sigmund, Louis, Theodore, and Julius


Louis Marx


Brother of Sigmund, Joseph, Theodore, and Julius


Julius Marx


Brother of Sigmund, Joseph, Theodore, and Louis


Theodore Marx

Traveling Salesman

Brother of Sigmund, Joseph, Louis, and Julius

The Marx brothers, apart from Joseph, were clothiers and traveling salesman active in Leadville and Colorado in the 1880s.  Sigmund and Joseph were both born in Germany during 1854 and 1856 respectively.[1]   There is no documentation on Louis, Julius and Theodore’s birth dates and origins but it is probable they too were born in Germany.  It is not known when the Marx brothers immigrated to America.  However, by 1879 Sigmund was in Leadville, [2] followed by his brother Joseph in 1880.[3]   Louis and Julius do not appear to have resided in Leadville, but were still proprietors of Marx Bros.[4]   The Marx brothers conducted most of their business out of Central City.[5]



The Marx brothers appear in the Leadville papers for a variety of social and business events in the 1880s.  In 1880, Sigmund and Joseph both attended a dance at the Standard Club at “Turner Hall on the corner of Fourth and Pine Streets.”[11]   That same year, in November, Louis transferred his “interest in the Theresa, Mountain Boy and California Gulch lodes, for $1,000 to the Consolidated Yankee and Breece Hill Mining company.”[12]   In January 1882, Sigmund and G. Janowitz were both stockholders in a venture to introduce electric lights to Leadville. [13]


Theodore Marx, also known as Theo, was in Leadville several times in the 1880s.  He was a traveling salesman for his family.  Theo often ran advertisements publicizing the Marx Brother’s business presence at the Clarendon Hotel for several weeks at a time.[14]   Not all of Theo’s Leadville interactions were business related.  In June, 1884, he attended the Strawberry Festival hosted by the Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Society.[15]

The Marx Bros. economic involvement with Leadville ended in the late 1880s.  The last advertisement the Marx Bros. place in the Herald Democrat was in June, 1888.[16]   Tragically, Sigmund Marx was killed in the same year when he fell off a train in Clear Creek Canyon.[17]   It is not known what became of the rest of the Marx brothers after this incident.

Advertisement in
The Herald Democrat,
May 20, 1886. 
Appel & Company is the business in Denver where Theodore Marx worked.

In 1879 the Marx Brothers clothing house was located near the Grand Hotel (East Chestnut Street).[6]   The next year their business, the O.K. Clothing Store, relocated to 137 West Chestnut.[7]   Louis, Julius and Sigmund were the proprietors.[8]   Joseph operated his watchmaking and clothing business out of the same location.[9] After 1880, the Marx brothers’ business ceases to surface in Leadville records.  Joseph also appears to have left Leadville during this time. However, Sigmund is listed in 1881 and 1882 working for G. Janowitz and Co. before also leaving Leadville.[10]   Although the Marx brothers ceased to reside in Leadville their involvement with the city continued.  Throughout the 1880s, Theodore Marx continued to visit Leadville as a traveling salesman based out of Central City.


Names associated with this surname:

  • Sigmund Marx
  • Joseph Marx
  • Louis Marx
  • Julius Marx
  • Theodore Marx

1 U.S. Census Bureau. 1880 Census.

2 1879 Leadville City Directory.

3 U.S. Census Bureau. 1880 Census.

4 1880 Leadville City Directory.

5 “Look Out For Him.” Leadville Democrat, April 1, 1881. Accessed July 13, 2017.

6 1879 Leadville City Directory.

7 1880 Leadville City Directory.

8 1880 Leadville City Directory.

9 Ibid.

10 1881 and 1882 Leadville city directories.

11 “The Social Circle.” Leadville Daily Herald, October 24, 1880. Accessed July 13, 2017.

12 “The Mines.” Leadville Daily Herald, November 5, 1880. Accessed July 13, 2017.

13 “The Electric Light.” Leadville Daily Herald, January 1, 1882. Accessed July 13, 2017.

14 “Advertisement.” Leadville Daily Herald,

15 “The Hebrew Festival.” Leadville Daily Herald, June 13, 1884. Accessed July 13, 2017.

16 “Advertisement.” Herald Democrat, June 23, 1888. Accessed July 13, 2017.

17 “Thirty Years Ago This Week.” Colorado Transcript, August 1, 1918. Accessed July 13, 2017.

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