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Marks, Harvey Roberts (1821–1902)

William Russell Young III Biography Entry

Harvey Roberts Marks, pioneer settler and early photographer, was born in New York on January 6, 1821. He came to Texas in 1839 and worked as a clerk in the first auditor's office in Austin. He served for several years as a captain in the Texas Rangers and then returned to New York. He came back to Texas in 1849 and settled in Houston. During the Civil War he served in the Confederate forces. After the war Marks opened a photography studio in Houston. In 1870 he moved to Austin and opened a studio that he operated until shortly before his death. Marks was the longest-tenured photographer in Austin during the nineteenth century. He was a vice president of the National Photographic Association in 1874 and was later elected a life member. He was noted for his portrait photography, and when Jefferson Davis visited Austin in 1875, the former president of the Confederacy sat for his portrait at Marks's Congress Avenue studio. Marks's wife and children preceded him in death. When he died on March 12, 1902, his estate was left to his longtime assistant, George H. Berner, who continued the Marks studio for many years. Marks was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin.

Austin Daily Statesman, March 13, 1902. Mary Starr Barkley, History of Travis County and Austin, 1839–1899 (Waco: Texian Press, 1963).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

William Russell Young III, “Marks, Harvey Roberts,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 22, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.