Josef Marx

Born: November 26, 1881

Passed from Life: July 3, 1939


Obituary from the Heimatbote, dated July 13, 1939

Translated by: Monika Ferrier


Totally unexpectedly, relentless death has again taken a true Swabian pioneer with his wife and daughter from our midst. This time it is our well-known compatriot and friend, Mr. Josef Marx, his wife and daughter, all three of whom were victims of an auto accident on July 3. Mr. Marx was a true Swabian, through and through, and was well-known and loved everywhere in the United States where German-Hungarian Swabians, Austrian Burgenlanders and others of German descent live. His untiring Swabian spirit is to be thanked for the existence of the "Heimatbote", today the largest compatriot newspaper in the United States. For it he sacrificed many years of tiring publicity; only a few days earlier he had returned from the eastern areas of New York and surroundings to begin a holiday trip to New Mexico to visit his daughter. They stayed over a week in Artesia and undertook a short excursion over the weekend to old Mexico.  Returning from there, on the way to Artesia, the terrible tragedy occurred. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Marx, Mrs. Eva Joerger, was at the wheel, when she lost control of the vehicle close to Alamogordo, and the car, with its 4 occupants plunged more than 100 feet into a deep gully.  During the plunge, one door opened and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Marx fell out of the wagon; this saved his life. The other occupants, Mr. Josef Marx (born 1882 in Kleinbecskerek), Mrs. Eva Marx (nee Klein from Blumenthal), and the daughter of Mrs. Marx, Mrs. Eva Joerger (nee Schmidt, 37 years of age), died immediately, while the son, Johann Schmidt was taken to a CCC hospital and treated there. The son of Mrs. Joerger had not come along on the week-long trip but had stayed with the daughter, Anna Solt, nee Schmidt, in Artesia, and so was spared from the terrible tragedy. In the meantime, Johann Schmidt as well was released from the CCC hospital, and the two sons accompanied the three bodies to Chicago, where they were laid out in state in the funeral home of our compatriot, Nick Stich Co., Inc., 845 West Armitage Avenue. On Monday, July 10, at 9:30 a.m., the earthly remains of the deceased were brought to St. Theresa's church and blessed, and from there laid to eternal rest in St. Joseph's cemetery. Peace to their ashes!


An uncommonly strong participation of guests at the funeral of the so unexpectedly and suddenly departed brave German compatriot was testimony of his far reaching worth and belovedness, as were the speeches at the gravesite and the extremely large number of flower arrangements. 


The so suddenly departed was mourned by a seldom seen large group of friends and acquaintances, as well as many relatives here in the United States and in the old homeland. The survivors are: Josef Schmidt, son of Mrs. Marx; the son of Mrs. Joerger and Anna Solt, nee Schmidt, daughter of Mrs. Marx; Katharina and Nikolaus Muschal, nee Marx; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Josef Marx, and 5 grandchildren; the mother of Mrs. Marx, Eva Klein, nee Zeitvogel of Blumenthal; Johann Marx, the father of Mr. Marx and brothers in Kleinbecskerek, Banat; the sister of Mrs. Marx, Katharina nee Klein, wife of Anton Lennert, from Glogowatz, Banat, at present living in Dayton St., Chicago; the sister of Mr. Marx, Susanna, Mrs. Philip Lenhardt, in Los Angeles, California. Then, the brothers and sisters-in-law of Mrs. Marx, Johann and Elisabeth Klein, Mathias and Elisabeth Klein, Frank and Violet Zellner in South Chicago. 


Josef Marx and his life goal.


After his discharge from the railroad regiment in Korneuburg, Josef Marx voyaged to the United States where he soon found a position at the "Deutsch-Ungarischer Bote". After this newspaper folded in 1917, Mr. Marx made it his life goal to found a compatriot newspaper. And so, in 1921 he founded the "Heimatbote". His talent and his unsurpassed endurance gave to the compatriot association a service whose popular and cultural merit cannot be judged highly enough! 


With the death of Josef Marx, the compatriot association lost a very industrious pioneer of German heritage in America, who in the first instance always tried to maintain the interests of the Swabian compatriot association. That he was able to do so, often under the most difficult of circumstances and without thought for himself is due only to his unshakeable idealism! Only too often he learned from his own experience that riches cannot be gained from popular, cultural and editorial work.  All these labours are seldom acknowledged and even more seldom rewarded materially. They are not a work area for materialists. But, Mr. Josef Marx was always an idealist, and for this reason, fought and worked joyfully for years, in order to see that his Endeavour, to serve the Swabian compatriot association, was fulfilled. He was the first to realize the necessity of a strong, widespread, compatriot newspaper, and he founded the "Heimatbote" in the year 1921. 


Of course the beginning was very hard, and it cost Mr. Marx many a sleepless night and personal sacrifice, in order to make possible the edition of the newspaper for the next week. If he sometimes stood before a sheer unsolvable task, then it was due only to his iron will and his love for the German-Hungarian compatriot association, which time and again helped him over all the large obstacles. He did not lose heart and with his endurance laid the foundation for the largest compatriot newspaper in the United States and Canada.


Josef Marx completed his work in the end, and in the "Heimatbote" gave his dear Swabians a good true friend, which in the hearts of tens of thousands became as well loved as its creator, Josef Marx, himself loved it. Besides the "Heimatbote", Josef Marx gave the compatriot association another gift, into which he poured just as much idealism, patience and love as into the "Heimatbote"; this is the "Deutsch-ungarischer Familienkalender", in which we read beautiful stories of the homeland, which took us back to our youth, to the circle of our family in the old homeland. Some readers had tears in their eyes, moved by the awakened beautiful memories which were brought forth by these homeland stories, and which they were again able to dream about. And hearty laughter often strengthened our tired spirit, when we read the cheerful stories in the Swabian dialect.


We hope that the spirit of the works of its creator will live on and develop further into a powerful union and a common consciousness of our compatriots, in memory of the Swabian pioneer, Josef Marx, for his devoted work and efforts, for his unselfish lifework in the service of the compatriot association. He was a true Swabian, a brave German man who dedicated his life to the service of German heritage. H.R