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Samuel Simpson Marquis Papers

Identifier: 1983-07

Collection Scope

This collection consists of personal materials including correspondence, clippings, poems, and publications. It holds correspondence and publications during his time at St. Paul's and Cranbrook. There is an extensive run of Sermons and notes, as well as a scrapbook series containing photographs and publications. His work at Ford Motor Company is documented in speeches, writings, and data collected during that time. The collection contains his personal collection of religious texts and a copy of his book about Henry Ford.

SERIES I: Personal (1890-1948) consists of correspondence, news clippings, poems and publications used as reference material by Marquis. Of particular interest is a letter written to Gertrude Marquis from Clara Ford in 1917. Correspondence regarding the controversial sermon, “Wanted: A New Religion” is included. The records of a missing box are listed at the end of the finding aid.

SERIES II: St. Paul’s Cathedral (1892-1911) contains photocopies of correspondence related to Marquis’ relationship with St. Paul’s Cathedral from 1892-1911.

SERIES III: Cranbrook (1926-1940) includes items relating to the establishment of Christ Church Cranbrook and Marquis’ involvement with the Cranbrook Educational Community.

SERIES IV: Sermons And Sermon Notes (1899-1938) comprises the bulk of the collection. Additional writings by Marquis are also included.

SERIES V: Scrapbooks (1898-1940) Some of the scrapbooks have been disassembled, while others remain intact. They primarily contain newspaper clippings and photographs. Most of the photographs have been copied.

SERIES VI: Ford Motor Company Welfare Department (1912-1934) pertains to Marquis’ work with the Ford Motor Welfare Department and includes speeches, writings and data collected during that time.

SERIES VII: Publications (1824-1923) contains Marquis’ personal collection of religious texts, as well as a copy of his book on Henry Ford.

SERIES VIII: Oversized Materials (1892-1948) include diplomas, certificates and photographs relating to Marquis’ religious, social and school affiliations.


  • 1817 - 1985
  • Majority of material found within 1889 - 1940



Access to the collection is unrestricted.


Permission to use collection materials must be requested in writing.


Samuel Simpson Marquis was born on a farm near Sharon, Ohio on 8 Jun 1866. Upon graduating from Alleghany College in Meadville, Pennsylvania in 1890, he entered the General Theological Seminary in New York. A year later, he transferred to the Cambridge Theological Seminary in Massachusetts where he graduated in 1893.

Ordained as an Episcopalian priest, Marquis served in churches in Woburn and Bridgewater, Massachusetts. In 1899, he was called to St. Joseph’s Church in Detroit. Under his leadership, the parish prospered and Marquis became one of the better known churchmen in the city. In 1906, Bishop Williams prevailed upon Marquis to become dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Detroit. While there, Marquis oversaw the construction of the new cathedral building (1908-1911), which was designed by Ralph Adams Cram.

At Henry Ford’s invitation, Marquis resigned his duties at St. Paul’s in Oct 1915 to head the Welfare Department of the Ford Motor Company, and accompanied Ford on the ill-fated “Peace Ship” to Europe in Dec 1915. Marquis remained at Ford Motor for five years. After his departure, he published Henry Ford: An Interpretation (1923), one of the first works written by a Ford intimate.

Marquis returned to St. Joseph’s Church as rector in 1921. Three years later, at the request of George Gough Booth, he moved to Bloomfield Hills to assist in establishing a new parish, Christ Church Cranbrook. As Missionary-in-Charge, Marquis conducted services in the Meeting House (now Brookside School) and helped to supervise the completion of the church buildings, designed by Bertram G. Goodhue Associates of New York.

Marquis was appointed Rector of Christ Church once the parish was officially established in 1927 and served in that capacity until 1938. He was also instrumental in founding Cranbrook School for Boys and was a Trustee of the school from 1926-1939. On 23 May 1940, Marquis Hall was dedicated in his honor.

Samuel Marquis married Gertrude Lee Snyder 23 Aug 1894 in Warren, Ohio. They had four children: Dorothy (1895), Barbara Lee (1897), Roger Israel (1901) and Gertrude Lee (1907). After Marquis retired, he and Gertrude resided in Birmingham, Michigan, where he died on 21 Jun 1948. The funeral was held at Christ Church Cranbrook.


5.3 Linear Feet (10 MS, 1 OS)

Language of Materials



This collection documents the life and work of Rev. Dr. Samuel Simpson Marquis (1866-1948). Ordained as an Episcopalian priest, he served parishes in Massachusetts before being called to St. Joseph's Church in Detroit, Michigan. In 1906, he became Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral where he oversaw construction of the new cathedral building designed by Ralph Adams Cram. Between 1915-1920, he worked in the Welfare Department of Ford Motor Company before returning to St. Joseph's in 1921. He moved to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in 1924 to assist George Gough Booth in establishing a new parish, where he became Missionary-in-Charge (1924-1927) and Rector (1927-1938). The collection consists of materials relating to the Marquis family, church affiliations, Ford Motor Company and Cranbrook activities, with the bulk being sermons and sermon notes. Materials include clippings, correspondence, diplomas, publications and scrapbooks.


The collection is arranged into eight series: SERIES I: Personal (Boxes 1-2); SERIES II: St. Paul’s Cathedral (Box 2); SERIES III: Cranbrook (Box 2); SERIES IV: Sermons And Sermon Notes (Boxes 3-6); SERIES V: Scrapbooks (Boxes 6-7); SERIES VI: Ford Motor Company Welfare Department (Box 8); SERIES VII: Publications (Boxes 9-10); SERIES VIII: Oversized Materials (Box 11)

In SERIES IV: Sermons And Sermon Notes, the sermon notes with corresponding transcribed or published sermons were arranged together in the folders. The remaining sermon notes were arranged by format: handwritten or typewritten, and by the material on which it was written, cards or paper. If known, sermons and notes are in chronological order by institution or intended audience. Drafts and revisions of the writings are arranged together.

Additional Access

An index to the collection is available.


Gift of Rogers I. Marquis (1983) and Barbara (Marquis) Carritte (1986).

Related Materials

Christ Church Cranbrook Records (1992-01) George Gough Booth Papers (1981-01) Cranbrook School Records (1979-06) Audio Recording Collection (1990-09, Tape #56

Processing History

Mark Coir, 1986. Finding aid: Doris Coir-Hambacher, 1986. Updated: Leslie S. Edwards, 2005. Additional materials incorporated by Denise E. Harris, 2007

Guide to the Samuel Simpson Marquis Papers
Doris Coir-Hambacher
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
Resource record created by Laura MacNewman.

Revision Statements

  • 2005: Updated by Leslie S. Edwards
  • 2007: Additional materials incorporated by Denise E. Harris

Repository Details

Part of the Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Repository