You can't sink her and you can't forget her

Molly Brown Home

Mark Twain overshadows many as the most famous Hannibal native. But two Hannibal authors want you to get to know another famous person who hailed from America's Hometown ... the unsinkable Molly Brown.

Ken and Lisa Marks run the Hannibal History Museum and one of the most common questions they are asked is, what does Molly Brown have to do with Hannibal?

Fascinated by how Hannibal shaped her life, the Marks decided to showcase Brown's story in a biography.

"Once we started to put information here at the museum about here, hundreds and hundreds of visitors to the museum would say 'what on earth does Molly brown have to do with Hannibal?' They had no idea that she was born here," Co-Author Lisa Marks said.

Lisa and Ken Marks enjoy telling the story of the rich history of Margaret Tobin Brown so much they decided to write a biography basing from her roots in Hannibal.

"Margaret lived here until she was eighteen years old. These were her formative years. The person she was in life she became while she was still here in Hannibal. We wanted to really examine what experience she had during childhood and what was Hannibal like during her childhood that would make her into this very progressive activist, almost, to champion women's rights," Lisa Marks said.

"The core of her was so good spirited and so bold, that had been something that had never really been talked about. What about her life in Hannibal made her the person she was?" Co-Author Ken Marks said.

Born and raised off Denkler and Butler in Hannibal, Brown blossomed into a strong and selfless women often thinking about others before herself. Lisa Marks believes late 1800s Hannibal shaped Molly Brown into the women who would champion the first juvenile justice system, fought for the women's suffrage movement, and her kind and selfless acts aboard the Famous Titanic as it was sinking.

"Once we started to do research we were just fascinated by this story and surprised that there wasn't more information out that Margaret was from Hannibal," Lisa Marks said.

"It's trying to take a different perspective on the most important part of her career and her life but at the same time giving you a lot more information about what people had not really thought about before about what it was like to grow up in her position," Ken Marks said.

Ken and Lisa Marks say Molly Brown's story is growing more and more popular. As its popularity grows they want to solidify her upbringing, and focus on how Hannibal can shape ones life to do such great things in the Gilded Age of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

"We also think they she is a topic that is not limited to Hannibal. It's a way of taking Hannibal and showing the influence of the town on a national scale," Ken Marks said.

"By far the most visited section of the museum are the panels we wrote about Molly Brown. People want to read her story. They want to know more about it. I love Mark Twain, but there is so much more to Hannibal than just Mark Twain and she is one of the more significant pieces to the puzzle," Lisa Marks said.

The Marks' say it took six months of research and writing to finish the book.

"Molly Brown, From Hannibal, Her life in the Gilded Age" has been on book shelves since June.