Remembering Jack Marks with Ringo

The County Line

I was sorry to hear this week of the passing of Jack Marks, Noblesville resident and former State Police Trooper. Jack was what I consider the ideal state trooper during his 25-year career working mostly in Hamilton County. He was from what I’d consider the ‘old school’ of law enforcement, conducting good police work along with one-on-one public relations.

It was a time when state troopers would stop by the Ledger newspaper office to share information on accident reports, criminal activity and the like. As a new reporter at the Ledger I met Jack and the other troopers who worked the area.

One of the best stories I recall about Jack involved him bringing Beatle Ringo Starr to Noblesville. That was in 1964 while the Beatles were making one of their first American appearances, playing the Indiana State Fair. Jack was on the security detail for the wildly popular British band.

Early one morning Ringo asked Jack if he could take a ride around the area to see the Speedway, the downtown sights, etc. Jack asked if Ringo, a city boy from Liverpool, would also like to visit the Marks’ farm. Ringo, having probably never seen a working farm, agreed he’d like that.

Jack surprised his family when he came home with the famous Beatle. Apparently Jack’s 11-year old daughter was much more impressed than his wife who was busy trying to get horses ready for the State Fair. But, Ringo got to ride a horse briefly, according to those who were present.

Later, Jack and Ringo stopped at Ben’s Island restaurant in Carmel for breakfast. Patrons were surprised to say the least, but the young entertainer signed several autographs for adoring fans. So, I think the encounter between Jack and Ringo is not only historically interesting, but shows a lot about Jack’s kind and friendly nature, going above and beyond to show hospitality to a visitor.