Franklin Clarence Mars
Franklin Clarence Mars
|Born||September 24, 1883|
|Died||April 8, 1934 (aged 50)|
|Occupation||Founder of Mars, Inc.|
|Spouse(s)||Ethel G. Kissack (m. 1902, div.)|
Ethel Veronica Healy (m. 1910)
|Children||Forrest Mars (b. 1904, with Ethel G.)|
Patricia Mars (with Ethel V.)
Franklin Clarence Mars (//; September 24, 1883 – April 8, 1934), sometimes known as Frank C. Mars, was an American business magnate who founded the food company Mars, Incorporated, which mostly makes chocolate candy. Mars' son Forrest Edward Mars developed M&M's and the Mars bar.
Frank Mars was born in 1883 in Minnesota. He learned how to hand-dip chocolate candy as a child from his mother Alva, who entertained him while he had a mild case of polio. He began to sell molasses chips at age 19.
Mars and Ethel G. Kissack (1882–1980), a schoolteacher, were married in 1902 in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Their son, Forrest Mars, Sr., was born in 1904 in Wadena, Minnesota. They divorced.
He started the Mars Candy Factory in 1911 with Ethel V. Mars, his second wife, in Tacoma, Washington. This factory produced and sold fresh candy wholesale, but ultimately the venture failed because there was a better established business, Brown & Haley, also operating in Tacoma.
In 1920, they moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Mars founded Mar-O-Bar Co. and began to manufacture chocolate candy bars. The company later incorporated as Mars, Incorporated. In 1923 he introduced his son Forrest's idea, the Milky Way, which became the best-selling candy bar. Mars moved to Chicago in 1929 and settled in River Forest. He became an honorary captain of the Oak Park, Illinois police department.
Death and legacy
Mars died from heart problems in 1934 at age 50, with the ownership of the family business passing to his son Forrest.
In the late 1920s, in Pulaski, Tennessee, Mars bought a number of local farms and constructed a large estate called Milky Way Farm. During its construction, Mars employed more than 935 men from Giles County to build a 25,000 square feet (2,300 m²) clubhouse, more than 30 barns, a horse racing track. Gallahadion won the Kentucky Derby in 1940 after Mars died.
Mars lived the remainder of his life on the 2,800 acre (11 km²) farm and was buried there upon his death in 1934. After Milky Way Farm was sold, the remains of Mars and his wife Ethel V. Mars were moved to a private mausoleum at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, where they are currently interred.
- "History". Mars, Incorporated. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- "Franklin Mars". The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest. Archived from the original on October 10, 2010. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- "Descendants of Gilbert Kissack". Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- "Ethel V. Mars, Head of Candy Firm, Dies". Billboard. January 5, 1946. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- "Mars' chocolate history has surprising Tacoma backstory". thenewstribune. Retrieved 2017-12-26.
- El-Hai, Jack (March 2007). "Candy Bar Combat". Minnesota Monthly. Greenspring Media Group. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
- "History @ Milky Way Farm". Milky Way Farm. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
- "Burial Search". Lakewood Cemetery. Retrieved 2015-10-29.