STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) — His store has only been open for 13 years…but veteran Peter Marx has watched a complete revitalization of Steubenville from his downtown window.

He runs Bookmarx on 4th Street, a bookstore that has seen lots of success in its central location.

But he and his wife Patricia are getting ready to close the store, not because they have to and it’s not because they want to…he says they just feel it’s time to settle down.

The bookstore’s doing great, every year is better than the year before, and people in Steubenville appreciate the store.

Peter Marx, Veteran, Owner of Bookmarx Extraordinary Books and More

After starting off as a bookseller in Atlanta, the two moved to Jefferson County to be closer to family.

They say downtown was very quiet in the late 2000s…but that’s changed in the years since.

Thanks to First Fridays and the growth of Franciscan University, casual shoppers and young families have transformed the sleepy streets.

It used to be that would happen once a month, I’d talk to customers when they come in that somebody’s just moved to Steubenville over the last year or two. In the last month I bet I’ve talked to four or five families who have just moved here.

Peter Marx, Veteran, Owner of Bookmarx Extraordinary Books and More

But long before Bookmarx opened, Marx began his adult life in the Army.

He ran a diving unit at Fort Eustis in Virginia and served in Hawaii and North Carolina before his career was finished.

He says the civilian attitude toward veterans and their service has improved since the Vietnam era.

If they didn’t just ignore you, they were outright hostile towards the military in a lot of cases. So that all changed, and for the better.

Peter Marx, Veteran, Owner of Bookmarx Extraordinary Books and More

So if he has one message for the students who come through his door, it’s to continue that course correction our country began decades ago.

Don’t just take for granted this pro-soldier, pro-sailor environment they’re living in and thanking people. It wasn’t always that way, and to keep that same spirit of being grateful for people that are willing to make that kind of sacrifice.

Peter Marx, Veteran, Owner of Bookmarx Extraordinary Books and More

One final bit of wisdom from a man finishing up his role in revitalizing in the City of Murals, to a new generation just beginning theirs.

Peter was spotlighted as a veteran-owned business by the Ohio Secretary of State in November, which you can read here.