Biography of Morris S. Markham
Clark and Jackson Counties, WI Biographies

Clark and Jackson

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New York

Also see [ Railway Officials in America 1906 ] NEW

MORRIS S. MARKHAM, of section 17, Warner Township, Clark County, was born near Troy, Pennsylvania, December 18, 1823, the son of Curtis (deceased) and Sally Markham. The latter, a native of Oneida County, New York, worked in a paper mill in that State when a girl. They were the parents of thirteen children, Morris and Curtis being the only two boys. After the father's death the mother married Orlando Seymour, and by this union there were eleven children, of whom several are now deceased. Mr. Markham returned with his mother and step father to Wayne County, New York, when in his sixth year, and was brought up on a farm. He removed to La Porte County, Indiana, in 1844, and in 1846 returned to New York, where he helped his father and mother to get ready to move to Indiana. He next went to the vicinity of Cedar Falls, Iowa, in the autumn of 1857, and thence to Spirit Lake the next fall. When the great Indian massacre occurred there the next spring, he was out hunting his cattle, and when he returned nearly all the members of the nine families had been murdered and the others taken prisoners! He returned the next day to Mud Lake, which he reached after dark, and fearing the Indians were lurking around he went back a few rods, dug a hole in the snow, and staid there that night. The next morning he returned to the settlement, where he had found his oxen, and spread the news. He suffered from hunger, fatigue and sickness, and the settlers kept him over night, and the next morning they all left for Springfield, Minnesota, where two settlers were then living. They met more men, and all went to the Irish colony, twenty five miles distant, where they gathered together to punish the indians, but the adjoining settlers would not assist, and the project was abandoned, as the few willing trappers were too weak in numbers, This occurred near Springfield, Minnesota, and it was the settlers of that village who refused to assist, and did not believe Mr. Markham's story. A few days after reaching Springfield, a boy Came in one evening and said he saw something on the prairie near which made queer motions. Most of the men ran out, and a volley from the Indians in ambush killed the boy and wounded two or three others. The Indians then attempted to enter the house, but were repulsed. Shortly afterward a small boy again came from a neighboring settle went and reported his parents and the family killed. The men and women wanted to leave this place, but no one would go out and yoke up the oxen but Mr. Markham, who loaded women, children and wounded men in the sleigh, and traveled until midnight, stopping on the prairie until morning, when they continued to Mr. Granger's, a settlement near Mud Lake, arriving at 3 P. M. They remained until morning, when Mr. Granger added another team of oxen, sled and horse, provisions, etc., joined the party, and all started for Fort Dodge. About 10 o'clock they saw what they supposed to be about 1,000 Indians, about two miles ahead of them, who stopped and seemed to be parleying. The fleeing party stopped, and their captain, Bradshaw, attempted to run, but was stopped by Mr. Markham, who told him if he ran he would shoot him, The latter took his gun and started to see who they were, and upon meeting they were overjoyed to learn who they were: they were volunteers coining to the relief of the settlers.

Mr. Markham went to Fort Dodge, where the citizens donated him money and clothes for his bravery, he subsequently returned to Spirit Lake, made a settlement and remained until July, same year, when he sold his claim for $300, and went to Grundy County, Missouri. August 11, 1859, he married Minerva Wade, daughter of John Wade, deceased. During the war be removed to Indiana, and later he and others came to Wisconsin, where they hunted and trapped a short time. Mr. Markham then brought his family to Sauk County, this State, and to Clark County in 1866, which was then a dense woods. He killed many deer, and often hired Indians to tan the hides for him. Mr. and Mrs. Markham have bad eight children, six of whom are now living, namely: Samuel, Julia, Amasa, John, Mary and Minnie, Julia married Emanuel Lewis, of Hemlock, this county, and they have one child, Mollie R. Mr. Markham was elected School Treasurer, and was Chairman of the Town Board a few years; politically he is a Republican.

Biographical History of
Clark and Jackson Counties Wisconsin
Lewis Publishing Company.
Chiago, 1891.