WILLIAM B. MARKHAM. Morgan County has few more valued or esteemed citizens than the subject of this biography. It is his native county, his birth occurring on the 15th of November, 1858. He is the son of Edward and Ann Markham, natives of England. They emigrated to this country about 1838, and came direct to Illinois, settling in this county on a farm adjoining the site of the present Markham Station. Upon settling here Mr. Markham purchased 160 acres of land, paying for the same at the rate of $6 per acres. The land had few improvements, and he occupied himself for many years in developing it from its dreary and primeval condition. Here he made his home until his decease, in 1848. His farm then comprised 260 acres of land, in a very high state of cultivation, and provided with everything in the line of farm buildings needed for a well-managed farm of that extent. His wife survived him about ten years, and died in the year 1858. They were the parents of eleven children, of whom five only survived, these are: Ellen, widow of the late John McCluskey, of Jacksonville; Mary A., wife of John T. Longley; David, who lives at Springfield; Mathilda A., now Mrs. O. C. Ducket; and William B., our subject. Those deceased are as follows: George, Caroline, Eliza, Jane, Elizabeth and Thomas.
Edward Markham was, in his political relations, a member of the Whit party. He was a thorough pioneer, and upon his demise, his fellow-citizens showed in all possible ways their appreciation of his efforts on behalf of the public good, as well as personal respect and sympathy for his family. He was prominent in the affairs of the county, and also in religious circles, being a devout and earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and enjoyed the confidence and esteem of those who were connected with him in that relation, as well as of the community at large.
William B. Markham, the subject of our sketch, was reared upon a farm. Such education as was obtainable was given him, although it would now, perhaps, be considered quite incomplete. In 1858 he went to Alabama, where he remained until 1865, when he returned home. Since that time he has continued his residence uninterruptedly in this county. He was married on the 20th of February, 1868, the maiden of his choice being Harriet J. Williams, daughter of Uell and Emily Williams, who like his own parents, were early settlers in the county, having come hither about the year 1838. Her father died in February, 1880, and her mother in April, 1884. She was one of four children born to them, whose names are recorded as follows: Elzina, wife of Lynas Williams, of Whiteside County; Mary, deceased; Charles, of this county; and Emily, Mrs. W. B. Markham.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Markham has been fruitful in the birth of five children, whose names are: Effie J., who was born on the 15th day of May, 1869; Thomas U., Oct. 29, 1872; Annie E., Dec. 13, 1874; Fannie P., July 20, 1878; and Harry W., Feb. 22, 1873. This interesting family is being brought up by our subject, so far as religious training is concerned, in the Christian Church, of which both parents are devout members, our subject having served as an Elder in the same for many years.
Mr. Markham and his wife are now in the prime of life, and enjoy it in their beautiful home, surrounded as they are by all the conveniences, and not a few of the luxuries of life. They are always found taking an active part in any project or enterprise that is for the benefit of the people, religious organizations, or the younger members of the community. They move in the best circles of society, and are everywhere highly respected. Our subject served three years as School Director, performing every duty that came to him in that relation with careful, conscientious punctiliousness. He has always been identified with the Democratic party, being an ardent friend and supporter of the same.