Held by The Filson Historical Society
Creator: Markham, N. G., ca. 1830-1864
Title: Papers, 1854-1905
Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Collections Department.
Size of Collection: 0.33 cubic feet
Location Number: Mss. A M345
Scope and Content Note
Family papers of Markham, a Civil War soldier in the 18th Michigan Infantry,
Company G. Wrote letters to his wife at home in Litchfield, MI from 1862 until his death of small pox in 1864, also includes letters from family members during the Civil War and after. He details regular life in the Union army in Kentucky and Nashville, TN; speaks fondly of home and instructs wife on how to run their small farm; he is very religious. Includes important family documents (marriage certificate, land transfer, widows’ pension forms) and sentimental items such as a bible given by Markham’s colonel (folder 9) and a church booklet given to Markham’s his son, Willie. Includes article on descendent finding letters.
Norman G. Markham was born in New York state circa 1830. He was married 22 November 1854 to Eunice Mason by Morgan D. Gillett. (Wedding certificate states that Markham was from Fulton, NY and Mason was from Lysander, NY.) On 19 April 1859 Markham purchased lot G in the south addition of Litchfield, MI. (Eunice Markham received a portion of lot H in 1863 from Eleanor Walker.) Markham and his wife lived there and farmed; they had a son, Norman Willis (also referred to as George Willis or Willis George).
Markham volunteered to join the United States Army and was mustered 26 August 1862 into Company G, 18th Regiment Michigan Volunteers, under Captain George Bullock. While in the army Markham was mainly in central KY and Nashville, TN. He was not involved in any major battles and remained a Private. While in Nashville he became head cook for his company. He contracted a form of smallpox and died 14 April 1864. He was buried in National Cemetery, Nashville TN.
Eunice married David B. Swart on 5 January 1865. Eventually she moved to Nebraska and lived in Clinton, Leigh, and Schuyler. She claimed widow’s pension in 1905. According to the 1880 Federal Census in Schuyler, Colfax County, Nebraska, Eunice and David had these children (living with them at that time): Menzo P. Swart, b circa 1866 in MI; Adalbert M. Swart, b 1867 in MI; George W. “Oliver” Swart, b 4 Feb 1868 in Litchfield (Hillsdale) MI; Herman K. Swart, b 20 Oct 1869 in Litchfield (Hillsdale) MI; Bertha Lee Swart. A George Willis or Willis George Markham was also living with them.
Willis Markham was living in Kansas in 1902. (No further information on him.)
D. E. Geist, a great grandson of Markham, found the papers in his mother’s things; an article was published in the Denver Post on this May 25, 1969 (included in Miscellaneous Papers Folder, #8).
Folder 1 – Correspondence, 1862
Folder 2 – Correspondence, January – June, 1863
Folder 3 – Correspondence, July – December, 1863
Folder 4 – Correspondence, 1864
Folder 5 – Correspondence, 1902 & 1904
Folder 6 – Correspondence, no dates and questionable dates
Folder 7 – Papers, 1854 – 1905
Folder 8 – Miscellaneous Papers
Folder 9 – Miscellaneous Bible