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Richard Markle Co. B. 40th Reg. Ill Int

...In the fall of 1867 went to Manhattan, Riley Co., Kansas where I stopped with my brother-in-law, Hiram Beal...


San Pedro
Los Angeles Co., Cal
March 16, 1898

Statement

My final discharge bears date July 24th 1865, after which I went to Chicago and shipped aboard a grain vessel running between that city and Buffalo a barkentine called the P. C. Sherman and was with her until navigation closed the winter of 1865 and 66.

I lived in Chicago and worked for Van Buskirk & Henry [?] and lived at a lodging house on North Walter St. where I was taken down with rheumatism and was removed to the house of my aunt Mrs. [Jared] Lucy Stocking (since dead) where I was attended by Dr. Rogers (since dead) (do not know his initials), the family physician. My aunt resided at that time at 527 North Clark St. I was confined to the bed at that time, as near as I can recollect about two months, when I was able to walk about some.

I then went to Aurora Ill where my mother and brother then lived, where I had a relapse and was attended by Dr. Hard of Aurora (since dead) who pronounced my case rheumatism of the heart and said that I could not live long but was liable to die any moment, but I gradually got better. Mother and brother lived about three miles from town on a farm (rented). They are both dead.

My brother's widow and daughter live here in San Pedro at the present time. They were not married at that time but she was there and helped take care of me at the time. As near as I can remember now I was in bed about four months. When I got able to travel I went with my mother to our old home in Michigan, Oakland Co., Franklin P. O. and where we stopped with my mother's brother, T. A. Bigelow. In Dec. 1866 went to Kinmundy, Ill. Was unable to work until the fall of 1867. While in Kinmundy, made my home with Capt. W. T. Sprouse (since dead) who was the first Captain of Co. B 40th Ill Int and who had resigned on account of ill health.

In the fall of 1867 went to Manhattan, Riley Co., Kansas where I stopped with my brother-in-law, Hiram Beal, who lived on a farm six miles from town on McDowel Creek, Township of Ashland, where I was able to do light work until the fall of 1869 when I was apparently in good health and remained so for the years 1869 and 70.

My occupation that of laborer and I drifted around a good deal in southwestern Kansas and Indian Territory and the Texas Cattle Trail until 1873 when I came to California where I learned the trade of steamfitting and stationary engineer and worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad in their shops at Wilmington (since removed to Los Angeles), which would include the years 1873-74-75-76-77-78 during which time I was not entirely free from rheumatism. Would have bad spells and have to lay off for a week sometimes three or four.

In 1879 and 80 I was in Yuma working for the Southern Pacific RR running a pump and hoisting engine although not able to do common laboring work at that time and did not employ a doctor but was careful in my diet and got along fairly well. In 1880 I think it was, I went to Tombstone in Arizona and ran a hoisting engine in the Contention Mine and while there was taken down helpless and supposed that would finish me, but pulled through with the help of a doctor whose name I cannot remember now. And as I had a bad intestinal complaint at the same time he told me I had better leave there as the water was bad for me.

When able to travel I went to Kinmundy, Ill. Stayed a short time and returned to California in 1881 and went to work for the Wilmington Transportation Company and had charge of their hoisting engines and water system here in San Pedro where I have lived since, never wholly free from rheumatism and a choking sensation about the heart when a little out of breath.

In 1890 I got a fall in the quarries on Catalina Island while placing a hoisting engine for the Government Contractor Capt. A. A. Polhelmus of San Diego, which practically paralyzed my left wrist and arm, of which accident the pension office was furnished affidavits by eyewitnesses Cap. Polhemus whose address is San Diego and Harry Phillips whose address is San Pedro, Los Angeles Co., Cal.

My memory and eyesight are failing and I have done the best I know how and remember.

(Signed) Richard Markle

late Co. B. 40th Reg. Ill Int.

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Submitter Kirsten Bowman vikingATrvi.net (replace AT with @ if you wish to contact Kirsten)

This is a transcription of a document from the Civil War pension file of Richard Markle pertaining to rheumatic fever contracted during military service in the southern United States. It is remarkable in illustrating the mobility of our ancestors just prior to and following the Civil War.

Richard was born 31 Oct 1840 in Brant County, Ontario, Canada, the son of James and Eliza (Bigelow) Malcolm Markle. He was raised in Ontario, spent his teen years in Michigan, and enlisted from southern Illinois where he was then sent to the South. Following the extensive travel related in the letter (including a stay at Tombstone just one year before the famous gunfight at the OK Corral), and in spite of his illness, Richard went on to work in Cleveland, Ohio, then Oregon, and finally San Jose, California, where he died on 5 Dec 1917 at age 77.

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