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