Born: November 16, 1840 in Wilmington, New York
Died: October 9, 1923 in Pasadena, California
Married: Mary Dana on May 17, 1876 in Waukesha, Wisconsin
Political Party: Republican
Henry Markham was born and raised in a small farming community in upstate New York. He attended public school in Farmington, then Wheeler’s Academy in Vermont. Shortly after his graduation from the Academy in 1862, Markham and his brothers moved to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. According to his service records, he worked as a teacher until he enlisted in the army in 1863.
In 1864, Markham participated in General Sherman’s march to the sea. He was severely wounded at the battle of Whippy in 1865. He was discharged from the army in June that year. After the war, Markham returned to Wisconsin to study law and was admitted to the bar in 1867.
In response to an ad in the newspaper, Markham purchased a 23 acre ranch in Pasadena. In 1879, he, his wife and young daughter moved to Pasadena where Markham continued to practice law. Markham served on the school board and helped found the local public library. In addition, Markham was involved in a number of business ventures including part ownership in the Calico Union Mining Company.
Markham was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1885 to 1887. He declined to be a candidate for re-nomination in 1886. During his campaign for Governor, Markham was referred to as "the dashing colonel from Pasadena." California suffered a depression during Markham's term. As a means to attract visitors and new residents to the state, he pressed for a Mid-Winter Exposition in 1894. The event, held in San Francisco, was a huge success.
Father: Nathan B. Markham
Wife: Mary Dana
Children: Marie, Alice, Gertrude, Genevieve, and Hildreth
Governor Markham once came upon a woman and her son on the street who had just been evicted from their home for not paying rent. He went up to the door and then walked with the boy to the corner, where he told him that he had seen a key in the lock of the door. When the boy went back to his mother they mounted the steps and found a $100 bill tucked in the keyhole. Meanwhile, Markham had slipped quietly away.
Books and Articles
Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, 1774 – 2005
Melendy and Gilbert. The Governors of California: From Peter H. Burnett to Edmund G. Brown, Talisman Press, 1965.
Schaechtele. The Governors of California and their Portraits, California State Capitol Museum Volunteer Association, 1995.
Tinkham. California Men and Events, Record Publishing Company, 1915.