Histories: Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:
"Trempealeau County" by Clarence J. Gamroth:
Volume 1B Supplement:
Excerpts from the book "The Life of Sir Albert Hastings Markham":
The following is an excerpt of a book on the life of Admiral Albert Hastings Markham, British Navy. The biography was written by his nieces, M. E. and F. A. Markham in England. The book was published in 1927.
Admiral Markham died in England in 1918.
His parents, Captain John and Marianne Markham were the first settlers in the Town of Burnside, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, near what is now Independence. They came in 1856-57. They broght with them their sons, George H. and Arthur A.
The title of the biographical book is, "The Life of Sir Albert Hastings Markham."
LEAVE TO VISIT PARENTS
Albert Hastings Markham, Lieutenant in the British Navy, later admiral.
The following is taken fro a book titled "The Life of Sir Albert Hastings Markham", written by M. E. and F. A. Markham, published in 1927 in England.
Markham had only five months of leave on half pay, two of which were spent in carrying out the long-cherished dream of visiting his family in America. he left England on September 12, 1867 and landed in New York on the 25th.
After a trip to Niagara, he turned his face towards his parents in Wisconsin, via Detroit and Chicago. The latter city struck him as very bustling and prosperous. This was, of course, four years before the great fire. The streets were very much lower than foot paths, (which were nearly all made of wood) on account of all the houses having been raised by means of jacks under their foundations.
Markham's progress after leaving Chicago was not easy. He described the trains as "very slow" adding, "I have now traveled over a thousand miles and have seldom done more than 24 miels per hour". His luggage had gone astray and someone had stolen his stick which he greatly prized, having had it on the "Victoria". His difficulties were increased by not knowing how to proceed from La Crosse to Elk Creek, the nearest point from home, and unfortunately no one seemed able to enlighten him.
he left Chicago at 5:00 p.m. on September 28th, his luggage having turned up at the last moment. Traveling through the southern part of Michigan, he reached la Crosse at 8:30 a.m. he was delighted with the grandeur and beauty of the scenery. He had not the slightest idea which was his best way, or where he was to get out, but seeing a village named Trempealeau (his parents living in Trempealeau County), he took his ticket for the place which was reached by noon. Here he found to his disappointment, that he was still 42 miles from his home without a chance of procuring a conveyance to take him on.
Nothing daunted, he started off having left his luggage at Trmepealeau, first hiring a team with a man who said he knew his brother George very well, then proceeded on a stage, on foot, carrying his carpet bag, then getting a lift in a cart for nine miles. It was now getting very late, and having by these means traveled a long distance, he found himself about 7 miles from home; so hailing a man on a haystack, he asked if he were on the right road to Markham's farm. "Guess you want to get there tonight" was the answer.
"Why not? How far is it?"
"Guess it's about four and twenty miles."
This was rather disgusting, still he was determined to press on. After walking a couple of miles further, he stopped to inquire at a house and was told he was about 14 miles from the farm, and then and then (?) he fully closed with an offer to drive him there for four dollars.
He reached his destination at 10:00 at night, to find that the whole household in bed fast asleep. Great was their surprise when they found out who the visitor was.
Twenty-five happy days followed. Albert thoroughly enjoyed the free open air life on the farm lending a hand with the farm work, driving about the country and shooting prairie chicken. The only shodow on the happy time was the increasing ill health of his father and a leave taking was a very painful one.
Three years later (1870), Captain John Markham died at the age of 73. The news only reached his youngest son, then on the Australian station, about thee months after the event.
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