News: A Short Sketch of History
Contact: Tiffiney Hill


By Chas Varney

In 1873, my parents moved into a new home 5 miles northwest of Greenwood and 1 mile west of our old home. One of our few neighbors was Morris Markham and his family, Samuel, Julia, Amasa, John, Mary and Minnie, lived on what is commonly known now as the Benjamine place or Wm. Laabs. The little ‘og schoolhouse was 80 rods west of their house in the woods.

Sammy when about 22 years old, sitting in a tree watching for deer, fell to the ground and was paralyzed and died from the injury. He was found by Frederick Braun (now living in Greenwood).

Julia married Emanuel Lewis and since his death married Charles Churkey and lives near Owen. Mary and Minnie went west and I do not know where they are now as I have not heard from them in a long time. Amasa has been located at Marion, Montana, for several years and has been back here for short visits twice in the past 20 years. He now lives alone on a little lake in the timber where he can get fish and game, well contented in his snug cabin. We have kept up a correspondence which I have enjoyed very much. His quaint description of his experiences are interesting.

Nearly 20 years ago I received the last letter of my correspondence with Johnny, (by the way, he was a little bit of a man, weighed about 90 pounds, but felt he weighed a ton when he got mad and would fight a giant.) That last letter came from some place in Canada. He had a large ranch, had been married and his wife had just died. He was so down hearted and discouraged that it was a very short letter.

I have continued to try to contact him again, without success, and I had decided he must be dead. Last fall I asked Amasa if he could give me John'’ address; the last he had heard from him was in 1922 from Dayton Valley, Alberta, Canada. I wrote John a letter and sent it to that address. I think it was in April 1937. Months went by and no answer. Today, Jan. 17, 1928, I got a letter from John Markham. He writes in part

Dear Friend Charley—

Your letter came yesterday. I am much ashamed of myself for neglecting to write, I have often thought to write but kept putting it off. I would not blame you if you do not answer this letter. I will see it don’t happen again.

I am living 15 miles southeast of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Am still pretty strong and rugged, good for at least 20 years yet people say. Begin to fail thought. I believe I shall be 68 on Oct. 11. I think Alba and I were about the same age. I was sorry to hear of his death. Please tell me what year Alba was born.

I bought this place 10 years ago and have it nearly all improved. I have 160 acres and rent 160 more. Pasture about 100 head of horses and cattle. Two years ago I went west to trap and hunt, not much fur. I got a Moose. Then for a change I put in 2 months as Bull Cook in the Pinery. Had to cut wood for 4 stoves, carry about 50 pails of water a long way too. Bunk house 30X50 ft. for 40 men to look after, yet I enjoyed to two months.

Last year no rain until July, small crop of hay. I cut enough for my 8 horses and 2 cows with a scythe, so you see I was not idle all the time.

He inquires about his sister Julia, the Bukers, the Belikes, Henry Theilan and others. He had to turn off his radio as he could not write and hear that too.

His letter is headed, South Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, R.R. 2 in care of S. Holland. A note said, I sometimes get my mail at Hercules Alta, Canada. He asks for a long letter telling about everybody he knew here.

I am sure he would be pleased to get letters from those he knew when here.

Lets take a cup O’ kindness yet for Auld Lang Syne.



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