Thursday, June 8, 2023

Monroe's Children
Willie Markham ~ Child 9

William "Willie" Louis Markham was the 9th child of Monroe Markham and his wife Mary. He was almost a Christmas baby, born 23 Dec 1887, at home in Caseyville, Lincoln County, MS.

Like many of his siblings, he remained home until marriage when he married Fredonia Culver in an almost Christmas wedding on 30 Dec 1913. He was 26 years old.

The young couple experienced heartache starting their family. They lost 2 boys. Archie Gilchrist born, in 1914, lived almost two months dying of pneumonia. Unnamed male born in 1915 only lived a few days. According to his death certificate, there was "no physican for this child, but think from history was not right when borned."

. The couple had four healthy, thriving children: Joyce Mae born 1918, Willie Mae born 1919, Robert Winfield born 1922, and Arthur Whitfield born 1920. Three of the children moved to California, one remained in Mississippi. All the children are now deceased.

How did Willie provide for his family? In 1920, the census records described his job as a furrier, one who makes, alters, repairs and restyles garments and other articles made of fur. He was working for a wage in 1930, driving a truck for a wholesale grocery. By 1940, he was an operator working his own account, and in 1950 he was a dishwasher at the City Baker. By the time I got to know him, the family described what he did as a gardener.

Willie was a tall, friendly uncle who could read and write. He owned his own home and a few acres of land. He lived next door to his sister Beatrice. My child's mind of Willie's house was that it was a huge wood frame, white washed house with a high roof and steeped steps. The house had a screened in porch where they hung pieces of meat. Uncle Willie owned a piano and from time to time we could hear him playing familiar hymns when we visited his sister Aunt Bea.

Uncle Willie and his family welcome their relatives from rural Mississippi communities who wanted to complete their high school education in the city of Brookhaven. Cousin Allie spoke often about sharing a bed with her two cousins Joyce and Willie Mae.

Willie died in 1971, and his wife Fredonia died in 1977.

Willie's Obituary
Fredonia's Obituary


  1. I like the way you are writing this family up. My Cleage grandparents often had siblings children living with them while they attended high school in Detroit.

  2. Thank you Kristin. Families shared their limited resources and the recipients did not complain too much.