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Kenneth Mays
Nauvoo home site of Stephen and Hannah Markham. The William Weeks home is seen at the right.

The life of Stephen Markham is one of remarkable courage and commitment. He was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1837. Less than two years later, Stephen displayed great selflessness when he assisted Emma Smith and her young children during the Saints’ exodus from Missouri to Quincy, Illinois.

Kenneth Mays
Carthage Jail in Illinois, where Stephen Markham stayed the night before the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.

The Markham home in Nauvoo is no longer extant, but the site is clearly marked by a split rail fence on the northeast corner of Young and Partridge streets.

In the Nauvoo home, the Markham family had a boarder named Eliza R. Snow. While living there, Eliza composed a poem: “Invocation, or the Eternal Father and Mother,” now familiar to many as the lyrics of the hymn “O My Father” (see "The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow," edited Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, pages 99 and 109).

Stephen and Hannah Markham would later be of great assistance to Eliza R. Snow while crossing the Iowa Territory. She recorded, “I never shall forget the unceasing kindness of brother and sister Markham, with whom I journeyed from Nauvoo.” (see "The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow," page 24).

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Stephen Markham was with the Prophet in Carthage Jail the night before Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed. His “rascal beater” cane was there during the martyrdom. He served in different capacities in various military-type entities in Illinois and Utah.

After initially settling in Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, Stephen Markham helped colonize southern Utah and Fort Supply in Wyoming. Stephen and Hannah Markham were among the founders of Spanish Fork. After serving as bishop, Stephen died in 1878. He is buried in Spanish Fork (see "Markham, Stephen" in josephsmithpapers.org). Hannah had passed away in Newville, California, by 1880.