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 Thomas Horatio Markle

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Thomas Horatio Markle

  • Birth 7 Jul 1880 Webber, Jewell County, Kansas, USA
  • Death 7 Sep 1972 Glasgow, Valley County, Montana, USA
  • Burial Glasgow, Valley County, Montana, USA
  • Memorial ID 42171366

Article at the Historical Museum , Glasgow, MT
TOM AND FLORENCE MARKLE
..Thomas H. Markle, son of George W. and Mary Vestal Markle, was born July 7, 1880 in Weber, Kansas. In 1903 an emigrant rail car brought him west with his mother, father, several sisters, brothers and two brother-in-laws. When this train stopped in Glasgow, Tom hired on with Lev Burrington at the Great Northern unloading coal and not long after he was promoted to driving a dray team. Although the State of Washington lured his family on to a homestead, Tom elected to kiss his mother goodbye and remain in Glasgow. He could not pass up the benefits of a $35 per month job, including his room and board, big money in those days.
..By 1907, in partnership with J.C. Parks, he had acquired two teams of large Percheron horses requiring an investment of $500-$600 for each set. One of the teams was purchased from Pete West, an early day rancher, from up on Porcupine Creek. Walt Baynham, who later devoted his life to law enforcement in Glasgow, was one of their first employees. Teamsters wages at this time ran $60 per month for a 10-hour work day. Retail rate was 60 cents per hour for man, team and wagon. Water sold for 25 cents per barrel; ice at $10 per ton. $5.00 ice and water tickets were punched on delivery for as little as 10 cents in product. With ambitious personal goals, Tom also did janitor work at the Opera House (located on the main floor of the Masonic Lodge building) in addition to his share in the Parks-Markle
Transfer operation.
..By 1911, Tom had established a local transfer line and was in business on his own. He replaced his horses with the first hi-wheeled motor trucks in this area and expanded his dray business with four beer distributorships from which he supplied Glasgow's front street bars for several years. It was at the same time, Markle Transfer developed into hardware, coal, feeding and farm supplies. Markle's began early agriculture service related businesses that remain in operation today.
..On Oct. 7, 1912, Tom married Florence Woods in Glasgow. The occasion was a double-wedding ceremony including her sister Lydia Woods and Herbert Carr. Tom and Florence were blessed with five children: Walter, Orval, Clarence Darwin, Robert and Blanche. Walter and Blanche died as children.
..Florence Elizabeth Woods, daughter of Sarah Ramsey and George Woods, was born Jan. 8., 1887, in Park River, North Dakota. With her parents, two brothers and four sisters, she came to Valley County in 1908 from Lankin, N.D. Most of her family took homesteads in the Galpin area. From her homestead, Florence was employed as Deputy Clerk of Court in Glasgow, which then serviced a county that extended west to include present Phillips County, south to the Missouri River, north to Canada and east to North Dakota.
..In the 1920s, Tom acquired farm lands in addition to his business in town and later introduced the first combine to the area. In 1922 he associated his business with International Harvester as an IHC dealer. In 1928 he sold 34 new combines in this area. He was also a pioneer in determining summerfallow farming in eastern Montana.
..It was in the early 1920's that Tom Markle's nephew, Mark Watson came from Kansas and joined the business. Mark was very instrumental in expanding and managing the business until his death in 1952. In the 1920s, they established a Hardware and International Harvester business in Opheim which was managed by Dan Oakland and Ike St. John. There was a Markle Hardware and Transfer business in Wheeler during the construction of Fort Peck Dam.
..From the time tom took Mark into the business, Markle's Incorporated took the form of a partnership taking in valued employees assigned as department heads. In 1945, Cliff Bruce, Jim Kruzich, Jack Kruzich, Al Schellinger, Cliff Uebers in addition to Mark Watson and Tom Markle, formed the company ownership. By 1954, the firm had grown to 10 owners and included Tom Hickock, Laurence Larsen and Orville Potter. In 1952, O.E., C.D. and Tag, Tom's sons, assumed active management of the business with all the other partners and growth continued.
..While Tom was totally involved in his business, he also made community service an important part of his living. He gave generously of his time and money to promote the area from which he gained his living. A councilman for many years, Tom also served as Montana State Senator from 1946-1950. As president of the Farmers-Stockgrowers Bank from 1946-1965, he was instrumental in establishing the forerunner bank that has become Glasgow's First Security Bank. Tom Markle purchased the property for the original airport and personally retained ownership of the land as a public service until the City of Glasgow was able to levy and collect taxation to assume ownership. As a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, Tom helped initiate the civic effort promoting Fort Peck Dam and it's development. He also promoted efforts that resulted in the Livestock Sales Ring being built and located in Glasgow.
..When Tom retired in 1946, his business had expanded to include Packard Cars, Texaco Oil distribution, Dow Chemical distribution and sales, General Electric appliance sales and service, complete Hardware sales, International Harvester Farm Equipment and Motor Trucks, general feeds, trucking and farm supplies. He remained an active advisor to the business and community after retirement, but kept busy building a home and garden on Fort Peck Lake. He experimented and took great pride in successfully growing many fruits and nuts rarely associated with this area.
..While their retirement lasted 20 years, Tom and Florence enjoyed traveling and entertaining friends and relatives. Their 14 grandchildren have fond memories of the time they all shared with their grandparents on Snob Hill on Fort Peck Lake.
..Those who experienced Tom Markle, remember his quick wit and historical anecdotes, that frequently included the many friends who influenced his life. He was noted for his sense of humor and in later years took credit for much satirical poetry he composed and recited. Grandpa Markle often related early 1900 history of the Glasgow area to his family. He considered early time Glasgow untamed and violent as that was how he first saw it. He witnessed the events around Glasgow's last hanging when the rope was tied to a radiator in the Courthouse and the victim thrown out the window to hang from dusk 'til dawn before being removed. He was on hand at an early Glasgow jail break that included a shoot out and a jailer being killed. Tom often told of encounters with Mac Hunter and repeated many stories of early law enforcement by his longtime friend, Hugh Calderwood, who was credited with hunting down and terminating the exploits of the Pigeon Toed Kid.
..Florence and Tom Markle were blessed with long, full lives. They respected life and remain respected by their families and the community. They worked hard and earned together. Mrs. Markle passed away May 21, 1968 and Tom on Sept. 7, 1972.
..See wife's memorial for more photos.



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  • Created by: Evelyn L. Jones Christensen
  • Added: 20 Sep 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 42171366
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Horatio Markle (7 Jul 1880–7 Sep 1972), Find A Grave Memorial no. 42171366, citing Highland Cemetery, Glasgow, Valley County, Montana, USA ; Maintained by Evelyn L. Jones Christensen (contributor 46631821) .