William Markham (mayor)

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William Markham (October 9, 1811 – November 9, 1890) was a prominent hotel owner in Atlanta. Following the illness of John Mims he filled in as mayor October 1853 and won a special election soon after. Born in Goshen, Connecticut he had only arrived in Atlanta in January 1853, so he certainly made a speedy impression. During his term a new city hall was built that was used for nearly 25 years. By 1858 he was proprietor of the Atlanta Rolling Mill, and following the Battle of Atlanta he was part of the committee of citizens who surrendered the city.

Within a year of destruction of Atlanta, he had already started rebuilding commercial sites. He put up nine one-story stores with cheap temporary roofs designed to be rebuilt or improved as circumstances improved. They cost $3,000 a piece to build and were rented out to different merchants.[1]

In 1870 he lost an election for a second term as mayor from the Radical Party to another previous mayor, William Ezzard, Democrat. He dedicated the city's best hotel, the Markham House, on November 15, 1875. It had 107 rooms, central heat and was the center of civic life until it burned to the ground in 1896, six years after the death of its builder.


Preceded by
John F. Mims
Mayor of Atlanta
November 1853 – 1854
Succeeded by
William M. Butt