Upon one of the well-improved farms of Gilman township, Nemaha county, Jonathan Markley makes his home. He was born in Ohio April 21, 1847, and at the age of eight years accompanied his parents on their removal to Iowa. Two years later the family located in Nemaha county. The father, Thomas Markley, was numbered among the pioneer settlers of this section of the state and was identified with its agricultural pursuits until he had attained a ripe old age, when his life's labors were ended. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary Henderson, was born in Ohio and also died in Nemaha county. In their family were four children, namely: Jonathan, James, Lavina and Jacob, but the daughter is now deceased.
Amid the wild scenes of the frontier Jonathan Markley was reared, early becoming familiar with the hardships, labors and experiences which fall to the lot of the pioneer settlers. He assisted in the arduous task of developing new land and transforming the uncultivated prairie into fertile fields. With his parents he continued until his marriage, which occurred July 3, 1862, Miss Jane Neil becoming his wife. She was born in Missouri February 2, 1853, and when five years of age was brought to Kansas by her parents, Daniel and Nancy (Edward) Neil. Her father was a native of Kentucky and throughout his business career carried on agricultural pursuits, his death occurring in Nemaha county in 1892. His wife was born in Indiana, where she was reared and married. She became the mother of seven children, namely: William, John, Mary, Lidia, Catherine, Daniel and Jane.
Leaving Nemaha county Mr. Markley removed to Graham county, Kansas, where he entered a claim and carried on farming for four years, but in 1881 he returned to this county and established his present home on section 27, Gilman township. Here he now has a farm of fifty acres and is accounted one of the substantial residents of the community. He has known what hardships and trials mean, however, for in the early days of civilization the family was forced to subsist on corn bread for a year, for the grasshoppers destroyed their crops. He gives his political support to the Democracy. In manner he is quiet and unostentatious, but is genial and companionable, and his life has been so ordered that his influence has told for good in the community where he has long resided.