March 1, 1912: Death of Duluth pioneer and mayor Clinton Markell

On this day in Duluth in 1912, Clinton Markell—the second mayor of Duluth—died in Pasadena, California, where he had gone in the hopes of improving his health. He was 80 years old. A native of Geneva, Ohio, Markell first came to the Head of the Lakes in 1851 and later settled in Superior, working as a clerk in a dry goods store. In 1856 he and J. D. Ray, Sidney Luce, and others established the townsite of Portland, from the lake shore between Third Avenue East and Chester Creek up to today’s Skyline Parkway. In the late 1870s Markell and Roger Munger formed the Lake Superior Elevator Company, builders of Duluth’s early wooden grain elevators. Upon his death, fellow pioneer James Bardon said of Markell, “He was a loyal resident and always worked with regard to the welfare of the town. In his death passes a man whom we all knew to possess the sterling qualities of an exemplary character.” Mr. Markell’s funeral was held in Pasadena and he was interned there until May, 1912, when his body was returned to Duluth and buried at Forest Hill Cemetery. Read more about Mr. Markell here.

Clinton Markell. (Image: Duluth Public Library)