HUMANITY AND CHARITY OUR RELIGION
VINCENT D. MARKHAM
DIED MAY 31, 1895
AGED 66 YEARS
MARY F. MARKHAM
DIED SEP. 18, 1893
AGED 58 YEARS
Nearly everyone knows the term “good Samaritan” but many might not know of its origins from Luke and more specifically that it is a parable told by Jesus:
Luke 10:25-37King James Version (KJV)
25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
That story is illustrated in stone upon the monument for Vincent and Mary Markham in the Fairmount Cemetery at Denver, Colorado. Neither of them, however, chose it for themselves. Vincent had a clause in his will that his executors should choose an appropriate monument to honor him and his wife, Mary. It also needed to display in some way, their values, which, in part, are carved in the stone, “Humanity and Charity are our Religion”.
By all accounts the Marhams were generous people who shared their wealth and prosperity with their community. When Vincent Markham died, the Arizona Weekly Citizen, June 15, 1895, edition of the paper wrote this, “JUDGE MARKHAM. Colorado papers of June 1st contain announcements of the death of Judge Vincent D. Markham, in the city of Denver. …The Denver Republican editorially says of the distinguished jurist: By the death of Judge Vincent D. Markham, Colorado has lost one of its most distinguished and honorable citizens.” They went on to say, “Respected and loved while he lived, he will be mourned now that be is dead. He always will have an honorable place in the history of Colorado, a state which remembers with gratitude the service of the men who did its pioneer work, strengthening it by their example to others and promoting its interests by all they did.”
The Markham were active philanthropically in Denver throughout their adult lives. They contributed to many charities and were instrumental in founding Denver’s Humane Society. Though they never had children of their own though they were generous with the neighborhood children and godparents to many.
The monument was designed by William Greenlee who owned and operated the Denver Marble and Granite Company, who won a competition held by the executors. The design was an original design from the New England Granite Company of Hartford, Connecticut.
It appears that the statue atop the monument was a fitting tribute to the Markhams.
A great parable for today’s world–it’s important to know that at this time the Samaritans were despised by “card-carrying Jews” and so the fact that he was the protagonist of the story was really a shock to the listeners– downplaying religious differences in favor of focusing on moral character and good works. A wonderful rejection of religious hypocrisy that certainly flourishes in today’s debates concerning the treatment and dignity of everything from Muslims to gays to race or women equality.