Biography - John F. Martin

JOHN F. MARTIN, who is a resident of Strasburg Township, is a native of Fountain County, Ind., having been born in Davis Township, September 9, 1842, where he remained until he had reached the years of manhood, and indeed it was not until he was in his twenty-second year that he left the home roof to go out and battle for himself. At that time he removed to Shelby County and settled on a farm in Richland Township. There he remained but a short time and then returned to Indiana in time to enlist with his youthful comrades in the War of the Rebellion. He joined Company D, of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Indiana Regiment, and served until the close of the war, when he returned to Shelby County, this State, and has ever since made his home in Richland Township on a farm, until 1882, when he came to Strasburg.

Since coming to Strasburg Mr. Martin has been engaged in the grain and flour trade and has built up a flourishing business. Our subject is a man who is interested in any measure that benefits humanity. Naturally he takes a great interest in local as well as national politics. A Democrat in his political policy and theories, he has been appointed by his party to fill a number of local offices. He has been Collector for two years, and has filled the office of Assessor for the same length of time.

The original of our sketch was married in Richland Township, Shelby County, this State, soon after his return from the war, in December, 1866. His wife was Mrs. Philenia Whitlatch, who was born in Shelby Township. The lady has made a pleasant home for her husband and the children who have taken their place at the family board. Their names are Lizzie, Rosetta, John Franklin, Emma, Ella, Delia, Eva and Charlie.

Mr. Martin is a member of the Masonic fraternity. For four years he has held the office of Village Trustee of Strasburg. Personal comfort, convenience or gain are secondary considerations to our subject in the face of the demands that are made upon his time by the needs of the community. An upright and trustworthy man personally, as a citizen he combines the rare qualities of ability, judgment, generosity and self-forgetfulness. He has done much to assist the growth of the village, and he with his amiable wife and family of children make one of the pleasantest homes in the place.

The father of the subject of this sketch was George B. Martin, who was a farmer, and a native of Ohio. His mother was a Miss Elizabeth Pierson, who was born in New York. After the marriage of George Martin they settled in Davis Township, Fountain County, Ind., where they passed the remainder of their lives. They had thirteen children, nine sons and four daughters, and of these our subject was the eldest. At the present time (May, 1891) only three of this large family are living. Mrs. Martin, our subject's wife, was the daughter of Peter and Eda Smith. They were old settlers at an early day in Shelby County, and died in Holland Township. Her first husband was Samuel Whitlatch, who died in Richland Township. By her first marriage she was the mother of one child, Samantha, who is now the wife of Marion Johnson. Mr. and Mrs. Martin are members of the Baptist Church, in which body they are both active workers. Our subject is known throughout the county as being a large grain-buyer, and his reputation as a business man is without a flaw.

Extracted 13 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 426-428.

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