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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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William J. Martin.

For more than a third of a century William J. Martin has resided on his present farm of two hundred acres on section 29, Harrison township, and his record is that of one of Adair county's prosperous and representative agriculturists.  His birth occurred in County Down, Ireland, in June, 1847, his parents being John and Eliza Ann Martin, who were also natives of that country, where the mother passed away.  The father emigrated to the United States in the late '40s and located first in Chicago but subsequently removed to Michigan, in which state his demise occurred.

William J. Martin, the only child of his parents, was eighteen years old when he came to this country.  He received a common-school education but was early thrown upon his own resources, beginning to earn his living when but nine years of age by working on a farm.  When a young man of eighteen he took up his abode in Poweshiek county, Iowa, where he resided for nine years and was then married.  In 1881 he came to Adair county, purchasing a tract of two hundred acres of raw prairie land in Harrison township, which he improved and which he has cultivated continuously to the present time.  He has erected good buildings thereon and has further enhanced the attractiveness of the place by planting an orchard and grove.  In connection with the production of cereals he has also been engaged in raising and feeding stock, both branches of his business yielding him gratifying financial returns.  He has purchased a home in Greenfield and expects to retire from active life on the 1st of March, 1916.

In 1875 Mr. Martin was united in marriage to Miss Malinda J. Orr, a native of New York city and a daughter of John G. and Ellen (McClintock) Orr, both of whom were born in Ireland.  They came to the United States in childhood and later took up their abode in Rock Island, Illinois, where they lived for twelve years.  On the expiration of that period they removed to Poweshiek county, Iowa, and subsequently came to Adair county, here spending the remainder of their lives.  To them were born five children, three of whom survive.  Mr. and Mrs. Martin have become the parents of five children, three of whom survive:  Ella M., who is the wife of J. D. Moore;  two who died in infancy;  Walter Clyde;  Linnie M., who gave her hand in marriage to Walter G. Davis;  William Claud;  and Mabel G., who is the wife of Lester Hepler.

Politically Mr. Martin is a stanch republican but the honors and emoluments of office have never had any attraction for him.  His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Congregational church, to which his wife also belongs.  They are self-made people in the highest and best sense of the term, for the prosperity which they now enjoy has come as the merited reward of their well directed, united efforts.  Both have become widely and favorably known during the long period of their residence here and the circle of their friends is an extensive one.



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