Jacob Marti

Jacob and Sarah (Iverson) Marti

The list of Allamakee county’s pioneers contains the names of many upright, enterprising and courageous men whose labors have been potent forces in upbuilding and development. None, however, has displayed more energy in business relations, more integrity and honor in personal life, than Jacob Marti, who has resided here since 1855. He was born in Canton Glarus, Switzerland, June 12,1842, and is a son of Henry and Catherine (Blumer) Marti, the former born in 1800 and the latter in 1803. They emigrated to America with their five children in 1855 and established a home in Allamakee county on a farm belonging to a cousin. Henry Marti suffered a stroke of paralysis and was an invalid for seventeen years prior to his death, which occurred at the home of his son Jacob when he was seventy years of age. His wife survived him some years, dying at the age of eighty-three. They became the parents of five children: Henry, who died upon the ocean; Jacob, of this review; Mrs. Fred Riser, deceased; Mrs. Peter Riser, who resides in Lansing township; and Mrs. Blumer, who has passed away.

Jacob Marti was thirteen years of age when he was brought to America by his parents. He remembers well the journey across the ocean which was made in a sailing vessel, the John Hancock, and which was the last trip of this vessel as a passenger carrier. Thirty-tree days were spent on the journey from Liverpool to New York city and from there the family pushed westward to Dubuque, whence after a short stop they came to Allamakee county. Jacob, however, remained for sometime with an uncle in Dubuque. He had acquired a common-school education in Switzerland and after coming to America spent three months in a German school in Dubuque and three months in the public schools of Allamakee county. He remained with his parents until he was twenty years of age and then began his independent career as manager of a farm belonging to the widow of his cousin, Frederick Marti. He subsequently married the widow, who was in her maidenhood Miss Catherine Wilhelm and who had two children by her former marriage: John, who lives on a farm in Makee township; and Casper, living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. By her marriage to Jacob Marti she had five children: Henry, who resides upon a farm in Lansing township; George, engaged in agricultural pursuits in the same locality; Catherine the wife of W. R. Gaine, of Chicago, Illinois; William, a resident of Kasson, Minnesota; and Emma, who died at the age of eighteen. Mr. Marti’s first wife passed away at the age of forty years and he afterward married Miss Sarah Iverson, a native of Norway. They have three children: Jacob J., who is employed in the post office at Mason City, Iowa; Anna, the wife of Charles Alfred Petrehn of Austin, Minnesota; and Philip, a farmer in Allamakee county.

Since the farm came into Mr. Marti’s possession he has continued to conduct a successfully, owning at the present time four hundred and fifty-four acres of good land upon which is one of the finest sets of buildings in the county. At the original residence was burned down about ten years ago and in its place he has erected at a cost of over four thousand dollars, a large modern home. It is finished on the inside in oak and is complete in furnishings and accessories, one of the finest private residences in this section of the state. Mr. Marti engages in general farming and is interested in the conduct of his dairy, which is well equipped and sanitary in every particular. For a number of years he made a great deal of cheese which he sold in the Dubuque markets, where it commanded a high price and a ready sale. A man of broad views and modern ideas, well informed on the questions and issues of the day, Mr.. Marti is probably one of the most popular of Allamakee county’s pioneer citizens and his place in the respect and esteem of his fellowmen has been won by reason of an honorable, upright and worthy life, the activities of which have contributed in an important way to the development of the section. It is said that he never knowingly wronged any man, and his name is to say a synonym for kindness, geniality and courtesy.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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