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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
Johnnes Martin, one of the representative farmers of this county, residing on section 10, Windsor Township, is a native of Bavaria, Germany. He was born in Weisdorf, December 11, 1826, and is a son of William and Elizabeth (Kaufenstein) Martin, both of whom were natives of the same town where they were reared and married. They had eleven children, six sons and five daughters of whom one son and two daughters died in infancy in Bavaria, where all of them were born. The eldest, Conrad, emigrated to America in 1853, settling in Ohio, where he died in 1867; John came to America in 1852 and located in Defiance, Ohio, where he engaged in cabinet-making until his death in 1866; Andreas became a resident of Defiance, Ohio, in 1855, and is still engaged in the cabinet-making and furniture business at that place; William E. located in the same town in 1853 and engaged in clerking in a store until the breaking out of the Rebellion and then enlisted in an Ohio regiment, was promoted to a lieutenancy and died during the service; Barbara who went to Defiance, Ohio, in 1855, is now the wife of John Weber, a farmer near that place; Maria Margaretha became a resident of St. Louis in 1854, where she met and married Feniel Fenn, a merchant of that city.
We now take up the personal history of our subject - the member of the Martin family in whom Fayette County's citizens are specially interested. He was educated in the schools of his native town and learned the trade of cabinet-making and carpentering of his father, who followed that vocation for many years. When he became subject to military duty he was drafted into the Bavarian army in which he served six years. In the meantime several of his friends and a number of his relatives had come to America and, writing back to their old homes, gave glowing accounts of their adopted country and the privileges which it affords its citizens. Influenced by these reports Mr. Martin determined to cross the Atlantic and try his fortune in the new world. In the autumn of 1854 he bade good-by to the Fatherland and became a resident of St. Louis, Mo., where he worked at his trade of cabinet-making.
On the 12th day of May, of the following year he was united in marriage with Miss Anna Margaretha Koehler, who was born on the 31st of October, 1836, in Weisdorf, Bavaria, and is a daughter of George and Catherine (Hoberger) Koehler, natives of the same town. They emigrated to America in the spring of 1855 and the parents resided with Mrs. Martin from 1856 until their deaths. The father died in 1868 and the mother in 1875. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Martin have been born eleven children - John N., the eldest, born March 14, 1856, died in 1870, from the effects of a wound caused by the accidental discharge of a gun; Mary born July 21, 1857, died in 1858; Paul J., born December 19, 1858, married Hannah M. Russler, April 25, 1889, and resides in Sheridan County, Neb., where he is engaged in farming; William J., born March 29, 1861, attended the Upper Iowa University at Fayette and is now engaged in teaching and studying at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa; Christopher J., a resident farmer of Sheridan County, Neb., was born December 11, 1862, and wedded Mary Klinger, August 4, 1890; Maria M., born November 2, 1864, married George Drewelow, June 9, 1888, by whom she has two children, boys, and they reside in Chickasaw County, Iowa, on a farm; Sophia K., born May 19, 1866, on the 22nd of December, 1886, became the wife of George Guetzlaff, a resident farmer of Chickasaw County, by whom she has one son; Henry N., born July 1, 1868, attended the Upper Iowa University and the Wartburg College and is now engaged in teaching school in Defiance, Ohio; Gottfried Jacob was born July 19, 1870; Elise C. H. was born October 13, 1872; and Anna F. S. was born May 13, 1875.
Mr. and Mrs. Martin removed to this county in the spring of 1856 and the following year settled on their present homestead, then comprising forty acres but now have one hundred and thirty-three acres of highly cultivated land within its borders. Their home is a commodious dwelling and the barns and outbuildings are models of convenience. The parents and children are members of Zion's Congregation of the German Lutheran Church and politically Mr. Martin is a Democrat. When he arrived in this country his earthly possessions consisted of a few mechanic's tools and $80 in money. He however possessed a rare fortune in bank called 'health, energy and pluck,' and every time he drew on this he received a generous dividend. He has reared and educated a large family, yet has a comfortable competence wherewith to furnish him with all the comforts of life in his declining years.
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