John Martin Edquist was born 23 February 1867 at Jonaping, Sweden
and died 13 December 1946 at Elliott, Iowa. For 42 years he had made his
home at the W. L. DeWitt's, for 40 years of which, before he broke
his hip, were spent in active farm work for and with his beloved Till
(W. L.), "The Boss" and "Mrs. D.". He came to the DeWitt's
in 1904, having had only one other employer, Charles Liljedahl,
also from Sweden. Martin was always in charge of the farm
work and stock when W. L. shipped cattle to Chicago or was detained
at some community meeting. He was Dorothy's favorite
baby-sitter and used to entertain her with tales of Sweden, or play his
little Swedish accordion for her.
As a young man he was one of Montgomery County's fastest Speed Bicycle
riders and on Sundays he would ride to Red Oak, Stanton or Essex, in later
years he would walk or ride horseback to Elliott for a brief visit.
Martin always had to excel - to do more work, faster, his team the
best groomed and able to out pull the other work horses. Mrs. D.
used to joke him about swiping butter from the cave to make his horses so
Buried in Elliott's Hillside Cemetery, his casket was carried by
neighbors, and four of the men who when young were taught by Martin
to do their work the way "The Boss" wanted it done.
Martin, a very small man, will always stand tall among men,
and is most deserving of special recognition. His parents, their
names unknown, would be proud of the man he became.
~ Dorothy DeWitt Wilkinson