Tama County Iowa Biographies

James Martin

Tama county, Iowa, is located in the midst of a rich and fertile farming region, and prominent among the enterprising and energetic men who have so ably assisted in developing and advancing its agricultural resources is James Martin, of Highland township, a well-known and prosperous farmer. A son of the late Robert Martin, he was born, October 23, 1860, in New York city, of thrifty Irish descent.

Robert Martin was born and reared in Ireland, his birth occurring January 4, 1820. On March 27, 1854, he married Margaret Woods, who was born in Ireland, March 20, 1826, and died in Tama county, Iowa, in 1903. Immediately after his marriage he emigrated to this country, and, after spending sixteen years in New York city, came with his family to Iowa. Buying land in Tama county, he improved a good farm, on which he resided until his death, in 1900. Eight children were born to him and his wife, three of whom are living, namely: James, of this sketch; Maggie, wife of Frankie Fish, lives in Highland township, on the parental homestead; and Mary, wife of George Gary, also of Highland township.

Obtaining a practical education in the public schools, James Martin decided on farming as his life occupation, and in 1891 purchased his present estate of one hundred and sixty acres in Highland township. Here Mr. Martin has made many and valuable improvements, his home being one of the most attractive in the neighborhood, and here he is carrying on general farming with eminent success.

On March 11, 1886, Mr. Martin married Alice Clark, who was born in Lee county, Illinois, October 27, 1863, a daughter of Francis M. Clark. Mrs. Martin was four years a teacher in our public schools. A native of Ohio, Francis M. Clark was born, June 10, 1837, in Richland county. He was a graduate of Mt. Morris (Illinois) college, and taught school for a number of years. He married Sarah Walkup, who was born in Ogle county, Illinois, October 13, 1842, and they became the parents of four children, as follows: Alice, now Mrs. Martin; Arthur, living on the old home farm in Highland township, where his parents settled on coming to Iowa in 1864; Clinton, deceased; and Eva, deceased. Francis M. Clark died December 29, 1908. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Martin, namely: Ralph, deceased; Raymond, Eva, Robert, Ethel and Charles. Politically Mr. Martin is a straightforward Republican. Fraternally he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America. Religiously he and his family attend the United Brethren church.

Submitted by Cathy Joynt Labath

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