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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



WILLET L. MARTIN was born in Padua Township, Dec. 28, 1843, and it has been his home until the present time. He was here reared to manhood, educated in the district schools, and remained under the parental roof until he attained his majority. He was trained to habits of industry and honesty, and at an early age gained a good insight into business methods, and when quite young was intrusted with the buying and selling of cattle, and other affairs in which he displayed more than ordinary ability.

With this valuable experience he obtained a good start in early life, and has now a beautiful farm homestead, finely located on section 31, Padua Township. This comprises 277 acres, of which 216 lie in Empire Township, on section 6. His land is all improved. The farm residence is a handsome and convenient structure, and the barn and other out-buildings correspond with the general air of thrift that pervades the whole premises. His agricultural machinery and his stock are of the best kind and kept in fine condition. Mr. Martin has labored industriously since he first started out for himself, and while yet in the prime of life is reaping a rich reward of perseverance and energy.

The first marriage of Mr. Martin occurred in his native township, on the 21st of January, 1869, when he was united with Miss Damaris Dooley. Mrs. M. was born in Clark County, Ky., and came North with her parents in 1851, remaining under the parental roof until her marriage. Of this union there were three children. This lady died at the home of her husband in Padua Township, Nov. 7, 1872.

Since the death of the mother, one child has passed away. Those surviving are Mary J. and Florence M. The second wife of our subject, to whom he was married Jan. 6, 1876, was Miss Cynthia, daughter of Martin and Catharine (Foust) Baum, who were both natives of Pickaway County, Ohio, where they were reared, educated and married. They remained on a farm in their native State until 1874, then removed to Illinois and settled in Padua Township, where the mother died in 1884, being sixty-two years of age. Mr. Baum now lives with his daughter, the wife of our subject, and is sixty-two years old. Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. B. is Republican in politics.

Mrs. Martin and her twin brother, John C., were born in Pickaway County, Ohio, Aug. 7, 1850. The parental household included six children, three sons and three daughters, all of whom are living, married, and settled in homes of their own. Mrs. M. was educated in the schools of her native county, being a young lady when her parents removed to the Prairie State. Of the present marriage of our subject there were born four childrenLaura H., Elberta F., Charles A. and John H.

Mrs. M. is a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and our subject politically is a solid Republican. As a citizen, farmer and business man, he is regarded as one of the leading spirits of his community, and is held in high respect.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 311. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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