Lee County Biography

Martin Detrick
Nelson Twp.


Matrin Detrick is an able, enterprising farmer, who has acquired a handsome property by his good managment of his affairs and intelligent method of farming, and Nelson Township, where his agricultural interest are centered on section 32, classeshim among her best citizens. He was born December 7, 1833, in Monroe County, Pa., whence his parents removed when he was ayear old to what is now Meshoppen Township in Wyoming County, the same State, where his father, Jacob Detric, began life anew on a tract of one hundred acres ofheavily timbered land, beautifully located on the banks of the lovely Susquehanna River. He hewed out a good farm from the primeval forest and lived there for fifty years,his death occurring on the old homestead December 11, 1890, when he was eighty-one years and five days old. He was born in Northumberland County, coming of Holland ancesry, and a son of Elias Detrick, who also claimed Pennsylvania as his native State, and died there in Monroe County, coming of Holland ancestry and a son of Elias Detrick who also claimed Pennsylvania as his native State, and died there in Monroe County on a farm when he was seventy years of age. His wife, who was likewise a Pennsylvanian by birth, died there when past ninety-two years old. She was the mother of seventeen chilren,w ho were nearly all boys and lived to grow up and marry, all but one, and the most of them died full of years. The family as a rule, were members of the Lutheran church.

The father of our subject was married in Monroe County to Miss Margaret Rowe, who had been there born and bred, and was of old Pennsylvania-Dutch stock. She died in Wyoming County in 1852, when she was but thirty-seven years of age, and was greatly mourned by her family and neighbors, as she was a woman of rare character. Both she and her husband were devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was known as a man of remarkable physique, of an iron will and great tenacity of purpose, and he was a great worker.

Our subject is the eldest of ten children, four sons and six daughters, three of the Sons died when quite young and one of the daughters when forty years of age, and he and his five sisters are the surviving members of the family. He was not quite of age when he came to this county in 1854, but he had inherited in a good degree the manliness, decision of character and persistent ambition that distinguished his father, and he was well able to struggle with the hardships that lay before him in the new and untried life upon which he was about to enter with not a dollar to his name. He began here as a laborer, and later rented land for six years in Palmyra Township before he purchased his first eighty acres of land in 1864. He improved a part of that, and has bought other land since, so that he has a valuable farm of two hundred and forty acres, which is under a high state of cultivation, is provided with neat and well-arranged buildings, and is fully stocked with cattle, horses and swine of fine breeds.

To the amiable wife who has shared his fortunes and ably presides over their home. Mr. Detrick was united in marriage in Wyoming County, his native State, January 11, 1860. Mrs. Detrick, who in her maiden days was Rachel Atkinson, was born in that part of Pennsylvania in August, 1833. Her parents were George and Lucinda (Russell) Atkinson, who died on their old homestead in Wyoming County, where they had passed their wedded life andhad improved a good farm, death coming to them when they were very old. Mr. Atkinson was a native of England, and coming to the United States when a young man married his wife in Pennsylvania, which was her native State, she having been born in Wyoming County of Connecticut stock. They were prominent mambers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which he served for some years as a local preacher in Wyoming county. He was known as a man of strong character, who was very decided when he knew he was in the right.

Mr. and Mrs. Detrick are the parents of four children, of whom one is deceased, Lydia, who died in August, 1877, at the age of six years. Those living are George A., who married Miss Lizzie Taylor and makes his home on a farm in this township, his business being to operate machines and deal in grain and hay; Myron H., a very fine draughtsman and skilled machinst, a thorough student in his line, who represents the Babcock & Wilcox Boiler Company, of New York City, with headquartes at Chicago, Ill., married Miss Ida Davis, of Sterling, Ill.; and Mary L., wife of William G. Hartshorn, the operator at Dixon for the Illinois Central Railway Company.

Mr. Detrick is a man of large, round-about common-sense and excellent business tact, whose sterling qualities of head and heart command the respect of all with whom he has financial dealints, and has won many sincere friends during the many years that he has made Nelson Township his home. In politics, he is a Republican of the first water. He has held the local offices of Highway Commissioner, etc., and is the present Justice of the Peace of this Township, with whose interests his own are so closely linked, and public spirit has always characterized the administration of his official duties.

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