Lee County Biography

Jacob Martin

Palmyra Township

Jacob Martin was born in Sandwich, N.H. December 29, 1806 and died at his home in Gap Grove, Palmyra Township, August 29, 1881. He was a well-known and highly respected citizen of this community, a history of which would be incomplete were this sketch omitted. Mr. Martin was descended from an old New Hampshire family of prominence in Sanwich, where his father, Jacob Martin, lived and died. In all local interests of Strafford County, he took an active part and himself and wife were untiring workers in the temperance cause. her maiden name was Mary Tyler, and she was alike well and favorably known in Sandwich, NH and in this county, where she came with her family after the death of her husband. She departed this life when more than 80 years of age and her remains were interred in the cemetery of Gap Grove. This worthy couple had a large family, not none are now living.

Jacob Martin spent the days of his boyhood and youth in his native town, leaving New Hampshire in 1836, when, with his mother, he came to Illinois. From that time he made Lee County the scene of his labors. He purchased Government land in what is now Gap Grove, and from the wild prairie developed a farm which has since been the home of his family and is now in part owned by his widow. He was first married in this county to Margaret Curtis, a native of White Creek, Washington County NY, born Sept. 10, 1813. When quite young she was left an orphan. Liberal educational advantages were afforded her and for some years before her marriage she engaged in teaching in Lee County, being employed as a teacher of French and German in the High School of Dixon. An intelligent and cultured mind and a natural refinement of manner made her a leader in the best social circles, and won her many warm friends, who sincerely mourned her death. She passed away while in the prime of life, dying of dropsy, and five children were left to mourn the loss of a mother. William was burned to death when three years old by his clothes catching fire; Emma died of Croup when five months old; Helen is living with Mrs. Martin; Addie Josephine is the wife of Judge Alfonso Morgan, County Judge, residing in Oregon, MO; and Howard, who wedded Miss Ida Cowen, of Nebraska, is a resident farmer of Palmyra Twp.

Mr. Martin was again married, his second union being with (Isabel) Belle F. Drynan, who was born in County Renfrew, Province of Ontario, Canada, in 1839 (29 October 1838) . Her father, William Drynan, was a native od Edinburg, Scotland, who, having pursued a collegiate course of study in his native city, crossed the Atlantic when twenty-one years of age. he secured Government land in the province of Ontario, where he met and married Elizabeth McMurchie (McMurtry?), who was born in the North of Ireland, and came to America with her parents during childhood. By the united efforts of husband and wife they acquired a handsome property, but int he prime of life Mr. Drynan was called to his final rest, leaving his widow with six children. She was afterward married again, becoming the wife of the Rev. Wm. G. Johnstone, a Scotchman by birth, who graduated from the Edinburg College and could fluently speak eight different languages. He was a Congregational minister. In 1853, with his wife and step-children, he came to Illinois, locating at Gap Grove, and preached in Lee and Whiteside Counties until his death, which occurred at the age of three-score years. Hif wife survived him some time, and died of dropsy at Gap Grove, December 23, 1890 when seventy-six years of age. She had always enjoyed remarkable health until a short time before her death, when she had an attack of la grippe which terminated her life. In religious views she was a member of the Congregational CHurch. The five children of her first marriage yet living are: George wh wedded Kate Burrus and owns and operates the homestead in the Province of Ontario; Sarah, widow of Fletcher Hutton, whose sketch appears elsewhere; Mrs. Martin, wife of our subject; Robert J. Postmaster of Gap Grove and a farmer of Palmyra Twp. who married Rachel Delph of Lancaster County, PA; and Mary B., wife of George A. Seymour of Dwight IL.

Mr. Martin possessed the business qualities essential to success and by his industry and enterprise left his family in comfortable circumstances at his death. He was a Republican in politics and took a warm interest in the growth and success of that party. His widow is still living on the old homestead. She is a member of the Congregational church and a lady of many excellences of character. In the family were six children; Lillian A., who formerly engaged in school teaching, is now the wife of Samuel Hurleman, a farmer of Gap Grove; Retta is at home; Elizabeth, who for six years wsa a stenographer, is now the wife of Frank Beckwith, a hardware merchant of Kansas City, MO; Frank L., who married Hettie Geer of Sterling, is a resident farmer of Palmyra Township; Charles L. wedded Miss Rose Baker, and is now living in Gap Grove; and Eugene is at home.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892 Pg 532
** Mary Tyler born 4 June 1773, was the daughter of Adonijah & Mary (Abbott) Tyler
***Family of Jacob Martin
JACOB MARTIN m Mary TYLER b 4 Jun 1773 in Chester, Rockingham NH d/o Adonijah & Mary (Abbott) Tyler.
. A. Moses Tyler Martin
. B. William Martin
. C. Jacob Martin m Margaret Curtis in Lee County she was b 10 Sep 1813
.. 1. William Martin
.. 2. Emma Martin
.. 3. Helen Martin
.. 4. Addie Josephine Martin m Judge Alfonso Morgan lived in Oregon MO
.. 5. Howard Martin m Ida Cowen
. Jacob Martin m2nd (5 May 1856 in Lee Co) to (Isabel) Belle F. Drynan b in 29 Oct 1838 Canada d/o Wm. & Elizabeth (McMurchie/McMurtry) Drynan
.. 6. Lillian A. Martin m Samuel Hurleman
.. 7. Retta Martin
.. 8. Elizabeth Martin
.. 9. Frank L. Martin m Hettie Geer
.. 10.Charles L. Martin m Rose Baker
.. 11. Eugene Martin
... After Jacob died Elizabeth married Rev. Wm. G. Johnstone. Elizabeth died 23 Dec 1890 age 76.
. D. Eliza Martin m Hubbard m Tilton
. E. James Martin
. F. Simeon T. Martin


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