William Martin, one of the pioneers of Newaygo County, was born in Richfield, Otsego Co., N. Y., Jan. 7, 1814; and was the son of Elijah and May Martin, natives of Connecticut. Elijah Martin was a farmer, and had a family of seven daughters and one son. The latter, the youngest of the family, was William, the subject of this sketch. Leaving home at the age of 25, he engaged in farming in Steuben and Allegany Counties, successively. In 1852, he came to Michigan and lived one year in Clinton, Lenawee County. He then went across the plains to California, via Oregon, driving four yoke of oxen attached to a "prairie schooner." He passed one winter in Oregon, and two years in California, and then returned to Lenawee Co., Mich. After a short stay, he took his family to Iowa and Illinois, in search of land; but found that all the desirable Government land had been taken. Retracing his route, he purchased an ox team at Kalamazoo and came to Newaygo, in June, 1856. Until the following January, he kept boarders in the village of Newaygo. With his ox team as a conveyance, he then moved to Dayton Township, and purchased 160 acres of land under the Graduation Act, paying 75 cents per acre, of which 30 acres were improved.
Jan. 17, 1843, in Bath, Steuben Co., N. Y., he was married to Lovilla B. Herkimer, a native of New York State. They have had five children,,--George H., Michael and Helen L. The last named is the wife of A. E. Upton, of Fremont, two of the children died young. On Nov. 13, 1878, Mr. Martin was stricken with paralysis, and was never able to walk again.
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