IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


John W. Martin, the proprietor of a farm of one hundred and fifty-two acres in Audubon township, Audubon county, Iowa, was born on November 9, 1855, in Johnson county, Iowa, the son of James and Elizabeth (Goforth) Martin, the former a native of Virginia, and the latter a native of Kentucky. James Martin came to Johnson county, Iowa, when a young man, and after farming for some time with his father, learned the stone-masonís trade, which vocation he followed until his marriage. In 1869, the family moved to Audubon county, locating in Audubon township, where Mr. Martin purchased forty acres of land. Subsequently he added one hundred and twenty acres to his land holdings and on this large farm he was engaged in general farming and stock raising, besides which Mr. Martin worked at his trade as a stone-mason until 1904, when he retired from active life and moved to Exira. James and Elizabeth (Goforth) Martin were the parents of eight children, of whom John W., the subject of this sketch, was the eldest, the others being Bruce, George, Blanche, Jesse, Winifred, Rodney and Lula, the last named being deceased.

John W. Martin, after completing his education in the public schools of Audubon county, farmed with his father until he reached his majority. He then worked out on neighboring farms for three or four years, after which he purchased eighty acres of land, and by dint of industry and careful management, gradually increased his land holdings to one hundred and fifty-two acres. He has invested about three thousand dollars in various kinds of improvements on his farm, and has brought it to a high state of cultivation. He ordinarily raised about sixty-five acres of corn, forty acres of small grains, and feed out forty head of hogs annually. Mr. Martin sells a part of the grain raised on the farm.

John W. Martin was married to Minnie Littlefield, the daughter of Alonzo F. and Sarah Littlefield, and to this union have been born five children, Elizabeth, Cecil, Basil, Kermit and Cassius. Minnie Littlefield was born in Madison county, Iowa, her parents having come to this state in pioneer times and settled in the western part of Audubon county, where her father was a prominent farmer and stock breeders. Alonzo F. and Sarah Littlefield were the parents of twelve children, all of whom except one are living, as follow: Thomas, Maggie, Mrs. Minnie Martin, Anna, Charles, John, William, Foley, Ernie, Nell, Roy and Alice deceased.

Mr. Martin has always been identified with the Democratic party and is the present township trustee of Audubon township. He is a member of the Yeomen. Not only is John W. Martin prominent as a farmer of this township, but he is likewise one of the leaders in the educational and civic life of the community. As a farmer and citizen he is highly respected for his honorable and cordial relations with his fellow men.

Transcribed by Gunter Schanzenbacher, Waynesboro, PA, April 2, 2013 from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pg. 694-695.

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