H. C. Martins
Some men are born with an unalterable ambition that carries them above discouragement and nothing but death can prevent them from accomplishing what they start out to do. Such a man is H. C. Martins, of West Side, who began life for himself when fifteen years of age with seven dollars and a half in his pocket and nothing else to depend upon but his own strong arms and an unflinching courage. He is now a flourishing business man on the high road to prosperity.
He was born in Germany, February 6, 1861, a son of John and Margaret (Hansen) Martins both of whom were natives of Germany. They came to America in 1865 and took up their residence at Wheatland, Clinton county, Iowa. The mother passed away three weeks after her arrival in this country. The father continued at Wheatland for seven years and then rented a farm near Lost Nation in Clinton county, which he cultivated for nine years. In 1880 he removed to Crawford county, where he remained until his death in 1893. There were four children in the family, namely: Peter J., a farmer now living retired at West Side; Anna, the wife of Claus Benning, of Clinton county, Iowa; Henry, living at Council Bluffs; and H. C., our subject.
Arriving in America with his parents at four years of age, Mr. Martins of this review continued with his father until fifteen years of age and early became acquainted with the various details pertaining to agriculture and stockraising. He had but limited advantages of education in the district school and even as a boy began working as a farm hand, at which occupation he continued for ten years. Being attracted to mercantile pursuits, he entered the hardware business at West Side and is now senior member of the firm of Evers & Martins, dealers in hardware, furniture and implements, and also engaged in the undertaking business. Mr. Martins owns the building in which the store is located and a comfortable residence in West Side and is also interested in a lumberyard at this place. He has good natural ability, discernment and practical experience with men and affairs, so that he is well qualified for the position he occupies as a capable and progressive business man.
On the 12th of December, 1885, Mr. Martins was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Jahn, who was born in Germany in 1868, a daughter of J. F. and Kathrina Jahn. Her parents came to this country and both are now deceased.
Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Martins, namely: Jessie, who graduated from the West Side high school and also took a course in college; Elmer J., also a graduate of the high school and of Boyles' Business College, of Omaha; Cora, now a student in the high school; and Grace, still in the graded school.
Mr. Martins and his wife are both consistent members of the German Lutheran church and have many warm personal friends in that organization. Politically he affiliates with the republican party, believing that its principles are best adapted to enhance the permanent interests of the country, and although he has never been an aspirant for public office he has served with marked ability for twenty-one years as a member of the village council. He has a genial disposition and readily makes friends wherever he is known. He is also industrious, enterprising and quick to take advantage of circumstances leading to success. A man of genuine worth, he is recognized as a substantial citizen who would reflect credit upon any community.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.