Michael Martin, a prosperous farmer of the town of Wilna, has lived all his life on the farm where he now resides, some three miles from the village of Carthage. His father, John Martin, was born in Dublin, Ireland and came to America in 1818. John Martin settled in Jefferson County and was employed as a farm laborer for some years. In the meantime he purchased 50 acres of land on credit and as soon as it was paid for out of his earnings he settled upon it and liver there the remainder of his days. Subsequently he added 25 acres to the original purchase, and that total was increased by his son until they owned and tilled 300 acres. John Martin was an industrious farmer, respected wherever known, and was one of the faithful members of St. James' Roman Catholic Church of Carthage. Like most of his compatriots he supported Democratic policies and candidates. Within a few years after his arrival he was married to Ellen Connelly, who was born in the same place as himself, was early left an orphan and came to this country in 1821 with the family of John Murray, an early resident of Wilna. John and Ellen Martin were the parents of seven children:
1. Thomas, the eldest, a resident of Carthage
2. Ann, lives in the same village, being the wife of James Farmer
3. James died in Antwerp, at the age of 64
4. Michael the fourth child
5. Margaret, the widow of John McGowan, living in Carthage
6. Rose Ann d 1901 unmarried
7. Ellen married Thomas Burns and resides in Croghan, near the home place which adjoins the town line.
John Martin died at the age of 92 and his widow survived him three years, dying at the age of 88.
Michael Martin the fourth child, was born May 16, 1832 on the present farm and attended the district school of the neighborhood, continuing during the winter terms until he was 21. In the meantime he aided in the labors of the farm in the summer from an early age and agriculture has been his lifework. He cared for his parents in their old age, and succeeded to the ownership of the farm upon their death. By patient industry and prudence in the management of his resources he has been able to add to his domain and now has one of the valuable farms of the town. His sons are also industrious and the family is one of the most respected in the vicinity. A dairy of 16 cows forms part of the farm equipment and adds to the income. Michael is a member of Carthage Grange and a liberal support of St. James's church with which all of his family are identified. He is an independent Democrat and has served as a school trustee of his district. On April 17 1865, he married Ann Burns, who was born in Wilna, a daughter of Patrick and Ann (Clark) Burns, natives of County Meath, Ireland. Mrs. Martin died November 27, 1894 at the age of 65. She was the mother of eight children most of whom are now living.
1. John Henry, the first child, resides with his father
2. Mary, died in March 1896 as the wife of George Burns of Watertown
3. Francis Patrick an engineer at the Island Paper Mill in Carthage
4. William Vincent living at home.
5. James Joseph, a bricklayer by trade, now employed in the St. Regis Paper Mill at Deferiet.
6. Helen married Charles Hofer and resides in Carthage
7. Rosa died at home of diphtheria on April 7, 1897.
8. George died August 24, 1901 of appendicitis.
Our County's People - Oakes Vol. 1
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