EDWARD A. MARTIN.
Occupying an assured position among the substantial business men of Fairfield, Edward A. Martin has for many
years been intimately associated with the development and advance. ment of its agricultural, industrial and mercantile prosperity, as a man and a citizen being held in high repute. A son of Thomas A. Martin, he was. born February 23, 1868, in Clay county, Illinois, on a farm, coming from pioneer stock. His great-grandfather on the paternal side migrated from Virginia to Kentucky at an early day, and in 1816 became a pioneer settler of Wayne county, Illinois. One of his uncles, a Joseph Martin, established, as early as 1800, a mill near Martins creek in Wayne county, it being the first mill operated by horse power in the county. Mr. Martin's grandfather, James D. Martin, was born in Virginia in 1818, and died in Clay county, Illinois, in 1872. He married Jane White, and they reared several children.
Thomas A. Martin was born in Wayne county, Illinois, February 19, 1841, and grew to man's estate on the parental homestead. In 1861 he moved to Clay county, and having established a store at Clay City conducted it successfully for a few years. Settling in Fairfield, Wayne county, in 1873, he embarked in mercantile pursuits, opening a large mercantile establishment, which, as head of the firm of Martin & Summers, he operated until his death, in 1892, being one of the foremost merchants of the city.
Thomas A. Martin was twice married. He married first, in 1864, Ann Golliher, a daughter of Henry Golliher, who came from Ohio to Illinois in pioneer days. She died in 1870, having borne him three children, as follows: Mrs. Lillie M. Wood, who has resided in York county, Nebraska, since 1888; Edward A., the subject of this brief biographical sketch; and a child that died in infancy. He married for his second wife Nancy MeCollum, and they became the parents of four children, namely: Mary E., who died in 1874; Henry T., an attorney in Chicago, is in partnership with Edward D. Pomeroy, and has offices at 277 Dearborn street; Mrs. Grace E. Link, of Springfield, Missouri; and Frank C., a lieutenant in the United States navy, now serving on board the “Ohio”.
Educated in the Fairfield schools and at the old Hayward College, Edward A. Martin spent his vacations in Martin & Summers' store, and after leaving school was for two years employed in the Fairfield Woolen Mills. Going to Nebraska in 1884, he was employed on a farm for four years, and in a planing mill in Missouri for two years. Returning to Fairfield in 1890, Mr. Martin worked in a lumber yard for two years, when, in October, 1892, he embarked in the hardware business with Mr. Foster. In February, 1895, he bought out his partner 's interest in the business, which he managed satisfactorily until January 20, 1911, when he sold out.
Mr. Martin was actively engaged in farming during the year 1911, and on January 1, 1912, opened a real estate office in Fairfield, where he is meeting with most encouraging results considering the brief time that he has been dealing in realty. Mr. Martin owns a valuable estate, “The Banner Land Farm”, which is advantageously located about six miles from Fairfield, it being one of the choice farms of this part of the county.
Politically Mr. Martin is identified with the Democratic forces, and has served as supervisor of Grover township. Fraternally he is a meinber of the Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons, belonging to lodge and chapter; of the Knights of Pythias; and of the Modern Woodmen of America. Religiously he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Mr. Martin married, September 26, 1892, Lydia A. Smith, a daughter of William and Amanda C. Smith, her father having been a veteran
of the Civil war. Four children have brightened the union of Mr. and Mrs. Martin, namely: Thomas W., Clarence S., Mildred A. and Leona A.