John Martin, a Civil war veteran and prominent farmer and stockman of Centralia, Kans., is a native of Prussia. He was reared and educated in his native land, where, at the age of fourteen, he became a farm laborer and continued in that employment until he reached the age of twenty, when he decided to immigrate to America, the land of opportunity. After coming to this country, he located at St. Louis, Mo., where he remained for a short time when he secured employment on a farm in St. Charles county, Missouri, where he worked for twelve dollars a month during the harvest season, and the other months of the year he received eight dollars per month. His employer was a fellow countryman, and young Martin decided that if he remained in his employ he would never learn to speak the English language. He accordingly got a position with an English speaking farmer and soon learned to speak the English language very fluently. During the time that he was employed on the farm he became a member of a local militia company which was organized to protect railroads and bridges from the Confederate raids which were frequent at that time. In September, 1862, he enlisted in Company B, Thirty-fourth Regiment, Missouri infantry, and about two months later was transferred to Company K, Thirtieth Regiment, Missouri infantry. He was with his regiment at Columbus, KY., and Memphis, Tenn., and later participated in the siege of Vicksburg. In the spring of 1863, he was taken sick and spent six months in an army hospital at Memphis, after which he was detailed as orderly to Lieut. Col. George T. Allen, Inspector of Hospitals. Mr. Martin remained in this service until October, 1865, when he received his discharge at St. Louis, Mo. At the close of the war he worked for a time in Cairo, Ill., unloading river boats. He then went to Omaha, Nebr., expecting to obtain employment on the Union Pacific railroad, which was then in course of construction, and finally secured work as a teamster, hauling ties in Iowa, and later got a job moving a saw mill to Laramie, Wyo., a distance of about 350 miles, and worked for the owners of this mill getting out bridge timber for the Union Pacific until February, 1868. He then returned to Cheyenne, Wyo., which was the terminus of the Union Pacific railroad. He bought a team here and returned to Laramie. Here he received as high as $20 per day, but grain for his team cost twenty cents a pound and hay forty dollars a ton, and most of his income went for the high cost of living. He then went to Green River, where he worked on the grade of the Union Pacific Railroad, and after going as far West as Nevada, he sold his team and returned to Omaha, and in December, 1869, came to Kansas and took a homestead near Centralia, in Home township. Here he bought two yokes of oxen and engaged in farming. During the year of 1872, his crops were destroyed by prairie fire and he sold his homestead and worked at odd jobs and fed cattle for local men, and the following year engaged in the cattle business for himself. This was in the days of open range and cattle had to be herded in frontier style. In 1879, he bought 120 acres where he now resides. He engaged extensively in the cattle business and bought and fed a great many cattle for himself, as well as being buyer for Mr. Rankin, the Missouri cattle King. He bought more land from time to time and now owns 639 acres of productive land. He has been one of the extensive cattle men of northern Kansas and is considered the largest stock feeder in that section. His business averages about $20,000 yearly, but the last few years he has not been pushing his business as hard as in former times. He has accumulated a comfortable fortune and does business now by force of habit and for pastime. He is one of the substantial men of Nemaha county. His genial good humor has won for him a host of friends, and he is probably one of the best known men in the county. He is a director of the Citizens Bank of Centralia, a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and politically is a Republican.Pages 308-310 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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