MARTIN L. DECKER GRAVESTONE PHOTO
The Iola Daily Register, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 1913, Pg. 8.
ANOTHER ALEN COUNTY
ANSWERS THE SUMMONS.
A Brave Soldier, A Good
Passes in Honor in Answer
the Silent Messenger.
Readers of the Register who have noted from time to time during the past few days, the report of his progressing illness, will not be surprised although very many of them will be pained, to learn of the death of Martin L. Decker, which occurred at his home, 211 N. Sycamore street, Iola, Kansas, at 5:45 this morning. The end came after several hours of unconsciousness and in the presence of all the surviving members of the family, except a daughter, Mrs. Ellen Balliet, of New York City, and a son, Mr. Grant Decker, of Leavenworth county, who were unable to be here. The funeral services will be held at the Baptist church tomorrow (October 9) at 3 o’clock in the afternoon and will be conducted by Rev. Mrs. Thorpe, under the auspices of the Odd Fellows.
Martin L. Decker was born in Wallertheim, Darmstadt, Empire of Germany, December 8, 1837. He was born in the same house with his father, John A. Decker, and with his grandfather. Both father and grandfather were wine growers, cultivating large farms planted to vineyards. John Decker was married to Philipina Weinheimer and Martin Luther was the third of eleven children. He emigrated to the United States in 1853 and on his sixteenth birthday, arrived in LaSalle county, Illinois. He crossed the Atlantic in the sailer Powhattan, bound from Rotterdam to New York, fifty-two days at sea. Young Decker stopped on a farm near Mendota, Illinois, and worked for wages three years. In 1856, in company with an uncle, he emigrated to Iowa, and then to Minnesota where at Austin he ran a sawmill until 1858. While in the mill he invented a machine for sawing eve troughs, probably the first one in existence, but which he never patented.
Mr. Decker entered Kansas in 1858 and preempted a piece of land near Goodrich, Linn county. In 1859, having sold his claim, he crossed the line into Allen county and worked on a farm on the Osage for Johnston Mann. In the spring of 1861 he enlisted in Company C, Third Kansas Cavalry, Colonel Montgomery. In 1862 the regiment was disorganized and Company C was transferred to the Ninth Cavalry. In its periods of marching and counter marching this regiment visited Ft. Riley, Kansas; Ft. Gibson, Indian Territory; Kansas City, Trading Post, Kansas; Lawrence, Kansas; Little Rock, Fort Smith, Duvall’s Bluff and campaigned on the White and Mississippi rivers. He was discharged from the service November 23, 1864, at Leavenworth, Kansas, having done his Whole Duty toward the flag of his adopted country.
December 8, 1864 Mr. Decker was married at Leavenworth City to Grace A. Thomas, and to them were born twelve children. After his marriage he farmed in Allen and Bourbon counties until the fall of 1867 when he removed to Leavenworth county, residing near Potter where he was a farmer and fruit grower until 1889. In that year he returned to Allen County and purchased the Mann farm in Osage township, two and one half miles east of Bayard. He resided upon this tract three years, then located to the town of Elsmore and engaged with a son in merchandising. After three years residence in Elsmore he removed to Iola to assume duties of county treasurer, to which he had been elected in 1895. His administration of this office was so satisfactory that he was re-elected and served a second term. He then retired from active life and his time since then has been spent quietly at his home in Iola, except for a brief visit with one or the other of his children. Around his bedside when the end came were gathered his sons, M. L. Decker, Jr., of Leavenworth county; I. Decker, of Osage township; Henry Decker, of Bristow, Colorado; Walter and John Decker, of Collinsville, and his daughters, Mrs. Mary Glassell and Mrs. Elsie Freeman, of Iola, who, with their aged mother, will have the sympathy of all their friends.