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Walter Preston Martin

From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.

WALTER PRESTON MARTIN, who is now serving as Deputy County Sheriff of Henderson County, and resides in Oquawka, is a native of Biggsville, in the same county. He was born on the 1st of August, 1854, and is the second in a family of five children, whose parents were Benjamin H. and Cynthia F. (Downey) Martin. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Preston Martin (see biography elsewhere), was a native of Kentucky, and, emigrating to Illinois, became a resident of Morgan County, where Benjamin Martin was born and reared. The latter has followed farming throughout the greater part of his life, carrying on that pursuit for many years in Biggsville, Henderson County, whither he removed at an early day. For twelve years, he was engaged in the grain business in Biggsville. He married Miss Downey, daughter of Peter Downey, and their union was blessed with three sons and two daughters, namely: Edwin, now deceased; Walter P. ,the subject of this sketch; Jessie and Florence, who died in infancy; and Karl, who is engaged in school teaching in Biggsville.

W. P. Martin was reared on his father's farm, and in early life enjoyed the advantages afforded by the district schools, which he attended through the winter season, while in the summer months he aided in the labors of the field. At the age of seventeen, he entered Monmouth Business College, and after attending that institution one term, spent two terms pursuing a literary course in the school known as Monmouth College. On attaining his majority, he began farming for himself on his father's laud, and for fourteen years carried on agricultural pursuits. He was recognized as one of the practical and progressive farmers of the neighborhood, and his place was always neat and thrifty in appearance.

During this time, Mr. Martin was married. On the 14th of December, 1875, he led to the marriage altar Miss Laura A. Francis, a daughter of William Francis, of Monmouth, Ill.. Four children grace this marriage, all daughters, Bessie, Jessie, Jean and Helen. The family is well known in the community and its members rank high in social circles.

Mr. Martin is a member of Oquawka Lodge No. 123, A. F. & A. M.; and Osage Lodge No. 346, K. P., of which he is the first Past Chancellor. He cast his first Presidential vote for R. B. Hayes, but since that time has been a Democrat. While in Biggsville, he served as Justice of the Peace for one year, and since 1890 he has filled the office of Deputy Sheriff of Henderson County, being acting Sheriff and Collector. He is fearless and true in the discharge of the duties devolving upon him, and his faithful sendee has given general satisfaction. Having always lived in this county, Mr. Martin is quite widely known within its borders and has many warm friends among its citizens.