MORGAN MARTIN, a native of West Bethlehem, and now a citizen of Amwell township, is a descendant of Zephaniah Martin, a blacksmith and a member of the Presbyterian Church, who came with his wife and family from Morris county, New Jersey, about the year 1786. His son, James Martin (grandfather of our subject), married Anna McMyrtre, in New Jersey. Securing a patent for 200 acres of land, they located in West Bethlehem township, this county. They had children born to them as follows: Thomas Martin (married Mary Bradbury in 1821, died September, 1851, aged sixty-five years, leaving three children: John M., residing in Greene county, Penn.; Thomas, who died in Missouri in February, 1892, and David, residing in Kansas); Joseph (of whom a sketch is given below); Zephaniah (a blacksmith, married Belle Hood, to whom were born John and Anna, all of whom are dead); Jane (married Joseph Dunn died, June 13, 1863, aged seventy-two); Joseph Dunn (died December 15, 1865, aged seventy-seven, leaving seven children: Washington (dead ), James, Morgan L., Joseph, William (dead), Anna and John); Sarah (married David Bowman, who removed to Ashland county, Ohio, in 1829, where eight children were born, of whom no recent account is at hand); Elizabeth (married Stephen Jewell in 1822, and removed to Ohio in 1828; they had nine children: James (deceased), Jonathan and Joseph (reside in Ohio), John Martin (deceased), Mary A. (deceased), A. J. Jewell (residing in Iowa), Jacob (residing in Kansas), Patience (deceased), and Sarah J., deceased). Mrs. Elizabeth Jewell died in 1844. The mother of this large family died in 1800. Mr. Martin afterward married Katherine Moore, with whom he resided on the farm until the time of his death in 1827.
Joseph Martin (father of our subject) was born on the farm in West Bethlehem township, March 15, 1790, and spent his early years attending school in the winter and working on the farm in the summer. He married Elizabeth Hayden, who died shortly after without issue. He next married Nancy Iams, of Amwell township, December 27, 1821, living at Iams' Mills. John Iams, the maternal grandfather of Morgan Martin, came to Washington county, from Maryland, about 1776, and purchased of a Mr. Keys the property, formerly known as Iams' Mills (now Bissell P. O.), which had been previously patented by a Mr. Kelsey. Mr. Iams and his wife, whose maiden name was Hampson, walked and carried all their worldly possessions from Maryland to Pennsylvania; but being a miller and millwright, he prospered, purchased an old mill on the site of the one now owned by Morgan Martin, and tearing it down erected a new building, where he continued to follow his vocation the remainder of his life. In addition to the mill property Mr. Iams owned about 300 acres of land, and was very successful in business. He died July 4, 1823, leaving the following named children: William Iams (married Delilah Meek, died April 4, 1869, aged seventy-seven years; she died September 6, 1876, aged ninety-three years, leaving ten children: Miller, John H., Elisha, Thomas, Isaac, William, Delilah, Mary, Abraham and Rachel); John Iams (died April 30, 1846, aged thirty-four years and six months); Nancy (who married Joseph Martin); Charity (wife of John D. Smith, died January 19, 1876, aged seventy-seven years). Her husband died March 12, 1876, aged eighty-one years, leaving the following children: Martin, Thomas (deceased), Amos, John, Joseph, Nathan, William, Freeman, Elizabeth, Nancy and Ira (deceased). Sarah, wife of William H. Hathaway, died April 15, 1838, aged thirty-four years and six months. Mary married Moses Smith, died September 5, 1859, aged fifty-nine years four months and five days. Moses Smith died September 14, 1848, aged forty-one years ten months and twenty-eight days. They had children born to them as follows: John (who died in the army, at the battle of Fair Oaks), Moses, Joseph and Sarah (Mrs. Huffman).
Joseph Martin owned 280 acres of land. In politics he was a Democrat, and though not a politician, took an active interest in securing good local government. He died December 25, 1850, aged sixty years, nine months and ten days. Mrs. Martin was a member of the Baptist Church, and died in that faith on January 21, 1879, aged eighty four years and eleven days. The record of Joseph and Nancy (Iams) Martin's children is as follows: Morgan, born October 19, 1823; Elizabeth I., November 24, 1825, died December 13, 1825; John I., February 8, 1828, died November 8, 1892; Joseph, April 2, 1831, died May 13, 1853; Anna, July 23, 1833; and Sarah, February 1, 1836, all of whom were born in West Bethlehem township. John I. married Elizabeth Barr November 30, 1851, and to them children were born as follows: Joseph (deceased), Sarah (Mrs. Keys), A. Jackson, Martha, Samuel and C. W. Martin, who reside on the farm located by their grandfather in West Bethlehem, Anna married A. P. VanDyke January 25, 1855. To them were born: Leroy M., Nancy (Mrs. Swart), Elizabeth (Mrs. Bebout), Kate M., Hannah C. (Mrs. Allen, deceased), Thomas and Florence A. Van Dyke. Sarah married Neal Zollars November 7, 1860. They had eight children: George, Joseph, Nancy (deceased), Ezekiel (deceased), Grant, Kate, Elmira, and Martha Zollars.
Morgan Martin, son of Joseph and Nancy (Iams) Martin, was born October 19, 1823, and remained on the farm until twenty-seven years of age. About 1850 he began the milling business at Martin's Mills (now Bissell postoffice), of which he is postmaster, which business he has ever since followed with success. On September 18, 1856, he was united in marriage with Anna Reese, daughter of Thomas and Anna (Sunderland) Reese, of West Bethlehem township. To Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Martin have been born eight children, namely: Sanford, born June 18, 1857, married Alice Bigler March 9, 1882, and died September 5, 1889, at Tacoma, State of Washington; Eliza Jane, born December 19, 1859, married October 13, 1883, William S. Bigler (she died August 22, 1887, leaving two children, Israel G., born August 11, 1884, and Estella, born February 11, 1887); William R., born December 28,1862; Anna, born December 17, 1864; Sarah, born June 8, 1867; Nancy, born August 12, 1869; Mary Ellen, born September 6, 1872, died December 30, 1885, and Lucinda, born October 10, 1874. Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Martin, with their family, belong to the M. E. Church. Politically he is a Democrat, though not a politician. He commenced keeping a general store in 1876, and continues to operate both mill and store with marked success. He built the residence in which he now resides in 1854, and erected the store in 1880, in which is carried on his mercantile business and the business of the Bissell postoffice.
The brothers and sisters of Thomas Reese are: Jesse, Solomon, William, James, Rachel (Mrs. Fisher), Nancy (Mrs. Egy), Sally (Mrs. McCormick), and Sena (Mrs. Scott). The record of the children of Thomas Reese and Anna Sunderland Reese is as follows: William Reese (married Matilda Mikesel, and had born to them: James, Henry, Nancy (Mrs. Miller), Frank, Elsworth, Effie and Ida, the most of whom reside in Illinois. By his second wife he has two children). Henry Reese (married Catherine Argo, had born to them Semantha (Mrs. Cole), William, Addie (Mrs. Routh), Jennie, Lyman, and Oran. By his second wife he had three children, all residing in Illinois). Sarah (married Samuel Braden; their children are named as follows: John Newton (deceased), Leroy, Flora (Mrs. Sharp), Mary Ellen (deceased), Martha, Anna (Mrs. Shrontz), Rebecca (Mrs. Gray), William, Henry, Sarah and Samuel B. Braden, all residents of this county). Rebecca (married John Ferrell; their children are: Elizah, Henry, John S., Jerry, Joseph, A. J., Harvey, Lizzie (Mrs. Keller), Mary (Mrs. Smith), part of whom reside in Iowa, the rest are residents of Nebraska). Isabell (married A. J. Grable, and had born to them: Emerson, Laura, Alvin, Mary, Will, Oscar, Anna, Edward and Lizzie, the most of whom reside in Kansas). Anna (married Morgan Martin as already related). Nancy (married Albert Clarke, and to them were born Alice and William, who reside in Kansas). Mary (married A. J. Garrett, and had born to them Zadie (Mrs. Woodhead), Nora (Mrs. Glogan), Jackson, Martin R., and Daisy. They are residents of Kansas). Lucinda ( married Cyrus Critchfield, and to their union was born one son, Sanford Critchfield, who resides at Denver, Colo.). Thomas Reese married Martha Thomas, and had born to their union Anna, John, William, Archibald, Charles and Georgia May, all residents of Coal Centre, this county.
Text taken from page 1019 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed March 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published March 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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