Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

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Nathan C. Martin

Nathan C. Martin, ex-judge of probate of Meeker County, is one of the most prominent attorneys at Litchfield. He is a native of Tuscarawas County, Ohio, where he was born on the 20th of January, 1843. His parents were Samuel M. and Martha (McGrew) Martin; the father a native of Pennsylvania, but who had come to Ohio when young; the mother a native of Ohio. They both died when the subject of this sketch was six years old, and N.C. went to live with his grandmother, who was carrying on a farm. In 1864 he removed to Indiana and our subject remained on the farm, except the time he spent in the army, until he was twenty-eight years of age. On the 2nd day of June 1862, N.C. Martin enlisted in Company G, Eighty-sixth Ohio, and served during that year in West Virginia. He was then mustered out of that regiment, and enlisted in Company B, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, on the 20th of June, 1863. He served in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. He never missed a day’s service during his army life, and was finally mustered out as orderly sergeant on the 5th of March, 1864.

In 1870 Mr. Martin began reading law at Bowling Green, Clay county, Ind., with Hon. E. Miles, now of Denver, Colorado. In 1871 he was admitted to the bar and in the spring of 1872 he established the Clay County Enterprise at Knightsville, in Indiana, a Republican paper which is still running – the only Republican paper in that county. Mr. Martin conducted that paper for one year, and a short time later he struck out for the West for the purpose of locating in Minnesota. After remaining a few days at St. Paul and Minneapolis he came to Litchfield, arriving August 20, 1873, and has since made that his home. While living at Knightsville, Indiana, he was married to Miss Clara S. Ward.

Upon his arrival at Litchfield, Mr. Martin first engaged in the law and real estate business, but in 1876 he established the Litchfield Independent and ran that as a Greenback paper, supporting Peter Cooper for the presidency. He continued in the newspaper business until June, 1877, when he sold out, and the same fall was elected to the office of judge of probate of Meeker County on the Greenback ticket. He was three times re-elected, the last time his nomination being endorsed by all the parties. He served from January 1, 1878, until January 1, 1887, and in the fall of 1887 was unanimously re-nominated, but declined. Since that time Mr. Martin has given his attention wholly to the practice of law, also carrying on an extensive real estate and loan agency. He has always taken an active interest in all matters affecting the welfare of Litchfield. He was one of the principal workers in the original organization of the Frank Daggett Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and has taken an active interest in its progress. He held the office of commander of the post for four successive terms, a fact which speaks for itself, as the office is one which is usually held but one term. In 1879 Mr. Martin was a candidate for Attorney General on the Greenback ticket and for a number of years took a very active interest in political matters.

In 1889 “Judge” Martin purchased a section of land on the outskirts of Amarillo, Texas and moved there with his children, leaving his wife who was ill behind. She died shortly after his arrival in Texas and was buried in Litchfield with members of the Women's Relief Corps and of the Daggett Post in attendance. He never remarried. In Amarillo, he reestablished his law profession – becoming Justice of the Peace for Potter County, Texas, as well as being engaged in the newspaper business and real estate development. Nathan C. Martin passed away on August 29, 1917 and is buried in Llano Cemetery in Amarillo.

Photographs and information submitted by Nathan C. Martin's great grandson, Paul Martin.


Nathan C. Martin

Frank Daggdett GAR Post #35 in Litchfield, Minnesota

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