John Martin, III, the second child of John Martin, Jr., and Mary Ann (Wheeler) Martin, was born about 1840 at Camargo, Illinois (which was then part of Coles County but was included in Douglas County in 1859). On 10 August 1862, John married (1) Caroline Hennis in Douglas County. She had been born 11 August 1843 in Elkrun, Columbiana County, OH, the daughter of “A. Hennis” and Nancy Hennis. John and Caroline had one child together:
Caroline, unfortunately, passed away 16 August 1865 and is buried at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Camargo.
John married (2) Isabell Conner 9 August 1868 in Douglas County. She was born July 1849 in Vermillion County, IN, the daughter of Andrew H. and Mary Ann (Coslet) Conner. John and Isabell had two children together:
The late William Clifford Martin, a son of William Isaac and an active family researcher for many years, reported that Isabell died giving birth to William Isaac, and that those events both occurred in Edgar County, IL, on 8 January 1873. I have found no independent death or burial records for Isabell.
Whatever became of John after Isabell’s death is a compelling mystery. The 1880 census shows all three of John’s children being raised by various relatives. Mary Addie (shown as “Addie Martin”) is in Bowdre, Douglas County, IL, in the household of John’s sister Sarah Susanna Van Voorhis; Daisy (“Daisy O. Martin”) is in Hunter, Edgar County, Illinois, living with her grandmother Mary Ann (Coslet) (Conner) Thornton; and William is in Tuscola, Douglas County, IL, in the household of Susanna (Shane) Dressback, with the notation “adopted.” (Susanna Shane Dressback may have been a sister of Jane Shane, the first wife of Isabell’s father Andrew Conner. Hence, she may have been a sort of a step-great-aunt to William.)
John has not been definitely identified in the 1880 or any subsequent censuses. His grandson William Clifford Martin claimed that the 1900 census showed John in Independence, KS, and that the 1910 census showed him in Dodge City, KS. However, Find-a-Grave now shows that the John Martin in Dodge City was a man who had fought in the 5th Kentucky Infantry during the Civil War and who was married to a Mary A. Beatty as early as 1865. The 1900 listing for John Martin in Independence, KS, shows that both of the man’s parents were born in Illinois (rather than Ohio and Kentucky, respectively) and that he was single (rather than widowed). It seems unlikely that this John Martin was the same as the man featured here.
The only documentation we have that hints at John’s eventual fate is a biographical sketch of his brother Levi published in 1910. It says simply that John “died in Missouri.” It gives no more specific location or even an approximate date. Based on John’s absence from the census records and the dispersal of his children, it seems likely that he died sometime prior to 1880.
If you can suggest any corrections to the information above or provide any further details about the lives of John Martin, III, his wives, and his descendants, please contact me at the address shown in the image below: