McDonald, the 19th child of John
Martin, Jr., and the seventh born to John’s second wife,
Lavina (Plowman) Martin, was born 4 August 1874 at Camargo, Douglas
County, Illinois. Her mother died when she was 3.
Her father remarried a year later, and her stepmother died when
Margaret was 8.
John Martin, Jr., had two daughters named Margaret. The older one, born to John’s first wife Mary Ann Wheeler, was already grown and had been married to Isaac Watkins for 7 years by the time this younger Margaret was born. Still, this duplication of names may help explain why the younger girl was listed as “Margia” in the 1880 census.
On 16 February 1898, Margaret married William Francis McDonald at Paris in Edgar County, IL. William had been born 30 April 1874 in Hindsboro, Bowdre Township, Douglas County, Illinois, the son of James and Sarah Jane (Merrill) McDonald. It’s unclear why Margaret and William chose to marry in Edgar County, as both of them had lived their entire lives in Douglas County. However, Paris was only a short, 25-mile train ride away from Douglas County, so perhaps they went over there as kind of a lark, or maybe they thought it would be romantic to be able to tell people that they were “married in Paris.”
Margaret and William settled down together in Hindsboro and lived there more than two decades. The census shows William’s occupation as “Farm laborer” in 1900 and 1910; but then in 1920, it showed William was a salesman at a general store and Margaret was a seamstress. By 1930, they had moved to Whittier, California, where William found work as carpenter, and they apparently remained there the rest of their lives. They never had any children.
Margaret passed away 18 June 1944 in Los Angeles (which was probably where she had been hospitalized, not where she lived). Four months later, 7 October 1944, William married Mrs. Lois Myrtle (Strawn) Knouff. She had been born in Adams County, Iowa, in 1894 and was previously married to Charles Irving Knouff, who had died in Whittier on 18 September 1943. She had had seven children with Charles.
William died 16 November 1960, and his second wife, Lois, lived on until 23 September 1985. Margaret, William, Lois, and Lois’s first husband, Charles Knouff, are all buried at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier.
If you can suggest any corrections to the information above or provide any further details about the lives of Margaret and William, please contact me at the address shown in the image below: