Click here for the John Martin Family home page. 3rd Generation - Laura Martin 

Laura Emma (Martin) Perkins, the 13th child of John Martin, Jr., and the first born to John’s second wife, Lavina (Plowman) Martin, was born 11 March 1865 at Camargo, Douglas County, Illinois.  On 18 February 1886, she married Wyatt P. Perkins in Douglas County.  He had been born in July 1856 in Kentucky,1 a son of James Emery and Atheline (Dorum) Perkins.  Laura and Wyatt had two children together:

  • Lucian A. Perkins, 1887–1950 (married Sarah L. King).
  • Parker L. Perkins, 1889–1965 (married Lorraine E. Kinder).

Laura apparently passed away sometime after her son Parker was born, although I have found no record of her death or burial.  What is known is that her husband Wyatt married Nancy (or Nannie) Myers on 9 January 1895 in Canadian County, OK.  The 1900 census shows Wyatt back in Douglas County, at Bowdre, living with his second wife and two children, ages 4 and 2, born to that marriage.  The two older children, at that time, were living in Camargo with Laura’s sister Hester and her half-sister Leona.

Laura could have died any time between January 1889, when Parker was born, and sometime in 1894, a few months prior to Wyatt’s second marriage.  She might have gone to Oklahoma with him and died there, or Wyatt might have gone to Oklahoma by himself after she had died in Illinois.  Several family researchers have listed a death date of 29 January 1892 for Laura, without attribution, and I DO NOT ACCEPT THIS DATE.  There was, indeed, a Laura Perkins who died on that date in Piatt County, Illinois, but that Laura happens to have been a 2-year-old girl!  So what is more likely — that two identically named people died in Illinois on exactly the same day, or that some insufficiently cautious researcher found the younger Laura’s date of death and mistakenly applied it to the other Laura?

By 1910, Wyatt and Nannie had moved to Terre Haute, Vigo County, IN, and had added two more children to their family.  Meanwhile, Laura’s two children were still in Douglas County, IL.  Lucian (mistakenly listed as Rushion) was rooming with a family named Coulter in Camargo, and Parker (“Park”) was working as a laborer on the farm of James Thomas in Newman.  Wyatt and Nannie died in Terre Haute in 1932 and 1933, respectively, and are buried together at Bethesda Cemetery.

If you can suggest any corrections to the information above or provide any further details about the lives of Laura, Wyatt, and their descendants, please contact me at the address shown in the image below:

Pete at John Martin Family dot org

     —Pete Martin

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  1. Census records show that Wyatt's parents were living in Carroll County, KY, in 1850, and in Garrard County, KY, in 1860, so it's likely that Wyatt was born in one of these two places.