Shelby County Indiana
In 1837 a one-horse wagon might have been seen wending its way through the woods of northwestern Shelby county, whihc showed signs of rough usage, the result of a long and rough journey from beyond the Alleghanies. The party accompanying the crude conveyance consisted of Peter and Elitha (Varnum) Martin, four daughters and two sons, who were compelled to walk most of the way during the trip of six weeks from their old home. The little part of immigrants finally located in Moral township, between London and Michigan road, where they unloaded their meager effects and entered into the trying lives of pioneers. The men and boys of the party began working by the day for very small wages and made shingles during the intervals. Some years later the father died in Moral township and the mother passed away while residing in Tipton county. Their children were: Nancy, who married Sampson Hudons, both deceased; Polly, wife of William Hughes, both dead; Charity married Gaylord Roseberry, and both are now numbered with the dead; Miriam married John Hudson, both dead; William and John are also dead, and Henry is a resident of Knightstwon.
Samuel Martin, the other living son, was born in Rockingham county, North Carolina, April 1, 1825. His schooling was limited to one winter's term, as he was compelled to assist his father in the support of a large family. He worked many a day for twenty-five cents, or eight dollars per month, until he reached manhood's estate and began to look out for himself. His first venture was on a small place of seventy acres, which he bought in Hancock county and put intwo years clearing, building a log cabin in the woods and suffering all the hardships incident to such an undertaking. He traded his place for some cleared land, rented a farm north of Palestine and spent two years trying to coax a living out of reluctant conditions. His next investment was forty acres of swamp land in Moral township, which he cleared, ditched and improved until it made a very respectable grain farm, later buying an additional forty acres nearby, but sold the half of this which had been cleared. He cut the timber to build a frame house, did the necessary fencing, put up needed outbuildings and intime had a comfortable home, in which he lived for thirty-five years. Eventually he disposed of all his holdings and purchased eighty-one acres where he now lives. This place was badly run down when he got it, but Mr. Martin, by ditching, clearing and crop rotating, has developed it into a very productive farm. He is now one of the oldest citizens of the township and can truly claim to have been one of the men who made the county. No man ever rose from more humble beginnings to a position of affluence and influence among his neighbors. Well preserved and full of interesting details about the early pioneer days, he is a pleasant man to meet and is able to give valuable instruction to the rising generation.
In early manhood, Mr. Martin married Elizabeth Nulliner, a native of Germany, who came here when two years old, with her father, George Nulliner. The children by this union were: Mary, who married Jackson Wilkins, a resident of Moral township; Nancy, wife of William Laurence, of Marion county; George, the eldest son, married a Miss Fisher and lives in Moral township, Thomas, who married a Miss Alyea, also resides in Moral township. William, who married Miss Tucker, is a citizen of Moral township. Emma, wife of Nelson Downing, is a resident of Marion township. Elijah, who married Eliza Plummer, resides in Butler county, Kansas. The mother of these children died April 21, 1905, and was buried in Kissel cemetery. September 19, 1906, Mr. Martin married Mrs. Julia Vernon, who was born in North Carolina, November 29, 1847. She was the daughter of Henry and Isabel (Wilson) Ellington, who settled in the south part of Shelby county about 1852. In 1862 Mrs. Martin married George Vernon, who died November 25, 1900, and is buried at Fountaintown. The children of Mrs. Martin's first marriage were Charles, a resident of Hancock county; Viola, wife of Morton Pope, of Hancock county; Henry, deceased; Jessie Belle, deceased, and George, a resident of Fountaintown.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana, by Edward H. Chadwick, B.A., assisted by well known local talent, B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers: Indianapolis, IN, 1909, pages 838-840.
Contributed by Donna McVey
To contact researchers listed above, use the Surname Index