| Wilson, Charles L, and Bloomfield Martin
|Source: Descendant Charles Martin|
|Wilson Martin, Co C|
|Charles L Martin, Co C|
Rev. Wilson Martin was born on 7 May 1819 in Tyler Co., VA, died on 8 Sep 1899 in Napoleon, Henry Co., OH, at age 80, and was buried in Truro Cemetery, Route 12, Columbus Grove, Putnam Co., OH.
Wilson Martin was born in 1819 in Tyler County, Virginia (now West Virginia). He was the son of Samuel Wilson Martin and Elizabeth McCabe. Some sources place his birth as Washington County, Ohio but Tyler County, Virginia is more likely as it is substantiated by pre-civil war census records that list his birthplace as Virginia.
Based on the birthplaces of his siblings, by 1821 his parents had moved to Washington County, Ohio and by 1826 to Westfield Township, Delaware County, Ohio. In 1838 he married Deliverance "Dilla" Pringle. Dilla was born in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Daniel and Deliverance Chaffee Rogers Pringle. Both Wilson and Dilla were 19 years of age. Their first child, a son named Elton T. was born in 1839 in Westfield Township, Delaware County (now Morrow County) Ohio. Like most in the 19th Century, Wilson and Dilla had a large family. Over the next 24 years Dilla bore 7 children, 5 boys and 2 girls: Elton T. in 1839, Sarah Ann (whom they called "Sally") in 1840, Charles Lafayette (my Great Grandfather) in 1842, Daniel L. in 1844, Samuel Wilson in 1846, James P. in 1848 and their last, Martha Jane in 1850.
They continued to live in Westfield (after 1848 Westfield Township was in the newly formed Morrow County) and then by 1861 they lived in Waldo Township in Marion County. Perhaps as early as 1843, Wilson and Dilla had joined the United Brethren Church at Waldo. Also at Waldo he sold a lot to the United Brethren Church for the church building for a minimal amount. It is curious that he joined the U.B. Church and not the Methodist Church where most of the rest of his family were members. In February of 1846 Wilson received his license to preach from the presiding Elder Rev. Alexander Biddle. So in addition to farming and working as a mason Wilson became an itinerant circuit-riding preacher. In February of 1855 Wilson and Dilla were among the founding members of the newly organized Olive Branch U.B. Church at Waldo. In September of that same year he was admitted into the Sandusky Conference of the United Brethren in Christ Church at Newville, Ohio, and Dilla became active in the Woman's Missionary Society and became a patroness of the United Brethren Union Biblical Society and the Missionary Society.
We are not certain of the U.B. Churches where Wilson attended or served as pastor, but there may be a tie to the U.B. Church near Westfield that was attended by the Shaw family who intermarried with both the Martin and Pringle relatives. Sometime after 1855 and by 1864 he served as pastor at Marion U.B. Church at Marion, Ohio. He very likely served at the Liberty Chapel Church in Liberty Center, Ohio and subsequently at the Columbus Grove Church in Columbus Grove, Ohio. From late 1869 until at least 1872 he served as pastor of Plum Creek Church in Putnam County. Wilson continued to rise in prominence in the United Brethren Church and in 1881 was elected as a presiding elder of the Sandusky Conference, an office he held for six years. He played a significant role in the conflict between the U.B. church and the Masons. Wilson was not a Mason but two of his sons E. T. and Charles L. were. He did however, according to E.T. Martin's obituary, lead a pro-Masonic movement in the anti-Masonic United Brethren Church.
By the time of the Civil War, Wilson had become an ardent abolitionist and belonged to "The Society for the Abolition of Slavery and Other Forms of Bondage". On July 30th 1861 at the age of 42 he enlisted in the Civil War at Camp Chase near Columbus, Ohio as a private in Company C of the 26th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was appointed musician. Though he enlisted to serve for 3 years, he received a disability discharge on September 18, 1861 serving only about 1˝ months. His disability was listed as "a spinal affection and disorder of the kidnies". He reenlisted as a private on November 14, 1861 in Company K, 66th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry and on December 17,, 1861 he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. (Official rosters of the 26th Regiment list him as promoted to 1st Lt. and transferred on Dec. 17, 1861. I believe this is incorrect.) He was discharged from the 66th by resignation on account of "disability" on April 15, 1862, having served 5 months. In September 11, 1862 he formed his own Company from recruits in the Marion, Morrow, and Delaware Counties area. He held the rank of Captain in Company B of the 121st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and his company was known as Captain Martin's Company. After 4 months service, he was discharged on January 9, 1863 again by resignation on a Surgeons Certificate of Disability.
Other members of his immediate and extended family that volunteered and served in the Civil War were his sons Elton T., Charles L., Daniel, Samuel, and James; his brother Bloomfield ( also in Company C of the 26th OVI), his brother-in-law Jesse Cramer (husband of his sister Cynthia), his brother-in-law William Clark (husband of his sister Lovila), and Ira Sayers, the husband of Wilson's sister-in-law Martha Jane (Pringle) Sayers. The Union cause must have been very important to him and his sons and family as they all volunteered. Several enlisted more than once - Wilson three times, Elton twice, and Charles twice. References have been found that one of Wilson's brothers died in the war, if so, it must have been either E.W. or Hosea "Clark" Martin, his youngest brothers.
After the war he perhaps returned briefly to Westfield, but we know that during 1864 he moved to Liberty Township in Henry County Ohio. The year before in 1863 Wilson's son E. T. Martin had bought land in Liberty Township from his Uncle and Aunt Ira and Martha Sayers. Martha Sayers was Dilla's sister. Wilson Martin along with his daughter Sarah and her husband John Crawford came the next year. The Crawford farm and his son E.T. Martin's farm were next to one another closer to Napoleon, while Wilson lived in the northeast part of the township near the Liberty Chapel U.B. Church. Later E. T. Martin purchased a farm closer to Liberty Center. Wilson farmed and was pastor of The U.B. Church at Liberty Center. He continued to live in Liberty Township until about 1869.
In November of 1866, while still in Liberty Township, his youngest daughter Martha Jane died of consumption. She was only 16 years old. Eventually all of Wilson and Dilla's children except Sally would die of consumption, as would a number of his grandchildren including my Grandfather Homer. Tuberculosis, or consumption as it was then called, was one of the most common causes of death throughout the 19th century. Entire families sometimes succumbed to the disease after unknowingly passing it among each other. Anyone could be a victim, but it was especially prevalent among young adults, cruelly striking down those in the prime of their lives. They did not know the cause of the disease or how it was spread, and there was no cure.
By 1869 or 1870 the whole family had moved to the village of Columbus Grove in Pleasant Township of Putnam County. Perhaps Wilson was sent there to pastor the U.B. Church. John and Sally Crawford apparently moved there too as they had a child born in 1869 in Liberty Township, Henry County, but by the 1870 census they were in Pleasant Township of Putnam County. At first they were apparently living on a farm outside of the village of Columbus Grove but in Pleasant Township. Elton T. and his wife Dorcas were there also in the 1870 Census but they soon returned to Liberty Township. Wilson's sons Samuel W. and James P. were also there with him in Putnam County and both died there soon after from consumption, Samuel in 1870 at age 24 and James in 1871 at age 23. It is not clear if Charles L. was with them in 1870 at Columbus Grove or not. James was buried back in Liberty Chapel Cemetery in Henry County but the gravesite of Samuel W. is not known. If he was also buried in Liberty Chapel his tombstone is missing. His grave being a veteran's grave is not registered in Henry County as is Daniel's and James P.'s.
The 1870 US Census lists his occupation as merchant. In 1878 Wilson and Issac Bushong bought out the grocery business of N.W. Ogan at Columbus Grove. The 1880 Census lists him as "hardware merchant". In 1896 Wilson and his son-in-law John Crawford purchased an interest in the Exchange Bank in Columbus Grove. They apparently operated a hardware store, a drug store and the Exchange Bank in Columbus Grove. The bank, drug store and the hardware store were all located in a large building commonly referred to as the "Crawford Block".
Wilson continued to live in Columbus Grove until 1899. In February of that year, probably due to ill health, he moved to Napoleon in Henry County to live with his granddaughter, Elizabeth Martin Morey, the daughter of Elton T. Wilson Martin, farmer, mason, preacher, soldier, merchant, and banker, died there on September 8, 1899 at the age of 80. His wife Dilla and all but Sarah Ann of his seven children had preceded him in death. Dilla had died 7 years earlier in January of 1892. The funeral services were held at St. John’s U.B. Church in Columbus Grove, and he was laid to rest next to Dilla at the Truro Cemetery.
Charles Lafayette Martin was born on 28 Jul 1842 in Westfield Twp., Delaware Co., OH, died on 15 Jun 1884 in Liberty Center, Henry Co., OH, at age 41, and was buried in Youngs Cemetery, Liberty Center, Henry Co., OH.
Charles Lafayette Martin, the second son of Rev. Wilson Homer Martin and my Great Grandfather, was born on the 28th day of July 1842 in Delaware County, Ohio. He was raised in Delaware, Morrow, and Marion Counties where he worked on his family's farms.
With the outbreak of the Civil War Charles along with other family members enlisted in the Union Army. He was 19 years old. He was a Private in Company C of the 26th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry under Captain Jesse Meredith. The 26th OVI was officially mustered into service at Camp Chase, west of Columbus, Ohio. On July 29, 1861, the regiment was ordered to western Virginia as part of the US Army occupation force under the overall command of General William S. Rosecrans. By January of 1862, the regiment was transferred from the Department of Western Virginia to the Army of the Ohio under the command of General Don Carlos Buell. In November 1862 The Army of the Ohio was renamed the 14th Corps, but soon became known as the Army of the Cumberland.
For most of year 1862 the 26th was in Tennessee. In July, General Buell decided to consolidate the Army of the Ohio near McMinnville, Tennessee. During August the Regiment was stationed with Crittenden's Corps in the McMinnville area. On August 30th, the 26th was involved in a battle with General Nathan Bedford Forrest's Cavalry near McMinnville. The 26th struck Forrest's Cavalry capturing their ambulances, supplies and one of General Forrest's horses. The 26th received special commendation by 6th Division Commander Thomas J. Wood. On September 2 the 26th OVI left McMinnville and united with the rest of the Army of the Ohio at Murfreesboro.
All of this led up to what was to be one of the major battles of the Civil War and certainly a major event in Charles’ life. The battle occurred at Murfreesboro, Tennessee about 30 mile west of McMinnville. From December 30, 1862 to January 3, 1863 he was in the Battle of Stones River where he received a musket ball in the left knee joint and partially lost his hearing because of canon fire. He was admitted to the military hospital at Covington, Kentucky. On February 23, 1863 he was transferred to Camp Chase, Ohio and although he was not fully recuperated, he was given a medical discharge at Columbus, Ohio on March 20, 1863.
His "Army of the United States Certificate of Disability for Discharge" reads in part: "I certify that I have carefully examined the said Charles Martin Private of Captain Meredith's Company, and find him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of Gunshot wound of the left knee seriously impeding locomotion. Ball entered in front and lodged in the head of the tibia, injuring the ligaments. Wound received at Murfreesboro Dec 31 1862. Disability one fourth. He is also deaf in the right ear." Signed AB Dod Capt 15th USA . For his one fourth disability he received $2 per month pension. Despite all of this, less than a year later, when he reenlisted (The enlistment certificate says "Veteran Volunteer Enlistment") the examining Surgeon certified "On Honor" that "he is free from all bodily defects ...which would in any way disqualify him from performing the duties of a soldier". I suppose this indicates they were much in need of volunteers.
Although crippled and partially deaf, on February 4, 1864 Charles reenlisted at Columbus, Ohio. He was again assigned to Company C, 26th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. By January 1865 he was reassigned to an ambulance train. He was then reassigned to an infantry unit and noted as "lost". On June 17, 1865, he was listed as "deserted" both at Paducah, Kentucky and Cairo, Illinois. They were enroute to Texas. Everyone in his unit simply went home. Upon leaving Cairo he joined his parents at Liberty Township, Ohio.
On September 22, 1866 he initiated a claim for compensation since he was crippled and partially deaf. His father’s testimony on his behalf also indicates he was chronically ill from the exposure and privations suffered during combat. He was later diagnosed as having consumption. On June 4, 1877 when he was receiving compensation he was given a retroactive dishonorable discharge for his second enlistment. On December 11, 1879, due to an act of Congress, he was given an honorable discharge which notes, "with documentation that he had lost his original discharge (second)", thus negating the dishonorable discharge.
After his return from the war, Charles farmed at Liberty Township in Henry County, Ohio. On June 5, 1866 he married Anna Catherine Neff, my Great Grandmother. Anna was the daughter of John and Hepzibah Timbers Neff, who also had a farm in Liberty Township. Their first child Stella was born in March of 1868 and died in September that same year at 6 months old. One year later their second child Jennie Elizabeth was born. Howard Roush says that later Charles and Anna resided in nearby Napoleon, Ohio where Charles had a grocery store. Robert Barnes said in an email to me, "Charles lived in the village of Liberty Center not Napoleon and I think that the grocery (he only had it for a brief time) was in Liberty Center, not Napoleon, where his brother, E.T., practiced medicine. (Although in 1870 E.T. Martin was living in Columbus Grove but returned to Liberty Twp., Henry County soon after that).
In September 1871 Charles and his family moved west to Ellsworth, Kansas perhaps to find fame and fortune or perhaps seeking a better climate for his continuing poor health. While there he was engaged in mining. His third child Homer, my Grandfather, was born in Ellsworth in December of 1872. Charles and family remained there until probably 1874 when they moved to Rio Grande, Colorado. While in Colorado he is known to have traveled into the Arizona-New Mexico Territories on two separate occasions. He lived in Rio Grande, Colorado for perhaps 18 months and then in Elizabethtown, New Mexico and then in Michigan for a year.
Although he may have been engaged in mining in all these locations, we are not certain of the reason for all these travels , but by 1875 he was back in Napoleon, Ohio. While in Napoleon, Anna Catherine had twins named J. Marshall and Lottie. We do not know the date of their births but believe that they lived only a short time. We know J. Marshall died on July 13 1879. Lottie probably died near the same time. Howard Roush believes they died from consumption. By 1879 they were in Columbus Grove and by 1881 back in Napoleon.
Sometime before 1880, Charles and Anna had a home in Napoleon and also a home in Highlands, Macon County, North Carolina. In North Carolina he had a hardwood business, buying quality hardwoods and reselling them in Ohio. Charles apparently acquired a large amount of money from his hardwood business and invested most of his resources in railroad stock and small petroleum development companies. By the early 1880's Charles L. and Anna and children were living in Auburndale, now part of Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio. Anna died there on February 13, 1881. She was buried back in the Martin family plot in Liberty Chapel Cemetery in Liberty Township. She was said to have died from complications associated with a train wreck near Otee, North Carolina when their private railroad car tipped over.
After Anna’s death their family maid, Harriet Elizabeth "Hattie" Helm, took care of the two children for a time. On October 25, 1881 Charles’ brother E.T. Martin was appointed guardian of both children. Presumably they both then lived with E.T. It is not clear why their father did not retain custody of the children. At some point Jenny went to Columbus Grove to live with her paternal grandparents, Wilson and Dilla Martin. On March 2, 1882 Charles and Hattie were married. Charles was 39 and Hattie was 21. They later had one child named Dillie who was born in Highlands, North Carolina on July 5. 1883. After years of poor health, Charles died in Liberty Center on June 15, 1884 at the age of 41. Jennie Elizabeth was not quite 15 years old and Homer was only 11 ˝. After E. T. Martin died in 1891, Homer's guardianship was transferred to George W. and Elizabeth (Martin) Morey.