History of Martin, Illinois

Town 24, Range 5 east of the Third Principal Meridian, is Martin. It is six miles square; is the second from the east line of the county, and the third from the north and south lines. The center of it is twenty-two miles north of east of Bloomington. The Mackinaw runs entirely across its northern tier of sections, and threefourths of this tier were covered originally with timber. The remainder of the township is prairie-land of the finest kind, both in the richness of its soil and its adaptability to thorough culture at all times. There is practically no waste land in the town. Bray’s Run and other small streams running across it from its southern to its northern border, water and drain its rolling surface, making it unsurpassed in beauty and value. Added to this, the general thrift and care of its farmers, the attention to buildings, orchards and hedges, the general freedom from foul growth which the farms show, all tend to make one remember a visit to Martin pleasantly.

The town was named from Dr. Eleazer Martin, who, at the time of his death, owned a large tract of land, which still belongs to his two daughters, Mrs. Ewing and Mrs. Dr. Elder.

There are three churches in Martin, each being on the edge of the town, so that it accommodates others than the inhabitants of this township. The “Antioch ” Church, as its name would naturally indicate, belongs to the Christian denomination. Early in the settlement of the country, Elders W. G. Anderson, DI. H. Knight, and other devoted men, began to assemble the people together on the Lord’s Day and on other occasions, for religious meditation and instruction. A Sabbath school soon followed, and the audiences outgrowing the accommodations, it was determined to build a house for worship. A suitable piece of land was procured in Section 1, and a cemetery was laid out, and in 1873, the present Antioch Church was built, 30×45, a plain four-wall structure, costing 31.400. These brethren were greatly assisted in their building enterprise by S. W. Wiley, John Hinshaw and others. Dr. Green, of Potosi, together with Messrs. Anderson and Knight, have conducted regular religious services in the church.

The ” Martin Valley ” Christian Church was built in 1873, in the middle of Ritter’s meadow, in the southeastern part of town. It is about 40×54, a plain building, without spire or decoration, and cost about $1,500. At the time it was built, it was understood that a road would be laid out on the section line running by it, but difficulties arose in regard to it, and it now seems likely that it will cost almost as much to make a road to it as the house originally cost. It is proposed to move it to Arrowsmith, and as most of those who now attend will be as near there as where it now stands, it will probably go. The gentlemen who were largely instrumental in the building, were John Nickerson, Joseph Goddard, William Hurt, Mr. Lopeman, Elias Buzic and Capt. Kennedy.

The ” Martin Valley ” United Brethren Church was built in 1869, at a cost of about $1,500. The building committee was James Gillan and Jacob Richie.

  1. Early Settlers of Martin, Illinois
  2. Township Officers of Martin, Illinois


Le Baron, William., Jr. & Co. The History of McLean County, Illinois: portraits of early settlers and prominent men. Chicago. W. Le Baron, Jr., 1879.

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