Biographical Sketch of W. D. Martin

One half mile southeast from Harney is one of the finest small grain farms in the county. It consists of eighty acres of choice land and is well under cultivation. The improvements are of a quality and kind quite fitting such an estate and its owner is the subject of this article. Mr. Martin was about the first man to try raising grain in this locality and he has made a marked success in this direction. He raised in 1901 the largest crop of any one man in Harney county and he is classed as one of the leading agriculturists of middle Oregon.

W. D. Martin was born in Walla Walla county, Washington, on February 13, 1865, being the son of John and Nancy (Owens) Martin. The parents came from the state of Iowa overland with ox teams direct to Walla Walla and the father took a ranch that joined Oregon, and within one hundred yards of the state line our subject was born. Soon after that event, the family removed to the Oregon side and dwelt in Umatilla county until 1885. W. D. was educated in the common schools there and grew up on a farm, developing both his mental and physical powers in a becoming manner to a western born son. In 1885 he came to Baker county, near North Powder and on June 8, of that year, he married Miss Leorah, daughter of Jason and Margaret Wyatt, who were pioneers from the state of Indiana to Baker county in 1876. Mrs. Martin was born in Indiana. They removed to Walla Walla county and thence in 1891 to Harney county. He at once engaged in farming here and was one of the very first to raise grain on the fertile face of this county. He succeeded in good shape and in 1895 he took his present place, gaining title by purchase.

To Mr. and Mrs. Martin, five children have been born, named as follows: Earl L., Oran, Christine, deceased, Agnes and Ester, twins. Mr. Martin’s parents are living in Walla Walla and are among the prosperous and wealthy residents of that city.



Whitman, Marcus. An Illustrated history of Baker, Grant, Malheur and Harney Counties: with a brief outline of the early history of the state of Oregon. Chicago: Western Historical Publishing Co., 1902, 871 pgs.

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