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Biography of Martin L. Foltz

Martin L. Foltz. His span of years greater than the average lifetime had been spent by Martin L. Foltz as an active citizen and resident of Kansas. He is one of the few survivors of that epoch when the nation’s destiny hung upon the outcome of the conflict in Kansas. He is also one of the survivors of the great Civil war, in which he served almost from the beginning to the end in the Union army. For many years his home had been in Williamsport Township of Shawnee County. Born in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, April 15, 1841, he is a son of Christian and Anna (Keifer) Foltz, who were of Pennsylvania German ancestry. In the family were twelve children, and he was the youngest. In 1857 he and his three brothers, Daniel, Frederick P. and Cyrus, made up a party and set out for Kansas. It was their intention not only to found homes in the newly organized territory, but also do what they could to make Kansas a free state. When they left Pennsylvania they traveled out of Pittsburg on a boat down the Ohio River, finally landing at St. Louis, and there took another boat up the Missouri as far as Kansas City. At Kansas City, or rather at Westport, since there was no Kansas City at that day, they outfitted and with wagons and their farming and household utensils came overland to their destination. The brothers settled in what is now a part of Shawnee County. At first they had to buy practically all their forage, paying 2 1/2 cents an ear for unhusked corn to...

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