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John Martin, who passed away in Racine in 1900 at the age of seventy-four years, devoted the greater part of his life to carpentering. He was born in England on the 13th of April, 1826, and at an early age came to America with his parents, the family locating in New York city. There he attended school and learned the carpenter’s trade, in which he became unusually proficient. At the age of twenty-one years he came to Racine County, Wisconsin, and purchased eighty acres of land in Yorkville Township, on which he resided for eight years. He then removed to Racine, where he made his home until his death in 1900. He erected many buildings in this County and gained an enviable reputation for fine workmanship and reliability. He was a poet of some note and many of his poems have been published.
Mr. Martin was united in marriage to Miss Mary De Hule, and they became the parents of eleven children, namely: Thomas, deceased; William, a resident of California ; Samuel, deceased ; Emily, who is now Mrs. Willis Collins of Minnesota ; Anna Maria, now Mrs. Buckley ; Mary S., the wife of Edward Connor, of Kansas City, Missouri ; Thirza Jane Alice, deceased; Frances Rosaltha, the wife of Robert Green, of Racine ; Lilly Eliza, the wife of Edward Thorpe, of Marshfield ; Harriet Le Roy, the wife of George B. Freeman ; and Genevieve Annette, deceased.
Mr. Martin supported the Republican Party at the polls and took a commendable interest in public affairs, although not an office seeker. He held membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, to the teachings of which he conformed his life. He had a wide acquaintance, and his genuine worth is attested by the fact that those who were most intimately associated with him were his warmest friends. His wife died in 1871.
His daughter, Anna Maria, was born on the 26th of April, 1855, and acquired her education in the district schools a Racine County. She remained at home until her marriage when, on the 7th of November. 1871, she became the wife of Armitage Buckley, a son of James and Sarah Buckley. For many years Armitage Buckley was a well known agriculturist of this County, but is now living retired in Racine. In polities he is a republican. He is a man of excellent character and is well known for his sterling qualities throughout Racine and Kenosha counties. Mrs. Buckley possesses marked literary ability and has written in all about two hundred poems, eighty-three of which were published in book form. She generously gave the proceeds of the sale of these volumes to charity. She received the inspiration for her writings from her life in the country, being sensitive to the beauty of her surroundings. Her sisters, Mrs. Green, Mrs. Thorpe and Mrs. Freeman, have also written poems of merit. Among Mrs. Buckley’s poems the following is one of her favorites:
DREAMS OF MY CHILDHOOD.
Oh, the home of my youth in my fancy I see, Still dear in my memory to me,
The bright flowing stream with its borders of green. As it sped gently on to the sea.
‘Heath the blue vault of Heaven stood the old cabin home”PAN-as there I in infancy played
Through the half-open door and vine-covered porch Stood a form that now sleeps ‘neath the shade.
‘Twas the form of my mother, so loving and true, Still young in my memory today :
Through that half-open door her form I still see.
And the path where so often we strayed.
And the sweet singing bird at morning’s first dawn, As then would my slumbers awake,
Would thrill me with joy and unspeakable love, Which from me no mortal can take.
No harp half so sweet as the Bobolink’s call. No music so soothing and dear,
As the Robin’s sad note and Bluebird’s song, As when they first fall on our ear.
But the pride of my youth was the forest so wild. When often with joy I have strayed,
For the fairest. of flowers that nature yields Are the blossoms that bloom in the shade.
Oh, why must I leave you, dear scenes of my youth, And why not forever abide
Where the song bird warbles bis earliest note
While praising its maker who died.
Farewell, then, dear home, and scenes of my youth. Farewell till we meet home at last.
Where sorrow and tears shall never be known. And trouble a thing of the past.