JOHN R. MARTIN, proprietor of the East Nelson Tile Works, which are located on
section 21, was born in Sussex County, England, August 26. 1854. When only
eleven years old he left his native home and came to America, reaching New York in 1866, and at
once coming on to the Prairie State, locating temporarily in Griggsville, Pike County, and then entering
a brickyard at Pana, this State. He had had some experience in this line of work before leaving
England, and has continued in it since coming to this country.
In the spring of 1872, Mr. Martin came to Moultrie County and with his father establishing his
brick works, began the manufacture of tile late in the spring of 1876, and since that season has given
his attention chiefly to that department of the business. He has also engaged in agricultural pursuits,
as he operates about three hundred acres of land besides giving the necessary attention to his
tile works. He manufactures large quantities of tile and finds his market near home in Moultrie
and Coles Counties. He has a thorough understanding of the necessities of his work and keeps
everything in the first-class condition, being a thorough business man and one who allows nothing
to go by default.
The marriage of our subject, which took place in East Nelson Township, December 11, 1878, united
him with Miss Maggie J. Stewart, who was born near Philadelphia. November 5. 1860. To her
have been granted five children who are as follows: George P., Sarah G., Hattie C., Fanny E.
and Matilda M. All have been spared to their parents
with the exception of Fanny, who died at the tender age of three years and eight months.
The father of our subject, the late John S. Martin, was born in Mayfield, Sussex, England, and
his mother. Fanny J. Vidler, was a native of the same shire. They came to America in 1866, and it was
the father who established the brick and tile works which are now operated by the subject of our
sketch. His death, which occurred in October, 1880, was very distressing in its circumstances, as
it was caused by his being caught in the cogwheels of a tile machine. He had but two children — John
R. and Samuel and the latter is now deceased.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 477/478
Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb