contact our Junior Vice Department Commander
2649 182nd St
Greetings from the Deptartment of Iowa's Junior Vice Commander. I would like to extend a welcome to those of you who wish to join our Order, or those who merely seek information. My job is to assist you in finding a Camp to join. Merely contact a member of the Camp you wish to join, or contact me and I'll get you set up. If there is no Camp nearby, you may wish to start a new camp with as few as FIVE members. You do not have to have a Civil War ancestor to join a Camp. We will do all we can to assist you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Iowa's Last Civil War Soldier
November 10, 1847 - September 20, 1949
March 22, 1947 - September 20, 1949
Battery H, 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery
September 22, 1864 - June 26, 1865
Iowa's Lone Remaining Civil War Veteran Passes Away Sept. 20
(O'Brien County Bell, 21 Sep, 1949)
The people of this community, of O'Brien County and of the state as a whole were saddened Tuesday to learn of the passing of Mr. James P. Martin, 102, Iowa's last surviving civil war veteran.
Mr. Martin was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, November 10, 1847 and had lived in and near Sutherland for more than 60 years. The aged veteran had served in a Wisconsin heavy artillery unit during the Civil War.
He had been quite active until the last two years when faulty eye sight and hearing had prevented him from reading or listening to the radio. He had been ill of a heart ailment for the last four months. The veteran of the war between the states died at the home of a daughter, Mrs. Elsie Hill, with whom he had lived for several years.
Military and Masonic services will be accorded Mr. Martin at the Methodist Church in Sutherland, Friday, September 23 at 2:30, with Rev. Alvin Nicholson of the Church of Christ officiating and Rev. W. L. Rowse of the Methodist church assisting. Burial will be in Waterman cemetery.
Survivors include three sons, James B. of Hoquiam, Wash., Clyde of Calumet, and William B. of Kalispell, Mont.; three daughters, Mrs. Hill, Mrs. Mayme Thiessen, both of Sutherland, and Mrs. Laura Lampman of Merced Falls, Calif. There are also twenty-eight grandchildren, 51 great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.
Miss Amy Noll, secretary of the Iowa Department of the Grand Army of the Republic, has stated she plans to attend and represent the civil war veterans organization. The family at Sutherland have also been notified that Gov. Wm. Beardsley and Brig. Gen. Charles H. Grahl of the Iowa National Guard, both would attend the funeral if their schedules permitted.
James Patterson Martin
(O'Brien County Bell, 28 Sep, 1949)
James Patterson Martin, son of William and Mary Lumsdon Martin and the last member of the original Martin family, was born at Aberdeenshire, Scotland, November 10, 1847, and passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Elsie Hill, September 20, 1949 at the age of 101 years, 10 months and 10 days. Father William (born December 25, 1796), and mother, Mary Lumsden (born July 16, 1792), both being born at Aberdeen.
In 1852 when he was a child of five years, the family migrated to America, making the ocean voyage in an old type sailing vessel, requiring seven weeks enroute. Relatives of Grandfather Martin had come to America at an earlier date, settling in Wisconsin, and it was there this family established their home.
His childhood and young manhood was spent on a farm there, and being of a large family his education was what could be obtained from the rural schools. When war broke out between the States, and four older brothers had already answered the call to arms, young James, too, felt the urge, and with his father's permission, enlisted at the tender age of 16. He was inducted into the service September 22, 1864, and was a member of Company H of the 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery. An older brother John was also a member of the same group. Enlisted September 22, 1864, in Battery H, First Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, Twenty-second Army Corps, Eastern Division; suffers from deafness incurred in service; discharged June 26, 1865, at Fort Lyon, Va.
He served until the close of the war, participating in various minor skirmishes. Being stationed at Ft. Lyon, Virginia, he was on guard duty outside the Capital the night President Lincoln was assassinated, and was one of those by whom the news of the tragedy was relayed along the line. He was honorably discharged June 26, 1865, and returned to his Wisconsin home to resume his farm work. Soon after however, in company with a friend, he went to Kansas, where a new tract of land had recently been opened for homesteading. He filed his claim there, and worked at whatever was available while developing his tract.
On August 30, 1870 he was united in marriage with Mary Elizabeth Brady at LeRoy, Kansas. Mary Elizabeth Brady, the oldest child of Robert and Elizabeth Brady, was born at Bridgewater, Beaver County, Pennsylvania on April 21, 1850. After a few trying years, he with his wife and two small sons, returned to Wisconsin, making the trip overland by covered wagon. He farmed in Wisconsin until the fall of 1886, when with his family, now increased to seven children, he came to Iowa. The Iowa home was established in Waterman township five miles east of Sutherland. Nine children were born to this union, one dying in infancy, the other eight, four sons and four daughters, all now grown to manhood and womanhood, were the pride of their mother's heart.
The intervening years, sixty odd in number, have all been spent in this community. In 1917 the wife and mother passed away, and since that time he has made his home with different members of the family, traveling about at his will, though not disposing of his interests until a few years ago.
He was an active worker in the early development of O'Brien County and labored long and untiringly for projects that would benefit the county in general, and his own community in particular. He was instrumental in the organization of the O'Brien County Mutual Insurance Association, having served as its first president. He also played a major part in the establishment of Waterman township's rural telephone system.
He affiliated with the Masonic Order at Darlington, Wisconsin before moving to Iowa, but later transferred his membership to the local lodge. He has retained his membership through the years, having been awarded his 50-year certificate in 1937.
He was active in G. A. R. work and attended both State and National encampments for many years, the latter taking him to many states. He was privileged to attend the Grand reunion of the Blue and Gray at the scene of the historic battle field at Gettysburg, Pa., in 1938.
When Iowa observed Memorial Day recently, Mr. Martin was the state's only living symbol of the war which gave birth to the holiday. Iowa honored its last Civil War Veteran on his birthday last November. Fifteen military units paraded past his home and representatives of various veteran’s organizations spoke. It was the last public appearance by the aged Boy in Blue. But until 1946, Mr. Martin marched in every Memorial Day.
In April of 1947 he was the honored guest of a gathering held at his daughter's home at which time he was installed as Dept. Commander of the Iowa G. A. R. He had been Senior Vice Commander prior to this time. Several distinguished officers of the Iowa Department of Sons of Union Veterans and Woman's Relief Corps were present at this meeting. Mr. Martin was named Iowa State Commander-in- Chief of the G.A.R. Department of Iowa in 1947, succeeding John M. Grudgel who had died in Shenandoah on March 22, 1947 at the age of 99 years. On June 20, 1949 Ebenezer G. McMurray of Iowa City died at the age of 102, leaving Mr. Martin the only surviving Civil War Veteran residing in Iowa.
On September 28, 1947, James Martin and Ebenezer McMurray met in Iowa City to dedicate the GAR Highway. This was the first time James had been to Iowa City since 1870. He had gone there to meet a man that owed him $20, the gentleman didn’t show up.
Being O'Brien County's only living Civil War Veteran for a number of years, he was honored by having a newly organized Woman's Relief Corps named after him, "The James P. Martin W. R. C." of Sanborn, Iowa. Since June of 1948 he has been the only living Civil War veteran in the State of Iowa.
"Grandpa" Martin as he has been familiarly known of later years, was blessed with exceptionally good health as his long life verifies. He has been very active until a few years ago, driving his car here and there at his will, even when well past 90. He had a friendly, pleasing personality, and his familiar figure, alert and erect, twirling his cane in tune to his step, while taking his daily walks, will be remembered by many. He drove his car until 1941, age 94. He continued to dig potatoes and mow his lawn until 1944, age 97. He had marched in every Memorial Day parade until 1946, age 99.
He never discussed two subjects – politics and religion – because he “never liked to quarrel with people.” One of Mr. Martin’s greatest pleasures was smoking cigars – which he virtually did every day until his critical illness. He always drank one bottle of beer every day and drank a tablespoon of whiskey in a glass of water every morning.
He is preceded in death by his wife in 1917, a daughter, Mrs. Olive Dowling, in 1938, and his eldest son, Fred L. Martin in March, 1946.
He is survived by three sons and three daughters: Wm. R. Martin of Kalispell, Montana; James B. Martin of Hoquiam, Washington; Mrs. R. E. Lampman, of Merced Falls, Calif.; Clyde A. Martin of Calumet ; and Mrs. Elsie Hill and Mrs. Mary Thiessen both of Sutherland. Also twenty-eight grandchildren, 51 great grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and a host of friends.
The body was taken to the Baumgarten Funeral home here while arrangements for the funeral are being made. They await word from relatives on the west coast. The funeral is not expected to be held before Friday.
The American Legion here will furnish the guard of honor, color guard and firing squad for the funeral, and its members will conduct the military rites. The Rev. Alvin Nicholson of the Church of Christ here will have charge of the services. Mr. Martin was the fifth Iowa or former Iowa Civil War veteran to die in the past year. Mr. McMurray, the nextto-the-last veteran living in Iowa, died June 20, 1948.
The last veteran who enlisted in Iowa died Dec. 24, 1948, in Beatrice, Nebr. He was Michael Bon Doll, who formerly lived at Atlantic. He was buried at Wiota. Other Veterans. Robert T. Bryan, formerly of Macedonia, Sidney and Harlan died last Jan. 17 in Boulder, Colo. and was buried in Thurman. A former Ottumwa resident, Julian M. Ransier, died last November at Hot Springs, Ark., at the age of 104. They were the last of 76,242.
Thus has a long and active life drawn to its close, and we who knew him as the best of fathers will lovingly cherish his memory. The Allied Orders of the Grand Army of the Republic (Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Woman's Relief Corps, Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, and Auxiliary of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War) placed a monument in memory of James P. Martin in the town of Sutherland, Iowa.
IOWA'S LAST CIVIL WAR VETERAN
Interment of James P. Martin, Iowa's last Civil War veteran and Commander of the Iowa Department of the G.A.R. was caried out with full military honors at the final rites, Friday afternoon, September 23, 1949, from the Methodist Church. The body lay in state at the Baumgarten Funeral Home until time for the services.
A military escort, with colors of the G.A.R. and the Sutherland American Legion Post No. 152 conducted the funeral cortege to the church where massed colors representing many surrounding American Legion Posts were stationed.
Nearly 800 persons headed by Governor Beardsley, Congressman Charles Hoeven, Colonel Fred C. Tandy of the Adjutant General's office, Amy Noll, of Des Moines, Secretary of the Iowa Department of the G.A.R.; Menila Struckman of Oelwein, Department President and Josephine M. Kuba of Cedar Rapids, Department Secretary of the Woman's Relief Corps; Minnie Duval of Des Moines, Department Senior Vice President of the Daughters of Union Veterans; Homer L. Young of Waterloo, Department Commander of the Sons of Union Veterans; Marshall F. Camp, of Creston, Department Commander of the American Legion; Worth Karns of Ames, Department Senior Vice Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and many other representatives of these organizations from all parts of the state, came to pay tribute th this former "boy in blue".
The stores in Sutherland were closed during the services and the streets were lined with flags flown at half mast.
The auditorium and basement of the church were filled to capacity, the overflow crowd filling also the nearby Legion Hall, while countless others stood outside during the services. Loud speakers carried the service to all.
Alvin Nicholson, pastor of the Church of Christ, and Rev. W. L. Rowse of the Methodist Church officiated at the services, which were directed by the Baumgarten Funeral Home.
H. J. Behmer of Akron and Mrs Lyle Youde, accompanied by Mrs. Otis Hulser, sang "Beyond the Sunset" and "Lead, Kindly Light".
The mass of beautiful flowers sent by the many friends were a silent tribute in his honor.
Masonic funeral rites were conducted in the church by Abiff Lodge A. F. & A. M. with L. D. Schultz of Peterson delivering the funeral oration.
Colonel Fred C. Tandy of the Adjutant General's office read the service record of the deceased. Enlisting at the age of 16, James P. Martin was mustered into the United States service, a Private of Troop H, of the 1st Regiment, Wisconsin Heavy Artillery on September 22, 1864. He was stationed at Fort Lyon, Virginia, and detailed in sentry duty in the defenses of the National Capitol. There on the night President Lincoln was assassinated, he was one of those by whom the tragedy was relayed along the line. He was discharged from service June 26, 1865.
The funeral cortege to the cemetery was an impressive sight, hundreds of cars over a mile long-as far as you could see-from the town to the cemetery, with the colors of the Grand Army of the Republic and American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars in charge of Irvine Struve, Commander of the Sutherland American Legion Post No. 152.
Myrl Farqhar and Clayton Johann served as color bearers and Bernard Watterson and John Engleke were the color guard. Bearing the G.A.R. colors and guidon were Mr. Gwinn of Waterloo and J. L. Hearshman of Des Moines, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
Delbert Johannsen directed the firing squad and taps were sounded by H. J. Behmer and Clayton Bill, buglers.
The flag for the casket was presented to the family by Donald Waggoner, chaplain.
Interment was in the family plot in Waterman cemetery.
Our heartfelt sympathy is extended to the family.
(Sutherland Courier, 14 Jun 1917)
The twelfth annual Martin reunion was held at the Frank home, southeast of Gaza, June 9th.
On account of the unsettled weather and the illness of Mrs. J. P. Martin, only a few friends were invited. Mary Elizabeth Brady Martin passed away on June 14th. Among the eighty people present were those from a distance including: Geo. Martin, of Peterson, Gordon Martin, Ted, Mildred and Neola, of Royal, Donald Martin, of Spencer, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Kruges and Bernice, of Lake Park, Miss Elizabeth Kruger, of Hartley, Kenneth Martin, of Cherokee and Miss Gertrude Carrington, of Cherokee.
At noon three long tables were spread on the lawn and a bounteous picnic dinner was served. Immediately after dinner a short program was given.
The rest of the afternoon was given over to athletic sports in which old and young took an active part. The "stand-on-head" contest was one of interest, between Myles Thiessen, age 7, Roger Thiessen, age 8, and James Martin, age 70, which was won by Myles and Roger. Of course "grandpa" wanted the kids to win. Chester Norland, of Gaza, was present with his kodak to take several pictures of the entire group. The afternoon was closed with the serving of ice cream and cake. All departed to their various homes with the assurance of a very good time.
The stout heart which had kept him alive for 101 years finally gave out at 2:25 pm, Tuesday, September 20, 1949.