This well known, prosperous farmer and business man is deserving of a representation in the history of his County and with pleasure we accord him such.
William B. Martin was born in Greene County, Pennsylvania, on September 28, 1848, being the son of Annanias C. and Margaret (McCormick) Martin, natives of Pennsylvania. When William was two years old, the family came to Henry County, Iowa, locating near Mount Pleasant. In 1853 he went to Illinois and returned to Iowa in 1860. William was the second of a family of five children. A. M. Martin, living near Post Falls; Frank B., E. M., and Mrs. W. W. Levis are still living near McMinnville, Oregon. In 1862, they all came across the plains with ox teams, joining a large train at the Platte. The journey was made without incident out of the ordinary and they settled in the vicinity of McMinnville, where the father bought land and farmed. Our subject was educated in the public schools, completing in the high school.
There on October 2, 1870, Mr. Martin married Miss Mary E., daughter of Jesse T. and Violet (Shipley) Mulkins, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio. They were married in Indiana and came to Des Moines County, Iowa, where Mrs. Martin was born on July 24, 1847. In J 864, they made the weary journey across the plains to Oregon, locating in Yam Hill County. In 1871, they came to Dayton, Washington, and in 1881, they removed to Spokane Prairie, where the father died in 1885. Mrs. Martin died in March, 1902. Our subject sold his farm in Oregon in 1877 and came to the vicinity of Dayton, Washington. In 1882, he settled near Lewiston, on a preemption, where he took to fruit raising and dairying, in October, 1896, Mr. Martin came to the reservation and located a homestead, where he now lives, four and one half miles south from Nez Perce. The family came to this place in the spring of 1897 and it has been the home since. The farm is well supplied with first class improvements, among which are a fine seven room house, a large barn, excellent outbuildings, orchards, fences and so forth.
Mr. Martin operates a threshing machine and is also president of the Farmers Grain Company, limited, which has been incorporated under the laws of Idaho. They have warehouses at Kamiah and a wire tramway from the top of the hill to them; they also own other property. Mr. Martin is also a shareholder in the telephone line from Playfair to Nez Perce. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Martin, Lester L., aged twenty-seven and the owner of a homestead joining his father’s farm; Fred L., who also has a homestead adjoining, is twenty-two years old; Walter M. aged nineteen.
Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903