Site No.27: The Village of Martin


Martin, which was named for President Martin Van Buren, had its beginning in 1836 when Mumford Eldred purchased forty acres of land and built his cabin in the township. Martin became part of the transportation link between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo in 1855 when a plank road was completed between the two cities. The construction of the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad in 1870 helped to make the village an area trade center.

Village of Martin Election
Voters and candidates in Martin after the results of the 1896 presidential and local elections were in.
It was the custom for losers to push winners in wheelbarrows!

Local man becomes national Civil War hero!  On May 10, 1865, Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States, was captured.  Being guarded by federal troops, Davis made an attempt to escape. The men who foiled this escape became national heroes. One of those men was Andrew Bee, a former Martin resident. He was buried in the Martin cemetery along with other Civil War veterans.

Bee grave marker


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