Historical Plaque Properties

 

George Martin - Retired Farmer
240 Mornington Street
1905

George Martin was born in County Tyrone, Ireland in 1843. He was the son of Robert Martin and Dorcas Campbell.  The family emigrated to Canada in 1845 and Robert leased land on Concession 6, Lot 33 in North Easthope Township, Perth County.


According to Dean Robinson’s book “The Hills of Home” a history of the Township, Robert built a house and barns and acquired some livestock. Typical of immigrants to Canada, at the time, Robert leased the land until he raised sufficient capital to purchase the farm in 1855. Robinson also notes that Dorcas, commonly known as Dorkie, was a well known midwife in the area. He quotes a Dr. William Bradley who said “She responded to every call by day or night. Her skill and success in this field was phenomenal, and the thought of remuneration never entered her mind. Grateful mothers would often send her some little token of their gratitude. She had a knowledge of field herbs and would leave instruction and recipes as to how the medicines were to be prepared and particular instruction as to the care of the baby. She was a woman of fine appearance and graceful physique”.
George made the decision to follow in his father’s footsteps and purchased the farm from Robert in 1865. He appears to have been a successful farmer and needed to expand his operations. About 1872, he purchased the adjacent Lot 34 from his brother, Robert Jr., who moved to Manitoba and from that time forward it has been farmed as one property, according to Robinson.


On March 27, 1867 George married Mary Ann Lang. She was born about 1844 in Ireland the daughter of John Lang and Jane Tunney. In 1846, the family emigrated to Canada and settled on a farm in Durham County, Ontario. However, by the time she was seventeen, Mary Ann and her older sister Rachel went to live with their elder brother, Edward, and his family who farmed in Mornington Township, where she met George.


George and Mary Ann had five children: three girls: Jane (b. abt. 1869); Mary (b. 1872) and Dorcas (b. 1876). They also had two sons, George Jr. (b.1878) and Edward (b.1879).  While not uncommon to lose a child in the nineteenth century one can only imagine George and Mary Ann’s sadness over the loss of both of their sons. Their youngest boy, Edward, died at the age of ten in 1889 of inflammation of the bowel and their oldest boy, George, died at the age of 22 of typhoid fever. They are poignantly remembered on the Martin family tombstone in Avondale Cemetery, “A mother’s hope. A father’s joy. Death’s hand has been laid low. God gave and took our darling boys. To his command we bow.”
In 1892, their daughter Mary married 19-year old Hugh Nichol the son of Archibald Nichol and Ann McDonald. Hugh died sometime during the 1890s as Mary, listed as a widow, married Thomas Arthur in 1900. Their other daughter, Dorcas, married Frederick Ernest Henry Fletcher in 1903. He was the son of George Fletcher and Julia Ann Disney. Their daughter Jane appears not to have wed.


With no male heir to inherit his farm, George, now in his early sixties, retired and moved to Stratford where he built the house at 240 Mornington in 1905. He appears to have sold the family farm in 1910.


Mary Ann died on January 5, 1922 and George died on April 22, 1925. They are buried in Avondale Cemetery along with their two sons and daughter Jane.