On September 10th, a young couple came into the museum seeking information about the home that they are renovating. It is the house directly north of the Bowman/Bacholzky house on South Main Street. They had found that the house was once owned by M. E. Martin. That name seemed familiar, so I looked in the 1884 Lapeer County history book at the Almont short biographies. I found a biography for Maitland E. Martin.
Maitland Ezra Martin was born December 29, 1827 in Whitby, Ontario, Canada – which is located on Lake Ontario about 27 miles east of Toronto – to Sanford Martin (1799-1864) and Fatama Ellsworth Martin (1811-1866). Historical records actually show three different sets of parents for Maitland but Sanford and Fatama appear to be the most likely. He grew up farming and going to school.
Maitland came to Almont about 1851 and became the proprietor of the Exchange Hotel the next year. After a short time, he engaged in the livery business before taking over a farm in Section 18 – somewhere near where I live. He remained farming until 1857. Mr. Martin then spent nine years clerking in various stores in Almont. In 1866, he returned for two years to the farm. In 1968, he went back to working as a store clerk and was living on West St. Clair Street near Henry Stephens.
By 1874, he was living in the house on South Main Street. His neighbor to the south was H. C. Matteson.
In 1877, he was elected the Township Supervisor. He would hold that position for at least the next seven years. Over the years, he also held several other Township positions.
In 1879, he and William Colerick started the dry goods firm of Colerick & Martin.
In June of 1852, Maitland married Harriet Kilborn French in Almont. Harriet was born February 21, 1833 in Ontario, Canada to Edward Jewett French and Phebe Hawley Kilborn French. Edward moved the family to Almont in the late 1840s after Phebe had passed away. Maitland and Harriet had one child, a daughter, Carrie M. Martin born about 1855. Nothing more is known about Carrie.
Harriet died on October 25, 1895 in Almont and was buried in Hough Cemetery, Almont. Maitland married Phebe Etta Gould on April 9, 1898 in Oxford, Ontario, Canada. Phebe was Harriet’s older sister. Phebe was born July 2, 1828 in Ontario, Canada. She had outlived two husbands; first Edmund Cooper (1805-1859) who she married in 1845 and second Joseph E. Gould (1832-1886) who she married in 1862.
Maitland and Phebe were married only about 20 months when she died on November 15, 1899. She was taken back to Ontario and buried in the Oshawa Union Cemetery, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
By 1900, he had sold the dry goods business and gone back to farming. He eventually retired and moved to Caseville in Huron County to live with a niece. He returned to Almont where he died on November 8, 1917. He was buried in the Hough Cemetery next to Harriet. Harriet’s father, Edward Jewett French is also buried there.