Saturday, November 28, 2015

John W. Martin's Taxes, 1856-1889

John Wesley Martin was a well-to-do farmer in Russell County. His father, James G. Martin was a veteran of the War of 1812 who married Margaret Price, the daughter of another prominent farmer, Thomas Price. John W. Martin was born circa 1822 and married Caroline Campbell on July 16, 1868. At that time John W. was 50 years old and Caroline Campbell was just 20.

In the 1850 Census John is living with his parents and has a real estate value of $500.

In the 1860 Census he is living with his widowed mother. His Real Estate worth is $1200 and his personal worth is $500. Real estate worth is the total value of all land; personal worth is the value of all "...bonds, stocks, mortgages, notes, live stock, plate, jewels, or furniture, but exclusive of clothing."

Examining the Agricultural Schedule of the 1870 census (his first not living with family), we see that John W. owned 290 acres of land worth $1,450. Ninety acres were improved and the rest were woodland. He paid $25 in wages for the year, indicating he had help with the farming, but not much. He owned 2 horses, 7 cows, 8 "other cattle", 10 sheep, and 6 pigs. The value of the live stock was given as $640. He farmed 15 bushels of winter wheat, 5 bushels of rye, 23 of corn, and 25 of oats.

Martin's wife, Caroline, died of "heart disease" on February 22, 1871, just two and a half years after their marriage. It's possible her death was related to a bout of scarlet fever she had when she was 11 years old which killed her twin, Emeline. John W. Martin died on March 27, 1891.

Below are tax receipts for almost every year from 1856 to 1889, and 1899 (for his estate.)