W. D. MARTIN – One half mile southeast from Harney is one of the finest small grain
farms in the county. It consists of eighty acres of choice land and is well under
cultivation. The improvements are of a quality and kind quite fitting such an estate
and its owner is the subject of this article. Mr. Martin was about the first man
to try raising grain in this locality and he has made a marked success in this direction.
He raised in 1901 the largest crop of any one man in Harney county and he is classed
as one of the leading agriculturists of middle Oregon.
W. D. Martin was born in Walla Walla county, Washington, on February 13, 1865, being
the son of John and Nancy (Owens) Martin. The parents came from the state of Iowa
overland with ox teams direct to Walla Walla and the father took a ranch that joined
Oregon, and within one hundred yards of the state line our subject was born. Soon
after that event, the family removed to the Oregon side and dwelt in Umatilla county
until 1885. W. D. was educated in the common schools there and grew up on a farm,
developing both his mental and physical powers in a becoming manner to a western
born son. In 1885 he came to Baker county, near North Powder and on June 8, of that
year, he married Miss Leorah, daughter of Jason and Margaret Wyatt, who were pioneers
from the state of Indiana to Baker county in 1876. Mrs. Martin was born in Indiana.
They removed to Walla Walla county and thence in 1891 to Harney county. He at once
engaged in farming here and was one of the very first to raise grain on the fertile
face of this county. He succeeded in good shape and in 1895 he took his present
place, gaining title by purchase.
To Mr. and Mrs. Martin, five children have been born, named as follows: Earl L.,
Oran, Christine, deceased, Agnes and Ester, twins. Mr. Martin’s parents are living
in Walla Walla and are among the prosperous and wealthy residents of that city.
Transcribed from Page 670 of Harney County Biographies from “An Illustrated History
of Baker, Grant, Malheur and Harney Counties with a brief outline of the early history
of the State of Oregon”, Published 1902 by Western Historical Publishing Company