First Family of Hazelwood - The Martin Family
Morgan L. Martin was a prominent Green Bay attorney and civic leader, originally from Martinsburg, New York, who helped lay the foundation for Wisconsin statehood. In 1847, Martin was elected President of the state convention which drafted Wisconsin's constitution. President Polk signed the Act of Admission on May 29, 1848, making Wisconsin the 30th state to enter the Union.
Throughout his life in Green Bay, and in addition to his political activities, Martin had an active law career and served as an Indian Agent and a Brown County judge.
Elizabeth Smith married Morgan L. Martin on July 25, 1837, when she was nineteen years old. Born to a prestigious and well-connected family in Plattsburg, New York, Elizabeth came to the Green Bay area with her uncle, noted army surgeon Dr. William Beaumont, in the mid-1830s. Together Morgan and Elizabeth produced six children, only four of whom lived to adulthood.
Though her life was often difficult and sad, Elizabeth came to love her Wisconsin home, and later in her life she wrote with fondness of her early days on the Wisconsin frontier. She wrote about her experiences in many publications, including the Milwaukee Sentinel.
Stephen Leonard Martin was the oldest of the Martin's six children, born in 1838. His career began with a promising start that included a commission to West Point and an Army commission. Leonard, as he was called, saw action in most of the major engagements early in the Civil War, eventually reaching the rank of Colonel. After the war, he was plagued with asthma and other ailments, but still managed an active career with the Northern Pacific Railroad, the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway and the Army Pension Office. He never married and died in 1890 at age 52.
Anne Elizabeth Martin, the Martin's eldest daughter, attended Cottage Hill Seminary in Poughkeepsie, New York in the fall and winter of 1861. While there, she contracted scarlet fever and died at Lowville, New York on November 25, 1862. She was 16 years old.
Melancton Martin, the family's second son, was born in 1847 and died in 1849 before the age of two. Little is known about him.
No images of Melancton are known to exist.
Sarah Greene Martin, born in 1850, lived most of her life at Hazelwood. Well educated and proficient in French, she worked with her sister Deborah on translations of the Charles de Langlade papers, discovered by her father. Not as outgoing socially as her dynamic younger sister, Sarah began managing Hazelwood for her ailing parents in the 1870s. After Deborah's death in 1931, Sarah lived with her brother Morgan L. Martin Jr. in Detroit, until he died in 1935. Sarah passed away in 1939.
Morgan Lewis Martin Jr., or Lewis, as he was known to his family, was born in 1852 and was the only one of the Martin children to marry and have children. Lewis worked several different jobs throughout the East and Midwest. He met and married Louise Wetmore while working in Marquette, Michigan in the late 1880s. Later the couple settled in the Detroit area where Lewis worked at Detroit Edison as an auditor.
Lewis and Louise produced four children, Morgan L. Martin III, fraternal twins Leonard and William, and a daughter Helen. However, none of Lewis and Louise's children had children of their own, so there are no surviving descendants of Morgan and Elizabeth Martin.
Deborah Beaumont Martin was the youngest and also the most active and dynamic of all of the Martins' children. She became a noted chronicler of local history, worked diligently to preserve historic structures like Tank Cottage and Fort Howard Hospital. She served as librarian at the Kellogg Public Library for three decades. "Debbie" was a charter member of the Green Bay (now Brown County) Historical Society and one of the founders of the Neville Public Museum.
Deborah Martin was a civic leader and an ardent preservationist. When she died in 1931, at the age of 77, the entire community mourned.