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Martin, William

Born: 1809-XX-XX Utica, New York

Died: 1855-04-08 Alton, Illinois

William Martin was an attorney, municipal judge, alderman, mayor, and state legislator. In 1832, Martin moved from his native Utica, New York, to Alton, Illinois, where he read law with George T. M. Davis. In 1833, he opened a law practice, which he continued until his death. In November 1834, he married Emma C. Webb, with whom he would have and raise five children. In addition to his law practice, Martin held numerous positions in local and state government. In 1837, he won election as municipal judge, a position he held for many years. From 1835 to 1837, Martin served as clerk of the Alton Board of Trustees, and from 1839 to 1841, he was an alderman for the third ward. In 1841, Martin won election as Alton's fifth mayor, serving until 1842. From 1842 to 1843, he was an alderman for the first ward. In 1846, Martin won election to the Illinois House of Representatives, representing Madison County in that body from December 1846 to March 1847. In 1847, he was one of the original incorporators of the Alton & Sangamon Railroad. In 1850, Martin was practicing law and owned real property valued at $10,000. He was associated with Abraham Lincoln in a number of law cases from Madison County.

Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Madison County, 15 November 1834, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Gazetteer of Madison County (Alton, IL: James T. Hair, 1866), 87, 270; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 213, 214; “An Act to Construct a Railroad from Alton, in Madison County, to Springfield, in Sangamon County,” 27 February 1847, Private and Special Laws of Illinois (1847), 144-49; Albert A. Woldman, Lawyer Lincoln (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1936), 113; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Alton, Madison County, IL, 342; Alton Weekly Courier (IL), 12 April 1855, 2:5; W. T. Norton, ed., Centennial History of Madison County, Illinois and Its People 1812-1912 (Chicago: Lewis, 1912), 1:359, 417, 438, 471; For Martin's cases with Lincoln, search "Martin, William," under Participant, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org; Gravestone, Alton Cemetery, Alton, IL.