Page 690-691, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


W. S. Martick, a leading farmer and stockman of Logan township, is a native of Illinois, born in 1868. He is a son of Joseph and Nancy (O'Dell) Martick, who were married about 1865. Joseph Martick was born in Pennsylvania, November 20, 1837. When the Civil war broke out, he was a resident of Missouri and cast his lot with the lost cause, enlisting March 9, 1862, in Company A, Sixth regiment, Missouri infantry. He distinguished himself as a soldier and was awarded a gold medal for gallantry on the field of battle which his son, W. S., cherishes in sacred memory of his father, keeping it in a safety deposit box in the Butler county State Bank.


W. S. Martick came to Butler county in 1897 with eleven dollars in his pocket, which was the extent of his earthly possessions. He was a veterinary surgeon, but there was nothing to be done in his line of professional work. He therefore found employment, feeding a hay press at 50 cents per day, and boarded himself. His first few years in Kansas were difficult ones. It was hard to get a start, under the then existing conditions. His first venture in the cattle business was disastrous, and he lost heavily on account of the black leg; money was scarce and he has sold hay as low as ten cents per ton in order to get a small amount of necessary money. However, after passing through all these days of adversity, the time came when he prospered, and he now has 240 acres of land in Logan township, which is considered one of the best farms in Butler county for stock raising and general purposes. The place is unusually well watered with natural springs, located in a beautiful section of the country, and is known as "Martick Ranch."

Mr. Martick was married in 1895 to Miss Alzina Wood, a daughter of Zachariah and Harriet (Jones) Wood, the former a native of England and the latter of Ohio. Mrs. Martick is one of a family of six children. Mr. and Mrs. Martick have two children, Archie and William Sherman.

Mr. Martick was one of the pioneer kafir corn men of southeastern Butler county. At an early day in the introduction of this crop, he bought a pound of seed from John A. SeIzer, which he planted and the following years peddled it out to his neighbors at ten cents per bushel. Like all other advanced movements, Mr. Martick met with strong opposition in the introduction of kafir corn, which has since proved to be a great boon to the semi-arid agricultural districts of the West. About the first year that he introduced kafir corn one of his neighbors had fed some of it to his hogs, and afterwards, a few of his hogs died from some cause or another, but the neighbor insisted that the kafir corn was the cause of losing his hogs. He reasoned that his hogs did not die until after he had fed them kafir corn, therefore, kafir corn killed them. This was a difficult line of logic to overcome, but time and experience have overcome it. The hogs are still dead, but kafir corn is going on, and is one of the leading products of Butler county, that is making it the great county which it is.

Mr. Martick was the first man to advocate the building of concrete bridges in his section of the county, and today they are practically the only bridges being constructed there. He is progressve[sic] and public spirited and one of Butler county's best citizens.

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