Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901

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Martin Van Buren Hoover

MARTIN VAN BUREN HOOVER, a gentleman of great prominence in Labette county, Kansas, is located on a farm near the town of Chetopa. He has been engaged in the stock business in connection with his brother, William G. Hoover, since 1866, and has made a grand success of it. He was born in Logan county, Ohio, in 1841, and is a son of George W. Hoover.

George W. Hoover was born in Virginia, in 1810, and when a boy moved to Ohio, with his parents. In 1830, he was united in marriage with Pamelia Rosier, and they had five children, two of whom, the subject hereof and William G., are prominent men of Labette county. His wife died, and he married a second wife, Mary Swallow, in 1846, and then moved to Iowa, where he accumulated a large property by investing in government lands. In 1852 he moved to Texas, and located 15 miles from Fort Worth, in Tarrant county, on the Clear Fork of the Trinity river. There he witnessed the betting of a negro child on a horse race, and this caused him to change his politics from Democratic to Republican, as he could not support the party that tolerated such diabolical traffic. He was against secession, and about 30 men came to his ranch to take him dead or alive, but he found safety in a panther's den, where he lay forty days, - food being taken him by the subject hereof. He escaped through Mexico, carrying with him several hundred, dollars in gold to Iowa, where he remained until the close of the war, which conflict caused him enormous losses. He then returned to Texas, but not finding it pleasant to live there, he journeyed to Chetopa, Kansas, in February, 1867, where he lived until his death, January 19, 1878. He was a Methodist, and helped to build the church at Chetopa.

Martin V. Hoover remained at home until he reached the age of nineteen years, and then engaged for himself in the cattle business, which has constituted his life occupation. In 1861 he moved with his cattle to Shackelford county, Texas, and remained there until 1866. He was there during the stirring scenes of the war, and his ranch was also raided, as was that of his brother. He was imprisoned for some days, but his brother, being the assessor, escaped imprisonment, although he also was arrested. They now have a horse ranch in Haskell county, Texas, and among the horses is a car-load of standard-bred Clydesdale horses which they shipped there. In 1866 the partnership of W. G. Hoover & Brother began, and has since continued, - the business being very extensive. In 1880 the subject hereof decided to locate in Labette county, and purchased his present home property in Richland township, just south of Chetopa, - comprising the northeast quarter of section 9, township 35, range 21, - which he has finely improved. He completed his handsome 11-room house in 1887, and his[sic] it equipped with bath rooms and other modern conveniences. He has a telephone connecting him with his brother's house, and with Chetopa and all adjacent towns. He now handles about 200 head of cattle, cultivates 113 acres, has an excellent orchard of eight acres, 15 acres in meadow, and the rest is in blue grass and clover. His property is well equipped for successfully carrying on his business, having large barns, granaries and windmills. He and his brother own about twenty farms in Labette and Cherokee counties.

Mr. Hoover was married, on January 14, 1875, in Shackelford county, Texas, to Martha A. Mathews, who was born in Stephens county, Texas, in 1860, and is a daughter of J. B. and Caroline (Spears) Mathews, formerly from Alabama. Her father died in 1895, aged seventy-two years. Her mother still lives in Shackelford county, Texas, and is seventy years of age. Her great-grandmother lived to reach the wonderful age of one hundred and four years. Mr. and Mrs. Mathews were parents of the following children: Elizabeth, wife of G. T. Reynolds, president of the First National Bank of Albany, the county seat of Shackelford county, Texas, and also the owner of large stock and land interests; John A., of Albany, Texas, a member of the firm of Mathews & Blanton (the latter being an attorney), who deal in lands, loans and live stock and do a general insurance business; Mary (Brown), who is a widow, of Albany, and has three children; Martha A., wife of the subject hereof; Susie, wife of W. D. Reynolds, vice-president of the First National Bank of Albany, Texas, and an extensive stock dealer; Ella (Conrad), a widow, of Albany, Texas; and Joseph, who died in Texas.

Mr. and Mrs. Hoover became the parents of seven children, as follows: Caroline Leona, born October 2, 1876; George William, born July 22, 1879, who is in the grocery business at Coffeyville, Kansas; Joseph Alexander, born November 20, 1880, who is in school at Sherman, Texas; Wilfred M., born October 19, 1881, who is in school at Chetopa; Manor, born September 30, 1888; Mathews Valentine, born February 14, 1891; and Martin R., born August 9, 1894. Politically, the subject of this sketch is a Republican and has been a member of the school board in District No. 61. Fraternally, he is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of Chetopa. In religious belief, he is a Methodist.