Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Bishop Abraham W. Martin

Male 1834 - 1902  (67 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Abraham W. Martin 
    Prefix Bishop 
    Born 27 Apr 1834  Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Gender Male 
    Interesting religion, story, pioneer 
    Religion 1851  Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Mennonist 
    Occupation 1861  Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Laborer 
    Religion 1861  Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Mennonite 
    Occupation 1871  Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Farmer 
    Religion 1871  Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Mennonite 
    Occupation 1881  Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Farmer 
    Occupation 1901  Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Farmer 
    Eby ID Number 00075-4442 
    Died 8 Feb 1902  Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 8
    Cause: heart disease and rheumatism 
    Buried Martin Meeting House Cemetery, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Person ID I54747  Generations
    Last Modified 23 Jul 2020 

    Father John Z. Martin,   b. 20 Dec 1806, Earl Twp., Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Nov 1879  (Age 72 years) 
    Mother Anna Weber,   b. 14 Aug 1811, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Oct 1900  (Age 89 years) 
    Married 16 Feb 1830  [9
    Family ID F2438  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth Bauman,   b. 7 Mar 1837, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Apr 1902  (Age 65 years) 
    Married 17 Mar 1857  [1, 10
    Children 
     1. Anna B. "Nancy" Martin,   b. 27 Feb 1858, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Mar 1933  (Age 75 years)
     2. Elizabeth Martin,   b. 19 May 1860, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Nov 1923  (Age 63 years)
     3. Jonas B. Martin,   b. 22 Mar 1862, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Jan 1937  (Age 74 years)
     4. Sarah Martin,   b. 14 Feb 1865, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Aug 1889  (Age 24 years)
     5. Wendel B. Martin,   b. 26 Dec 1866, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Nov 1938  (Age 71 years)
     6. Leah Martin,   b. 1 Aug 1868, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Nov 1879  (Age 11 years)
     7. Abraham B. Martin,   b. 8 May 1870, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Dec 1946  (Age 76 years)
     8. Susannah Martin,   b. 22 Aug 1871, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jun 1939, , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
     9. Lydia Martin,   b. 4 Dec 1874, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jan 1957  (Age 82 years)
     10. Hannah B. Martin,   b. 25 May 1876, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Oct 1968, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years)
    Last Modified 24 Jul 2020 
    Family ID F14137  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Bishop Abraham Martin, "the second son of John and Anna (Weber) Martin, was born April 27th, 1834, and was raised on the farm he still possesses. On March 17th, 1857, he was married to Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Hoffman) Baumann. She was born in Waterloo Township, March 7th, 1838. Soon after their marriage they took possession of his father's farm where they still reside. During the year 1860 it was deemed necessary by the church officials of the Mennonite body to have a minister appointed to assist the aged brethren in the ministry. At the conference held the following spring it was decided that a minister should be appointed to give assistance to the brethren at the Martin, Conestogo, West Woolwich, Elmira, and other fields of labor. On September 1st, 1861, Bishop Joseph Hagey had the chosen parties for the ministry assembled at the Martin Mennonite Meeting House. The lot was cast and it fell on Abraham Martin who was then ordained by the worth Bishop Hagey as a minister of the Mennonite Church. This position he held with honor and credit until September 17th, 1867, when he was ordained bishop at the Christian Eby Meeting House by Bishop Hagey, which position he has held ever since. His preaching is altogether extemporaneous and as a rule has a good effect upon the large audience assembling wheresoever he preaches. He is not a sensational preacher but addresses the judgment of man as well as the feelings, and his sermons abound in arguments and reasonings, listened to with admiration by all who are willing to be spiritually instructed. His personal appearance is in his favor, being of medium height, well proportioned and rather fleshy, a square, even forehead and of a pleasing countenance. His deportment is easy and dignified. Of late he has suffered some from heart disease and rheumatism, so much so that he has been unable to attend to his ministerial duties. Let us all unite in wishing him a speedy recovery and that he may be spared for many years to come to administer to the spiritual wants of his followers. The bishop has a family of ten children"


      Eby, Ezra E. (1895). A biographical history of Waterloo township and other townships of the county: being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin: as also much other unpublished historical information chiefly of a local character. Berlin [Kitchener, Ont.]: [s.n.].

      __________________________

      Martin, Abraham W. (1834-1902)

      Abraham Weber Martin: bishop and farmer; b. 27 April 1834 near St. Jacobs in Waterloo County, Ontario to John and Anna (Weber) Martin. He was the second son and third child in a family of three sons and nine daughters. On 17 March 1857 he married Elizabeth Bauman (1838-1902). Soon after their marriage they took possession of the farm on which Abraham was born and they lived there the rest of their lives. Abraham and Anna had three sons and seven daughters. Abraham died 8 February 1902. Elizabeth died 30 April of the same year.

      Little is known of Abraham Martin's education, although it was certainly limited to the primary schools of the day. He was said to be of "medium height, well proportioned and rather fleshy," with a "pleasing countenance" and an easy and dignified bearing.

      On 1 September 1861 Joseph Hagey ordained Abraham Martin as the minister for the congregations in the Woolwich Township area north of the village of Waterloo. On 17 September 1867 Hagey ordained Martin as the bishop for these congregations-one of three bishops in the Waterloo County Mennonite community.

      Abraham Martin can be considered the father of the Old Order Mennonite movement in Ontario. He corresponded frequently with leaders of the earlier conservative movement in the United States, and he took traditional positions on most of the contentious issues. In the 1870s he called a meeting of ministers and deacons at his home to discuss disputed issues within the Mennonite Conference of Ontario. The conservatives indicated that they would drop their objections to protracted evening meetings and English-language preaching only if Sunday schools were not continued in the conference. Their objections to Sunday schools included the following: 1) Sunday schools promoted associations with other churches that were not nonresistant; 2) teaching was often done from books or materials other than the Bible, and 3) Sunday schools usurped the parental role of teaching their children. This effort at reconciliation ceased, and conservative opposition on all these issues continued. Evening meetings and English preaching also encouraged relationships beyond the Mennonite community, and the emerging Old Order group ultimately rejected these innovations as well.

      In 1885 preachers Noah Stauffer and Solomon Gehmen held evening meetings in Woolwich Township, the geographic area in which Abraham Martin was bishop. Thirty persons requested baptism because of their experience in the meetings, but Martin refused to give them instruction or to baptize them because of the nature of these meetings. Bishop Elias Weber later baptized the group, but this quickly led to a more formal schism in 1889 when the two factions within the Mennonite Conference of Ontario held separate annual meetings with their ordained leaders.

      Despite his conservative theology, Martin was not as rigid as other conservative leaders. In 1885 he decried the "inflexible" discipline of the Stauffer Mennonites in Pennsylvania.

      As bishop of the largest group of Old Order Mennonites in Ontario, Abraham Martin had enormous influence on the first years of the group's development. He was not a flamboyant, charismatic leader, but he represented the theological views of a high percentage of those in congregations for which he was responsible.

      Steiner, Sam. "Martin, Abraham W. (1834-1902)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2002. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 Nov 2005 <https://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M37842.html>

      ____________________

      Martin Meeting House

      According to Isaac Horst, "Martins meeting house was the first of the Old Order places of worship to be built. A meeting house is reported to have been built in 1830; burial was begun in the adjoining cemetery in 1831. Martins was aptly named. The first three bishops of the area were Martins, all descended from the pioneer, Peter Martin. The land on which the house stands was formerly owned by Martins (1979: 376)." Peter Martin, Jr. purchased 220 acres of land from his brother, Henry Martin, on May 8, 1824. Apparently he set aside four acres for a meeting house and burying ground at that time. The first burial is reported to have been that of Peter Martin, Sr., who died March 2, 1831. The meeting house was enlarged in 1900.

      John Weber was the first minister, followed by Abraham W. Martin, Samuel Weber, Paul Martin, Tobias Martin and Urias Martin. At one time surrounded by countryside, the meeting house and cemetery are now completely encircled by the commercial development brought about by the rapid expansion northward of the city of Waterloo.

      Waterloo County Churches A Research Guide To Churches Established Before 1900 By Rosemary Ambrose

      __________________


      MARTIN. - On the 8th of Feb., 1902, at his home four miles north-west of Waterloo, Ont., after a lingering illness, Abraham Martin, aged 67 years, 9 months, 12 days. He was the second son of John and Anna (Weber) Martin and was born on the farm where he lived and died. He was married to Elizabeth Bauman, March 17, 1857. Of their ten children eight are left with their mother to mourn his death. Deceased was ordained to the ministry in the Mennonite church by Bish. Joseph Hagey, at the Martin M. H. in Sept., 1861, and to the office of bishop at the C. Eby M. H., Berlin, in 1867, also by Bish. Hagey. In 1887, owing to some difference of opinion in the Canada conference as to the propriety of holding Sunday schools, evening services etc., he and some other ministers and members withdrew and formed their own conference, now locally known as the conference of the "Martin people," and which have since united in conference work with the ultra conservatives in Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania.

      Herald of Truth, Vol. XXXIX, No. 5, March 1, 1902 - Page 77, 78

  • Sources 
    1. [S10] Book - Vol II A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 39.

    2. [S148] Census - ON, Waterloo, Woolwich - 1901, Woolwich F-3 Page 9.

    3. [S130] Census - ON, Waterloo, Woolwich - 1881, Div. 1 Page 23.

    4. [S141] Census - ON, Waterloo, Woolwich - 1851, Div. 3, Pg. 7.

    5. [S32] News - Herald of Truth, March 1, 1902 - Obituary of Abraham Martin.

    6. [S144] Census - ON, Waterloo, Woolwich - 1871, Div. 4, Pg. 5.

    7. [S915] Census - ON, Waterloo, Woolwich - 1861, Township of Woolwich 1861 Div. 2 Page 16.

    8. [S64] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo City - Martin's Mennonite CC#4521 Internet Link.

    9. [S10] Book - Vol II A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 37.

    10. [S3] Book - Vol I A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 99.

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 27 Apr 1834 - Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Mennonist - 1851 - Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Laborer - 1861 - Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Mennonite - 1861 - Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Farmer - 1871 - Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Mennonite - 1871 - Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Farmer - 1881 - Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Farmer - 1901 - Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Cause: heart disease and rheumatism - 8 Feb 1902 - Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Martin Meeting House Cemetery, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth