They purchased 8 acres of land on December 17, 1849, and an additional 40 acres on April 21, 1850. They remained on that farm until March 6, 1853, when they sold it. Robert and Martha apparently remained in the area for another year, however. Late in the summer of 1854, they joined her brother John and his family in moving to Ottawa County, Michigan. Soon after arriving there, Robert and Martha bought an 80 acre farm about 2.5 miles north of her brother William's farm in Wright Township.
By 1860, Robert had cleared and improved half of his farm and had two milch cows, two working oxen, three other cattle, and four swine. Farm products included wheat, rye, corn, oats, hay, potatoes, barley, buckwheat, butter, maple sugar, and molasses.
The years after 1860 must have been sad ones for Martha. In 1862, both her mother and her second son died. She lost her last four children in infancy in 1864, 1865, 1867, and 1870. In 1872, her husband Robert died at the age of 51. Her children at that time ranged in age from 10 to 23 and the two oldest sons were able to take over the farm.
In 1877, after several children left home, Martha sold the farm and purchased a house in the nearby town of Lisbon, on the county line between Kent and Ottawa Counties. Martha stayed in Lisbon until at least the 1890's. She died on October 31, 1907.
Sources used in writing this chapter
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