Biography of Martin D. Ozias
Buchanan County, IA Biographies





Martin D. Ozias, a. well known, highly respected and influential citizen of Independence, is spending the evening of life in honorable retirement and justly merits the ease and comfort which he now enjoys. He was throughout a long period closely and actively identified with the agricultural interests of Buchanan county.

He was born in Preble county, Ohio, November 22, 1832, a son of Jesse and Temperance (Rice) Ozias. The father, also a native of Ohio, was descended from Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry and his parents were pioneers of the Buckeye state. Jesse Ozias was reared in the state of his nativity and was there married. He was a farmer by occupation and in 1851 removed with his family to Buchanan county, Iowa, where he platted a town, named Chatham, which was located near Littleton in Perry township. There he built a store, which he operated for some little time, and then sold his interests here, returning to his former home in Ohio. He spent but one year there, however, when he returned to Buchanan county and he and his sons entered seventeen hundred acres of land. He purchased the warrants and permitted his sons to locate the land. This land they improved and the father was active in its cultivation throughout a long period. He passed away at his home when he had reached the age of eighty six years and six months. In early years he was a whig but when the republican party was formed he joined its ranks. His religious belief was that of the Baptist church. His wife, who was likewise a native of Ohio, survived him for two or three years and departed this life at the age of eighty six. Their family numbered seven children as follows: Martin D., of this review; Julia, the widow of J. F. Wolf and a resident of St. Louis, Missouri; Eli R., of Chicago, Illinois; Elizabeth, the, wife of James Whait, a resident of Washington; Tilman, who makes his home in Phoenix, Arizona; and two who died in infancy.

Martin D. Ozias, the eldest of the children, was reared in the state of his nativity to the age of nineteen years. He then accompanied the family on their removal to Iowa, the year of their arrival in this state being 1851. He bought four hundred acres in Fairbank township with land warrants that cost eighty seven cents per acre. He broke the sod, developed a farm, erected a house thereon and eventually sold his land for nine and ten dollars per acre. In 1852 he purchased a half section of school land in Perry township, which he also improved and to which he added until he now owns fifteen hundred acres in Buchanan county, and he likewise owns four hundred acres in Minnesota. He also owns a business building in Independence which is known as the Ozias block and which is worth ten thousand dollars. Mr. Ozias sold his farm in Perry township in 1869 and invested the money in four hundred acres in Washington township, two miles from Independence. On this he erected good buildings and made of it a valuable property. He was active in the management and operation of his extensive landed possessions until 1908, when he rented all his land and retired to Independence, where he occupies one of the beautiful residences of the city.

It was on the 3d of July, 1854, that Mr. Ozias was united, in marriage to Miss Clarinda J. Bright, who was born August 20, 1832, claiming Ohio as the state of her nativity. She was a daughter of David and Lucinda Bright, who were natives of Indiana but came to Buchanan county, Iowa, in 1850, where her father became a prominent pioneer farmer of Washington and Perry townships. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Ozias was blessed with seven children Mary E., the wife of Simon Walker, of Perry township; John L., a prominent farmer of Perry township; Martha, the wife of Andrew Dunlap, of Independence; Charles E., a farmer of Perry township; Anna E., the wife of Marcus Lauritsen, a banker of Minnesota; Edward H., who operates his father's farm in Minnesota; and Lola, the wife of Thomas E. Scanner, a dealer in lumber and coal in Independence.

Mr. Ozias is a democrat where national issues are involved but at local elections he votes independently. He would never consent to accept official honors but for a time in an early day he filled the office of justice of the peace. He is the oldest Odd Fellow in Independence and holds membership in Independence Lodge, No. 142. He is now in his eighty second year but is still as active as a man many years his junior. The wealth which he today enjoys has been earned by intelligently directed labors, while his personal characteristics have established him high in the regard of his many friends and acquaintances.

From:
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1914


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