Martin Gainer, a prosperous farmer and stockraiser of Little Mackinaw Township, Tazewell County, was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, January 29, 1827, and in 1835 came to Tazewell County where he obtained his education in the public schools. After reaching manhood, he purchased a farm at ten dollars per acre on section 35, Little Mackinaw Township, and has since acquired additional real estate, until he now owns 500 acres, which he has cultivated with more than usual success.
On March 19, 1861, Mr. Gainer was married to Elizabeth J. Bishop, daughter of William F. and Elizabeth Bishop, and of this union there were five children: John N., Martin V., Anna Astor, Josephine Savilla and Marie. Mrs. Gainer died March 3, 1871, and on August 21, 1875, Mr. Gainer married, as his second wife, Miss Mary Jane Lower, who has borne him five children, viz.: Melissa, Evelina, Lydia May (died in infancy), Henry Albert, Myrtle Minerva, and Fred Theodore.
The paternal grandparents of Mr. Gainer were Martin and Margaret (Gainer) Gainer, natives of Germany. Martin Gainer was a wagon-maker by trade, and served seven years in the Prussian War.
The parents of the subject of this sketch were George and Maria (Counselman) Gainer also natives of Germany. George Gainer, like his father, was a wagon-maker by trade, and came to America in 1832, settling near Erie, Erie County, Pa., but in 1835 removed with his family to Pekin. The entire trip was made by water on the Ohio River to St. Louis, and thence up the Mississippi and the Illinois rivers. The ocean voyage to America consumed fourty-eight days. Coming to Tazewell County the father purchased a farm in Cincinnati Township, on which he resided for fourteen years, and was later engaged in farming in Little Mackinaw Township.
Mrs. Martin Gainer is a daughter of William and Lydia (Eisenberger) Lower, and was born in Clark County, Ohio, April 20, 1844. Her father was a native of that locality and came to Tazewell County in 1873, settling in Minier Township, where he engaged in farming and followed his trade as a carpenter. He died September 19, 1901; his wife is also deceased.