George William Martus

Photo added by Larry Wassmann

George William Martus

  • Birth 16 Mar 1894 Vermillion, Clay County, South Dakota, USA
  • Death 7 Nov 1991 Salem, Marion County, Oregon, USA
  • Burial Salem, Marion County, Oregon, USA
  • Memorial ID 52390706

Grandpa Salem ---- We kids used to call him that because our other
grandparents all lived close, but George lived in Salem Oregon, so to limit the
confusion as to the third grandfather we called him Grandpa Salem.

George W. Martus was the only son of John and Elvira (Adams) Martus. George's parents had decided to homestead on the prairie of South Dakota. The family all got typhus fever and both parents died. The children recovered but were left as orphans.

At that point they were taken to their maternal grandmother Theresa Adams. She was quite elderly at the time and her husband William Ward Adams, had recently passed. Theresa took care of the children until she died of appendicitis. After her death the children were sent to a Catholic Orphanage where they were raised to adulthood. George never talked much about his time in the orphanage but he was very upset about the experience. He stayed a Catholic all his life but was not active.

George first married Beatrice Lee of Huron South Dakota Oct. 29, 1917. That union produced one child, his only child, Nancy Frances Martus (Wassman). Beatrice and George were divorced just after a few years of marriage.

George and his new wife Sophie(Elis)who he married on Aug. 5, 1929, moved from the Dakotas to the state of Oregon in the 1930s. They settled in a little house on Superior street and lived there for the rest of their lives. They had a little picturesque house with a beautiful garden. As the neighborhood got older and older there were big building all around the little house. George was offered a lot of money to sell the little house to developers but he would not sell. He loved his little house with the perfectly manicured lawn and garden. It looked funny surrounded by big buildings but he would never sell. Today twenty years after he died, it is now a building housing an investment firm. What a shame.

George was an auto mechanic and worked his way up to the supervisor of the vehicle pool for the city of Salem.

George loved to hunt and fish. In fact he was still actively shooting shotguns up until just a few years before he died. When he was in his 90's he looked and acted like someone in their 60's. He still drove a car and worked on his yard and equipment up until the week he died. He was never sick. He did fall through the ice while duck hunting and his old dog Mickey pulled him out of the ice and this left him with a badly broken leg which caused him to limp but other than that, you would have a hard time keeping up with him.

Sophie got sick with cancer in her 90's and the worry caused George's health to fail. He was almost 98 and in seemingly great health then suddenly within a week or so every major bodily organ started to fail. He died in the hospital with family around him. Sophie was not able to be there because of her health. George's last words were his expression of concern as to what would happen to her now with him gone. The family assured him that she would be taken care of and she was until se passed at 95.

George was my maternal grandfather. He was the one who got me started in a life long quest of genealogy. He told me we were related to the famous Adams family of the founding fathers. He was never able to find the link, but I took it up as a challenge. We are not directly related to John or John Quincy Adams, but we are related to Edward Adams who was one of the 8 sons of Henry Adams who came over from England and started the family that produced 2 US presidents and other patriots. So we share a great grandfather with John Adams. I hope my grandfather is pleased I was able to make the geological link finally. Larry Martus Wassman

Family Members






  • Created by: Larry Wassmann
  • Added: 14 May 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 52390706
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George William Martus (16 Mar 1894–7 Nov 1991), Find A Grave Memorial no. 52390706, citing City View Cemetery, Salem, Marion County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by Larry Wassmann (contributor 47237910) .