Martha, like her first husband John Lardner Fairbrother, was born in Montreal. It is uncertain if the families were acquainted there but both relocated to London, Ontario where the couple married and the families were friends. John's mother and Otto Kannengiesser were the wittnesses listed on the marriage registration, and the ceremony was at Mrs. Kannengiesser's on the same date that John's sister Sarah married Charles Small. Martha and John moved to Marion County, Kansas near a community called Canada where they built a home and had three children, William Hope, Mary Jane (who later married Chester Ward Griswold) and John Larder Fairbrother, Jr., also called Jack. In 1886 following John's death, she married Otto Kannengiesser who had also lost his spouse Jane Fairbrother, John's sister. Otto has come to Kansas to join his parents and siblings as he too needed help with his young family. Otto and Martha has three children Bertha (1887), Myrtle (1888) and Albert (1889). The family kept Martha's farm until Otto's death.
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