Martin DeBoe was born March 19, 1837, in the Netherlands, the son of John (b. 1810) and Caroline (Van Loob. 1811).
As a young boy Martin immigrated to the United States with his family, and eventually settled in Holland, Ottawa County, Michigan, perhaps as early as 1847. In any case, by 1850 Martin was living with his family in Grand Rapids where his father worked as a laborer.
Martin married Jannetje or “Janke” (“Jane”) Goodluck (b. 1838) on November 2, 1859, and they had at least two children, a son by the name of Jacob, who was, according to one report, born around the time they got married, and another son Peter.
Martin apparently worked off and on in Grand Rapids and in 1859-60 he was working as a carpenter and boarding at John Minderhand’s in Grand Rapids; by 1860 he was reported to be working for Leonard Storb, another a laborer, in Grand Rapids’ Third Ward but was living with his wife and son in Holland, Ottawa County.
Martin stood 5’4” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 24 years old and probably still living in Holland when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) He was shot in the right hand/wrist on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia. He was subsequently hospitalized in Stewart’s Mansion hospital in Baltimore, but by early July he was reported to be “doing well.” He was discharged for a disability caused by his gunshot wound on August 9, 1862, at Baltimore.
After his discharge from the Third Michigan Martin returned to Holland where he reentered the service as First Lieutenant in Company I, Twenty-fifth Michigan infantry at the organization of that Regiment on August 22, 1862, for 3 years, commissioned as of August 10, crediting Holland, Ottawa County.
In April of 1863 he was promoted to Captain, commissioned to date February 17, and was mustered out as of March 1 to accept the promotion, replacing Captain Dowd. In June of 1863 Martin was with the regiment at Green River, Kentucky, but from October 14, 1863, through at least January of 1864 he was at home on sick leave, although the details of his illness are unknown. He was absent sick again in April of 1864, suffering from “remittent” fever, and from typho-malarial fever April 19-24 and again from fever on July 11 but was present for duty in August of 1864. He was suffering from “debility” August 1-18 and from acute diarrhea in November of 1864.
Martin was wounded in the right foot at Nashville, Tennessee, on December 16, 1864, returned to duty and was mustered out of service at Salisbury, North Carolina, on June 24, 1865.
After the war Martin returned to Holland where he resumed the carpentry trade, and for some time worked for the Cappon & Bertsch tannery.
He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, as well as Grand Army of the Republic Van Raalte Post No. 262 in Holland, a Protestant, and he received pension no. 74,396, drawing $6.00 per month in 1883 for a gunshot wound to the right hand, increased to $12.00 in 1907 and then to $15.00.
He was living in Holland in 1883, 1890 and in the Third Ward in 1894, and indeed he probably lived in Holland until he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 4948) on April 4, 1907. In September of 1907 Martin had one of his hands amputated at the Home hospital.
Martin died of carcinoma of the right arm and axilla at the Home hospital at 8:00 a.m. on October 17, 1908, and his remains were sent to Holland where he was interred in the Pilgrim Home cemetery, Holland.