Martin Mader 1840-1928


Martin was the oldest child of David and Mary born in 1840 in Baden, Germany. He came to this country at the age of 13. In the War Between the States, Martin was a soldier in the Union Army.

In 1870, the Federal Census records Martin, age 30, and his wife Louisa, age 18, living with the Mader family in the stone house. They were the parents of seven children. Their first child, named Theodore, born in June of 1871, lived only five months. He died at Christmas time and is buried next to Kreseng on David’s plot in the La Crosse Catholic Cemetery. (The cemetery lists his date of burial December 27, 1871.) Before 1875, they had two daughters, Angeline and Clara, while still in the stone house.(1) Another son William (Willie) was born on July 8, 1878 and died at age three April 24, 1881. The last children born to them were Anna, Willard, and Edward. The family moved to Spokane, Washington in 1890.

“Martin went to Spokane to work in the lumber mills. He was a tall man.” Florence (Mader) Hoff said. She and her cousin Isabelle remembered when they were young, some of Martin’s grown children visited the family in La Crosse.

Louisa, Martin’s wife died at age 53 making Martin a widower for 24 years. Martin was a member of the Reno Post of G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic). He had been a resident of Spokane for 38 years when he passed away August 18, 1928 at age 87. The G.A.R. conducted services at the funeral home and Martin was buried next to Louisa in Greenwood Cemetery.

GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC (G.A.R.)was a society of men who fought for the north in the Civil War. It was founded by Benjamin F. Stephenson in Decatur, IL, on Apr. 6, 1866. The society was founded to strengthen fellowship among men who fought to preserve the Union, to honor those killed in the war, to provide care for their dependents, and to uphold the Constitution. Membership was open to honorably discharged soldiers, sailors, or marines of the Union armed forces who served between Apr. 12, 1861 and Apr. 9, 1865. The Grand Army had 409,489 members in 1890. Its last member died in 1955 and the organization was discontinued in 1956. The society founded soldier’s homes, and was active in relief work and in pension legislation. The G.A.R. started the celebration of Memorial Day in the north by a general order issued by John A. Logan. The Woman’s Relief Corps began as an auxiliary to the G.A.R. –Cora E. Gillis


(1) There is a Martin Mader residing on the NE corner of Sixth and Division in the 1873-74 La Crosse City Directory. His occupation is listed as a watchman. The 1875 census says that he resides in the stone house. It is possible Martin lived in town during the winter and moved back in the spring to work in the brick yard which was seasonal work.