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Martha Willard (Johnston)

Birthplace: Muskingum, Ohio, United States
Death: Died in Milton-Freewater, Umatilla , Oregon, United States
Place of Burial: Milton-Freewater, Umatilla, Oregon, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Henry Johnston and Martha Johnston
Wife of Johnson Monroe Willard
Mother of Ellen Willard; Tabitha Willard; Anna Loretta Willard; Ulysses Henry Willard; Charles William Willard and 4 others
Sister of Francis "Frank" Johnston; William Marshall Johnston and Joseph A. Johnston

Occupation: Teacher
Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Martha Willard

  • 15 May 2012: MtDNA Haplogroup J2a1a (23andMe)

Martha Johnston was born 20 December 1839 in Muskingum, Ohio and died 24 August 1913 in Milton-Freewater, Oregon. She arrived in Oregon in 1864. His name is inscribed as Marie Dorion Pioneer Step #20.

Parents: William Harrison Johnston and Martha Forbes.


  1. Johnson Monroe Willard (1832-1917). He was the son of Henry Willard and Jennie Ligett.


  • 1870: US Federal Census, Walla Walla Precinct, Umatilla, Oregon
  • 1880: US Federal Census, Census, Cottonwood, Umatilla, Oregon

In an article for the Milton Oregon Eagle in 1924, Lewis reiterated the history of the great scourge of diphtheria from 1875 to 1878, when many of the children of some local families died. According to his biography, "on the Mississippi canyon in a stretch of three miles near his farm, three in one, two in another, three in another and two in another died. In the Willard family, seven out of nine were taken."


Written by Mrs. E.S. Hill, Daughter

Furnished by Fern Hill Henry, Granddaughter

In April 1864, Johnson Monroe Willard, with his wife, Martha, and two small children came from Iowa and joined a wagon train at Independence, MO, to come west.

He had two oxen which pulled a covered wagon, and at least one milk cow. Some of the people coming at the same time were the Marion Dorothy family; the DeHaven's; and the Demaris'. They got here in the early fall, being four or five months on the way.

The Willard family settled near the forks of the Walla Walla River, near what was since known as the Dorothy Bridge; about 4 0r 5 miles from Milton, where he had a blacksmith shop for a number of years. He then took up a homestead north of the North Fork, on the Government Mountain District. They lived all their lives there, had nine children; seven of which died during a diptheria epidemic in 1878.

The children and parents are buried in the Bowlus Cemetery, except one, Mrs. E.S. Hill.


view all 13

Martha Willard's Timeline

December 20, 1839
Muskingum, Ohio, United States
Age 21
April 27, 1863
Age 23
Age 24
November 25, 1867
Age 27
Oregon, United States
January 9, 1868
Age 28
Oregon, United States
February 2, 1869
Age 29
Oregon, United States
January 18, 1871
Age 31
Oregon, United States
October 21, 1872
Age 32
Oregon, United States