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Below is a family biography included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Rev. Martin Guy Dean, an esteemed citizen of Topeka, and a member of the Central Congregational Church, of which Rev. C. M. Sheldon is pastor, and of the Central Association of Congregational Churches of Kansas, was born at Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, October 14, 1829, and is a son of Samuel and Hannah (Aldrich) Dean.

On the paternal side, the ancestry is from Dublin, Ireland, and on the maternal from New England, our subject’s mother having been a native of New Hampshire. The early years of Martin G. Dean were filled with hardships incident to residence in the Michigan forests, far from the benefits and advantages of civilization. When he was 12 years of age, circumstances threw him upon his own resources, on account of the death of his uncle, who had adopted him when five years of age, when he was orphaned by the death of his mother. He was ambitious and early determined to secure a college education and in bringing about the possibility followed various lines of work as a boy, earning $12 a month when 14 years of age. Prior to his ordination to the ministry, he worked in the insurance field, on newspapers and also earned many an honest dollar by selling books and by working in the pine woods of Michigan. In 1845 he entered Albion Seminary at Albion, Michigan, and pursued his studies there for three years. In 1848 he entered the Western Theological Seminary at Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he was graduated in 1851, having relinquished the idea of going to the University of Michigan on account of defective (weak) eyes. After preaching about 18 months, he was ordained to the ministry in October, 1852. From 1854 to 1860 he had the advantage of coming directly under the instruction of that famous educator, Horace Mann, at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he graduated in 1860. Upon taking up his ministerial labors in the Christian Church, he accepted his first pastorate at Monroe, New Jersey, and later was located at Honeoye Falls, New York, a village situated 14 miles from Rochester. For the next 14 years he was a resident of St. Paul, Minnesota, where he had gone to regain his health. During this period he traveled and preached in three or four states. During his long life in the ministry, he has filled charges in 10 different states, including Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Kansas, and as many Eastern states. Since November, 1879, he has been a resident of Kansas, and of Topeka for three years, where he owns a handsome residence at No. 1734 West street, in the pleasant neighborhood of Washburn College. During the Civil War he saw a year of service, as chaplain of the 145th Regiment, New York Vol. Inf.

Rev. Mr. Dean has been married four times. In 1903 he was united to Mrs. Maud (Moore) Street, a most charming lady, and an admirable housekeeper. Mrs. Street, by her former marriage, had one little daughter, Reba, who is the light of the household. Dr. Dean has one daughter, Grace, whose mother, Kate (Slawson) Dean, died in Kansas in the year 1882.

Although in his 76th year, our subject presents no venerable appearance; on the other hand, he appears more as a man of 30 years. He is one of those fortunate individuals who can boast that he has never been afflicted with even a headache, backache or rheumatism. His family is one rather noted for longevity and vigor, two of his sisters, older than himself, still enjoying health of mind and body, one of whom, 85 years old, travels extensively alone. He attributes his present very remarkable vitality to abundant outdoor exercise and to sensible dieting, believing that to cure one’s self the chief thing is to leave doctors, pill bags and drug-stores alone. During the bicycle craze, after he had reached his 70th year, he was fond of bicycle riding and his faithful wheel registered 75,000 miles in three years. As an educated Christian clergyman, he has a wide circle of attached and admiring friends, and he possesses all the attributes which make him a charming companion, a faithful friend and a valuable citizen.

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This family biography is one of 206 biographies included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  For the complete description, click here: Shawnee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Shawnee County, Kansas family biographies here: Shawnee County, Kansas

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