Martin Luther Shantz was born in Pennsylvania on May 16th, 1844 to John Shantz and Alice Rambo Shantz. The family moved to Linn County in 1854. Martin worked as the blacksmith in Mount Vernon, becoming an apprentice in 1865. He was known in Mount Vernon for his industrious nature and brawny right arm (all the hammering done in his shop had built up his muscles). He married Mary Jane Yount on July 27th, 1867, and the pair had four children: Geneva, Nellie, Harry, and Adelbert. He died in 1929.