Martin Brenneman, Selby, was born in Lancaster County, Penn., March 12, 1819. His parents, Martin and Varunaca (Kendick) Brenneman, were both natives of Lancaster County, Penn., but their ancestors came to America among the first German immigrants to the New World, coming from Rhinelyarn over 200 years ago, and of their descendants in the country the sixth generation is now living. When our subject was about eleven years old he removed with his parents to Wayne County, Ohio. His mother died in Stark County, Ohio. She was the mother of ten children, four of whom are living, viz.: Anna, widow of John L. Messenkop, of Galesburg, Ill.; Mary, widow of M. Kaufman, of Rushville, Ill.; Martin, and Christian, a resident of Orrville, Wayne Co., Ohio. Our subject’s father died in this county, lacking but a few days of being eight-five years of age. His occupation was always that of farming, and he was considered one of the best in Lancaster County, Penn., and also in Wayne County. At one time he was quite wealthy, but lost his property, through being security and bondsman.
In 1853 our subject, who had heard of the land in Illinois, where there were no stumps or rocks, determined to see for himself, and finding it even better that he had hoped for, he returned home, and in 1854 removed to Bureau County, and settled on his present farm in Section 6, Selby Township, where he has since resided. He has always been a farmer, and as was said of his father, he has also been one of the best. Although he began with little, he has accumulated considerable property through his industry. His farm contained 640 acres, but as he believes in helping his children while he is still living, he divided with them, and now owns but 240 acres.
Mr. Brenneman was married, in Stark County, Ohio, to Lydia Young; she died in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, leaving two children, viz.: Mary A., born July 8, 1843, wife of James Lewis, of Jackson County, Kan.; Henry, born November 3,
1844, drowned in the Little Osage River, Bates County, Mo. Mr. Brenneman was married, in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, February 8, 1847, to Mary Garman who was born December 25, 1822, in Franklin County, Penn. She is the mother of seven children, viz.: John, born July 16, 1848, of Clay County, Neb.; George, born February 22, 1850, of Selby Township; Amanda, born August 17, 1853, wife of Levi Shettle, of Clinton County, Iowa; Martin V., born April 27, 1855, of Clay County, Neb.; Maggie, born October 6, 1857, wife of L. H. Kaufman, of Clay County, Neb.; Hattie, born May 26, 1860, at home; Daniel, may 8, 1863, at home.
In politics Mr. Brenneman is a life-long Democrat. He is a member of the English Lutheran Church.
Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor. World Publishing Company Chicago 1885