Martin J. (1874 - 1942)
Contact: Crystal Wendt
Surnames: Lastofka, Warren, Redmond, Peterson, Longenecker, Dethloff, Lennie, Pearson, Cole, Staffon, Wheaton
----Sources: The Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 7 May 1942
Lastofka, Martin J. (20 July 1874 - 29 April 1942)
The unusually active life of Martin J. Lastofka, terminated April 29th, 1942, after a lingering illness with a heart ailment, took form this community a most useful and highly respected citizen.
Born in Milwaukee July 20th, 1874, the departed came to the town of York with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lastofka, when he was but a year old, the father purchasing the land now owned by Otto Warren. He remained a resident of that township and of the city of Neillsville for the balance of his lifetime.
According to a record book which was left by the late Mrs. M. C. Redmond, Martin Lastofka was one of her first grade pupils at the age of four. From then on he seemed to be one of the first, if not the first, in everything he undertook. Even as a very small boy, working on his father’s farm, he senses the importance of making a way for himself. It was at that time that he gained his first experience in cattle-buying. Borrowing from his mother the money to buy a calf, he launched himself a business to which he later devoted much of his time. This was only a side line with Mr. Lastofka then, for he farmed and logged in alternate seasons. The day evidently was not long enough for this ambitious lad. An old neighbor stated that he had often seen "Mart" plow by lantern light.
In 1903 Mr. Lastofka was appointed mail carrier, the first carrier on rural route number four out of Neillsville continuing in that capacity for seven years. He resigned in 1910 to engage in the purchase and sale of livestock. Two years later, on January 11, 1912, he was united in marriage to Miss Anna Plummer, a young woman who grew up in the town of York, his home community.
Twenty-two years ago, he built the beautiful residence at the corner of Fourth and Clay streets where he lived until his death.
Over a period of year’s proceeding the time when his health began to fall, Mr. Lastofka built several homes in this city. He also purchased and remodeled many of Neillsville’s old houses, thus returning them to a state of beauty and usefulness.
Though not of polished manner, Mr. Lastofka was possessed of many fine qualities, outstanding among them being his love for his home, the help he gave the kindnesses manifested toward those less fortunate than himself, and his genuine friendliness and keen sense of humor.
He is survived by his wife, a daughter, Miss Doris, Madison, a son, Robert, at home, and a sister, (Lillian) Mrs. L. A. Peterson, of Forestville, Calif.; a brother, John, died in 1939 and a sister died in infancy.
Funeral services were held Saturday at the Schiller Funeral home, the Rev. G. W. Longenecker officiating. Interment was made in the Neillsville Cemetery.
In attendance at the rites from distant cities were: the daughter, Miss Doris, Madison; Mrs. F. J. Dethloff, Milwaukee; Mrs. I. D. Lennie, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Lennie, and Mr. and Mrs. John Pearson, Eau Claire; Mr. and Mrs. Joe Lastofka, Wisconsin Rapids; Mr. and Mrs. Willard Cole, Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Staffon and Mr. and Mrs. T. F. Wheaton, Alma Center.
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