By Richard Karns

Special to the Herald Review

In talking with Janice Cardella about her grandparents, Marcus Marts, who lived from 1874 to 1965, and Louise Schultz, who lived from 1879 to 1958, I received the following information.

Marcus and Louise were married in 1899 and they owned the Martz/Kilmer Blacksmith/Wagon Shop located on East Slosson Avenue in Reed City, where the Reed City Glass Co. was before they moved to their U.S. 10 location.

Marcus and Louise made their home at 217 S. Chestnut St. and lived there for 50 years. Their children, Erwin, Lillian (called Toots), Helyne, Edwin (called Heidi), Carl, Arnold (called Pete), Delia, Ada and Bob, were all born at home. The family received their education by attending Trinity Lutheran School in Reed City.

Janice said, "The Martz brothers were math geniuses. If any of us cousins had trouble with math while we were in high school, we would go out to Uncle Edwin's for help."

Janice remembers her grandparents were good-natured and the entire family had a wonderful sense of humor. Janice said her grandparents were very loving, that her grandmother was more open in showing her affection than her grandfather, who was more reserved. Janice said her grandparents' home was large with seven bedrooms and several fireplaces.

"The doors to their house were always opened and a real safe haven for the family," she said.

Holidays were always special. At Christmas time, they would cut down their Christmas tree and decorate it with all the trimmings. Then they would go out to the Schultz farm on 4 Mile Road to get meat, eggs and milk. They would all attend services at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Janice remembers their house was usually full of good smells from her grandma's cooking and baking. Her grandma has an electric stove, but didn't like using it, preferring to use the wood stove she was more comfortable with. It wasn't uncommon to visit her grandparents to see them playing cribbage, and when the family got together they would play cards at the dining room table.

After the blacksmith shop burned, Marcus went to work for the mill, and when he retired from there, he worked for Jim Livingston. Janice told me her grandfather didn't slow down until he was in his 80s when he lost both of his legs due to poor circulation.

During the Depression, some of the family moved back home until they were able to find work. Some of the family found work in Reed City, while others found work in Muskegon and Detroit. Janice spoke proudly of the father, that during World War II he moved the family to Detroit, where he found work as a tool and die maker helping the war effort by making parts for planes. She said he never missed a day a work until he was 60 when he contracted tuberculosis and had to retire.

Janice said her father (Arnold) was quite the pool shark and enjoyed challenging others to play him. He read the newspaper every day and enjoyed the comics and working the crossword puzzles as well. Janice told me of her father's love of all kinds of sports, and in 1927 he was on the Reed City High School basketball team and won the state championship that year. He also was the captain of the team and went to the state finals.