Biographical Sketch of Martin Olds
Yamhill County delegate
Martin Olds was born March 14, 1798 in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. He married Temperance Parker in 1823 in Ohio. Around 1835 the family moved from Ohio to Michigan. A younger brother had come to Oregon in 1844 and apparently sent favorable reports to his sibling. In 1851, Olds decided to leave Michigan and come to Oregon with his large family. He and his wife settled on a donation land claim in Yamhill County where he pursued farming.
Alienated from the Democratic Party machine, Olds was a ‘free state” delegate to the constitutional convention representing Yamhill County. He was an opposition candidate for president of the convention garnering fifteen votes. Olds served as a member of the Committee on Suffrage and Elections. During the early debates he stated “he did not come here as a party man but to make a constitution for the people”, and he called upon the members “to let no party faction bear them down, but to get up a good constitution.” At the conclusion of the convention Olds voted against final adoption of the constitution and did not sign the document.
Martin Olds died in Washington County on November 21, 1872.