Martin McDermit (McDermot) was born in approximately 1847 in Arkansas. During the Civil War he served aboard the U.S. gunboat Hastings, a 293-ton, side-wheel vessel carrying eight guns. After the war, he moved to Champaign County and for a time was a tenant farmer in Section 26 in Condit Township. He subsequently lived in Rantoul Township and then moved to 212 East Elm Street in Urbana. He operated a fruit stand and also worked as a teamster and laborer. He died of typhoid fever in his home on 21 November 1898. Funeral services were conducted at the Bethel AME church under the auspices of the Masonic Order and Black Eagle Post No. 129, GAR, with interment at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Urbana.