We stand on the shoulders of giants...

Simon J. MartenetSimon Jonas Martenet, surveyor, mapmaker and real estate consultant, was born April 13, 1832, and died in Baltimore on November 6, 1892, at the age of 60. He was a son of Jonas Martenet, a native of Switzerland, who came to Baltimore but died when his son Simon was not quite four. Jonas became a naturalized citizen, and he may be the "John Martnelk" who died at age 40 of bilious fever, and was buried at German Lutheran Church Cemetery the week ending 28 December 1835 (Baltimore City Deaths and Burials, 1834-1840, by Henry C. Peden, Jr. FLP, 1996). City directories for 1835 show that a "Joseph" Martenet lived on French Street opposite Exeter, and Catherine Martenet, whom Simon later refered to as his mother, was listed in the directories a few years later, at the same address.

Young Simon went to work after school hours at an early age, and, from then City Surveyor Thomas P. Chiffelle, learned the business of surveyor and civil engineer. By 1867 he had published an atlas and a large map of Maryland that was so accurate that the General Assembly provided copies for all the public schools in the state. His maps and atlases at the State Archives span the years 1858 to 1886, but Firm records indicate that maps were produced and sold up to the time of the Great Baltimore Fire, February 7-8, 1904.

He was elected six times to the office of City Surveyor of Baltimore: 1867, 1871, 1873, 1875, 1877 and 1879.

He was married in August 1853 to Philena L. Fussell, daughter of Jacob Fussell, a Quaker. She died in 1894. Simon and Philena had nine children including: Jefferson, b. 1855, a surveyor who died at the age of 30; Simon J., b.1856, a businessman in the insurance field, who married Matilda, daughter of August Henry Lange; J. Fussell, M.D., b. 1858, one-time President of the Medical and Chirurgical Society of Maryland; William H., b. 1861, a veterinary surgeon; and Clarissa F., b. 1863, who married Edwin Mabbett. The remaining four children did not survive into adulthood. Jefferson and William both worked at the firm for a time.

Here is an 1889 questionaire he completed (in his own hand) regarding his personal and professional life. The data was to be used in Scharf's "Biographical Dictionary of Maryland," but the work was never published.

Martenet suffered from heart trouble for two years prior to his death, but the actual cause of death was a stroke on November 6, 1892. He is buried at Louden Park Cemetery along with his wife and other family members.

After his death, his four principal assistants purchased the assets of the firm from his widow and continued the business.

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