Biography of James Martin

JAMES MARTIN. Industry, uprightness and intelligence are characteristics which will advance the interests of any man, and will tend to the prosperity to which all aspire. Such are some of the traits of the gentleman whose name heads this article, one of the prominent farmers and stock-raisers of the county. James Martin was born in 1835, in Tennessee, of which State his parents, William and Leatha (Hart) Martin, were natives. Both were born in the year 1812, the former in Warren and the latter in Bedford County. The parents were married in their native State, and about 1843 moved with ox team to Missouri, locating in what is now Texas County, where they passed the remainder of their lives, Mr. Martin dying in 1858 and his wife in 1869. Farming had been Mr. Martin’s occupation through life, and he was an honest, enterprising and prosperous tiller of the soil. He was third in the order of birth of nine children born to the marriage of James Martin. The others were named as follows: Col. George W., Alex., Samuel, Polly Douglas, Elizabeth Ross, Mrs. Mahala Johnson, Mrs. Nancy Hilderband and Mrs. Hannah Barnes. The father of these children was probably a native of North Carolina, and of Irish origin. He located in Texas County, Missouri, many years ago, and died there previous to the Rebellion. Henry Hart, James Martin’s maternal grandfather, was an Englishman, and died in Bedford County, Tennessee, where he was engaged in farming. The brothers and sisters of James were named as follows: Nancy Caroline, wife of A. J. Douglas, of Texas County, Missouri; Eleanor J., who died young; Catherine died young, as did also Octavia B. and Mahala; Hannah, also deceased, and Perlina, wife of James E. Stewart, of Texas County, Missouri

James Martin was reared in the wilds of Texas County, Missouri, where there were no free schools, and as a consequence he received but little schooling. In the year 1856 he was married to Miss Nancy Sanders, a native of Illinois and daughter of Capt. Peter and Jane Sanders, natives of Bedford County, where both were born in the year 1818. Capt. Sanders was with Gen. Price’s army during the war, held the rank of captain, and was once wounded in the left shoulder. His death occurred in Newton County, Arkansas, in 1882, he and wife having moved there in 1866. Mrs. Sanders is still living. Her eleven children were named as follows: Mary, Nancy, Thomas, Susan, Jasper, Sarah, Angeline, Elizabeth, Harry, Melissa and Newton. Mrs. Sanders is a member of the Christian Church, and her husband held membership in the same, and was a master Mason in Dodson Lodge No. 135.

To Mr. and Mrs. Martin have been born an old-fashioned family of eleven children: Dialpha Josephine, wife of J. H. Dickey; Jeff Davis; Susan C., wife of J. S. Dickey; Jasper; Frances J., wife of John Bowlin; Leatha Catherine, wife of G. W. Yates; Sarah A., wife of Job C. Heffley; Ephraim T.; Thomas P.; and two, Elizabeth and Bartholomew, died young. In 1862 Mr. Martin refugeed to Newton County, Arkansas, after serving six months in the Missouri State Militia, Confederate Army, and in 1863 he joined the United States Army, Company D, Second Arkansas Cavalry, and was rejected on examination, although he remained in the service, in first one command and then another, as it was not safe to remain at home. When the war ceased he returned to his family at Cave Creek, and there he has since resided, actively engaged in farming and stockraising. He is the owner of 279 acres of excellent land, nearly all under cultivation, and nearly all the improvements on the same have been placed there by Mr. Martin. For a number of years he held the office of justice of the peace, and he has held other local offices. Mr. Martin is a Royal Arch Mason, Dodson Lodge No. 135, at Cave Creek, and was worshipful master five years. He was also a member of Jasper Chapter, and represented his lodge in the Grand Lodge twice. Previous to the war he was a Democrat, but since that time he has been a Republican and is a liberal supporter of his party. He is a Universalist in his religious views, but Mrs. Martin and others of the family belong to the Christian Church.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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