Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 225] one of New Castle's ablest and best known attorneys, and a descendant of an early family of note of Lawrence County, was born near Neshannock Falls, this county, Oct. 3, 1859, and is a son of James and Sarah (Mills) Martin, and grandson of William and Agnes (Martin) Martin.

William Martin was born in County Armagh, Ireland. His ancestors, who belonged to the Clan McAlpin, moved into Ireland from Scotland in King Henry the Eighth's time. William was the son of James Martin, a large land owner. Our subject's grandfather married Agnes Martin in Londonderry, Ireland, and came to America, probably because of his religious views, as we know that his brother came shortly before him to escape religious persecution. William Martin settled in Mercer County where he engaged in dealing in cattle, buying a drove, and selling them in Philadelphia, after driving them thither. Later on he bought 400 acres of land in Washington township (now Lawrence County), and built a frame dwelling, which he replaced, after fire had destroyed it, with a large brick house, which was also destroyed by fire; he then built a fine, substantial set of buildings, which are standing to-day, and are owned by William C., his grandson and our subject's brother, together with part of the original purchase. He was a man of large ideas, and liberal minded, and became a leading, progressive citizen of the county, because of his superior qualifications. He came to America at about the age of 23, and died in 1872 at the age of seventy-four. His wife died three years later in 1875 at the age of eighty-one. These were the children who were born to them: James, deceased, our subject's father; Thomas, who lives at Plain Grove; George, a resident of Washington township; Jane, who married Mr. Vosler; Mary, who married Mr. Mehard; and Elizabeth, deceased, who was the wife of Mr. Bockius.

James Martin was born in this county on the homestead, and bought a farm in Wilmington township, when he set up in life for himself; he was a cattle-drover early in life, but as his years advanced devoted his time and attention more and more to agricultural operations, dying at the age of sixty-one, in 1883, from tuberculosis. His wife departed this life in 1880, aged fifty-seven years. Our subject's father was a Whig and later a Republican and an active Abolitionist. In his religious preferences, he was a member of the United Presbyterian Church. He reared the following children: William C., a farmer, residing on his grandfather's homestead; John M., a physician and surgeon of Grove City, and a member of the State Legislature; Melissa married Rev. S. M. Black of New Wilmington, Pa.; Amanda, wife of Rev. R. A. Jameson of Apollo, Pa.; Agnes, deceased, was the wife of W. C. Wilson; Elizabeth married W. G. Nelson of Grove City; James Norman is the subject of this personal history; Joseph E. owns his father's homestead at Neshannock Falls; Eva M. married C. M. Forrest of Grove City.

Our subject attended the Westminster College, from which he graduated in 1881, went to Leavenworth, Kan., and studied law with Hon. Lucius Baker, U. S. Senator, and was there taken down with a severe attack of typhoid fever. Upon his recovery, he returned home, and taught mathematics one year in the McElaine Institute. He then entered the law office of D. B. & E. T. Kurtz of New Castle, and after having fully prepared himself, was admitted to the bar in the September term of the court of Lawrence County in 1883. A partnership was then entered into with S. L. McCracken, which was known as Martin & McCracken, and which continued until 1886, since which time Mr. Martin has been in practice alone and has rapidly risen before the people, both in his profession and in the field of politics, to which he is no stranger. He was a member of the common council from 1885 to 1889, and of the select council from 1890 to 1892. In 1892 he was appointed judge, and served until January, 1893, and has since devoted his whole time to his profession. Judge Martin, although a Democratic resident of a Republican county, has made himself very acceptable to the voters of the county by reason of his ability and sterling worth, and has been offered many offices, but he is practically not an office-seeker. He has done much to advance the material progress of his city, was a stockholder in organizing the first electric light company, and is a director of the Citizens' National Bank of New Castle.

Judge Martin married Miss Jennie A. Andrews, daughter of Rev. J. K. Andrews of Bedford, Pa., and one child has been given them: Norman A., born Nov. 10, 1887. He erected a residence at No. 66 Milton Street, where he resides, and owns considerable real estate in various parts of the city.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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Updated: 13 May 2001