Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 420] a resident of New Castle, who has been associated with the active and progressive men of the State in general industrial activity, is now practically retired from business. He was born at Bethel, Mercer Co., Pa., Dec. 16, 1848, and is a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Robinson) Martin, and grandson of Hugh Martin.

Our subject's grandfather came from Berks Co., Pa., to North Beaver township, Lawrence Co., Pa., in 1829, with seven sons and one daughter, using five horses and one wagon to transport his personal effects and property. The overland route, by which they came, took them many days and even weeks, and as the youngest child was but three years old, their emigration was filled with many trials. He bought a farm in the wilderness at what has since been known as Westfield Church, Lawrence Co., and there he followed farming the remainder of his life, dying in 1859, aged about seventy-five years. His wife passed away in 1868 or 1869, aged eighty-one years. Their children were: Thomas; Hugh; Samuel; Seth; George; Catherine; John; and David. The three latter are single and live on the old homestead.

In 1836, Thomas Martin with his brother Hugh bought a tract of land near the homestead, in Bethel, Mercer County, and built there a log-house; later on they divided the land and, farmed separately until 1861, when our subject's father sold his property and bought a farm at Hillsville, Mahoning township, this county, where he died, July 23, 1867; he was born in 1809. His wife, who was a daughter of James L. Robinson, died in 1895, lacking one month of being an octogenarian. By Thomas Martin's first marriage with Miss Ann Johnson, who died at the age of twenty-two, two children were born: Samuel, a citizen of Iowa, and Robert of the State of California. The following children blessed his second mariage[sic]: John S. of Hillsville, Lawrence County; James R., the subject of this short biography; Mary S., now deceased, who was the wife of John Gailey; Cyrus L. lives on the homestead; Annie Elizabeth married William Gilmore; Permelia J. married E. Miller of Springfield, Ohio. Our subject's father was a Whig and then a Republican, and served the town of which he was a resident in various of its offices.

James R. Martin secured an education, which was fair for that time, in the schools of Hillsville, and until he was thirty-two years of age remained on the homestead, and then bought a farm of his own, and besides carrying on general farming he did a large business in the buying and shipping of horses to Eastern markets. After a number of years' residence there, he, in 1889, because of his wife's serious illness, moved to New Castle, and, besides supervising the farm, dealt in coal, lime and cement under the firm name of J. R. Martin & Co. for three years, when he sold out. At the present time he is practically retired, with the exception of the work he still puts in the management of his farm, and in looking after his interests in limestone. In 1890 he built a handsome residence at No. 125 North Mill Street, and also owns a tenement which is located on the same lot.

In 1880 Mr. Martin married Miss Durette Whiting, daughter of John Whiting. She died Dec. 30, 1890, aged thirty-six years, leaving one daughter and two sons: Verna L., born April 2, 1882; Chauncey J., Jan. 3, 1884; and Freddie L., Nov. 15, 1885. As his second helpmeet our subject married Mrs. Genevieve Hazen, widow of Oscar M. Hazen, who left one son, Roy W. Hazen; Mrs. Martin is a daughter of Hiram Watson. Mr. Martin uniformly, supports the Republican party. He is a member of the I. O. O, F., and Past Grand of the same; and of the Encampment, and Past High Priest of that.

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

Previous Biography | Table of Contents | Next Biography
Explanation/Caution | Lawrence Co. Maps | Lawrence Co. Histories
Updated: 25 Jun 2001