Saturday, May 18, 2013


WADE N. MARTIN, considered to be one of Ohio County's most successful business men and one of its best citizens during the last half of the nineteenth century, was born of respected and God-fearing parents in Butler County, Kentucky, on June 26, 1827. His father, John Martin, was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, born in 1801; and, who came with his parents to Kentucky in 1815 and settled in Logan County at Shakertown (South Union). They removed to Butler County, in 1817, where he married Miss Malinda Neil (Neal) on September 20, 1822, on a Butler County License. 

Seventeen children were born to this union, of which Wade N. Martin was the third. His father died in Texas in 1867. Wade N. Martin's paternal grandfather was also named John Martin. Born in Ireland in 1765 and a sailor by profession, he served in the American Navy during the Thirteen Colonies' War for Independence (1776-1781). John Martin, Senior (b. 1765 - d. September 24th 1835) and his wife, Mary (Graham) Martin (b. December 25, 1778 - December 24, 1863), moved to Butler County, Kentucky, at about the same time their son (John Martin, Junior) did so, in 1817, where they spent the remainder of their earthly lives. Mrs. Martin was nearly ninety-five years of age at her death. Both of them are buried in the Wilson Cemetery in Butler County, Kentucky. Brother Wade N. Martin's maternal grandparents, George Neal and Margaret (Tyler) Neal, were both natives of North Carolina. On some records the name is spelled Neil. Mrs. Neal was born on February 15, 1781 and died on October 23, 1856. She was laid to rest in the Old Riverview Cemetery, at Morgantown. We have found no record of his birth or death. 

In the Battle - Perrin - Kniffin "History of Kentucky" Ohio County Biographical Section, it is said of Wade N. Martin, that he: "Remained with his parents until the age of fifteen, when he began to learn the trade of tanner and worked with John Helm, of Morgantown. When he arrived at the age of eighteen, his father 'gave him his time.' Wages were not over $7.00 per month; but, for eight years, he continued tanning, when he could get work, in the meantime making several trips on the river in flat-boats." 

Brother Martin married twice. On April 11, 1850, on a Butler County License, he married Miss Martha T. Harris; and, three years later (1853), settled in Wayne County, Illinois, where his wife, Martha died, leaving one child -- Corrinna, who died the same year. In early 1855, he removed to Ohio County, Kentucky, where he purchased a tannery and worked at his trade. His second marriage was celebrated on December 265, 1855, with Miss Jemima N. S. E. Hodges. To this union were born eight children, seven of whom reached maturity. They were: George W. Martin (b. January 23, 1857 - d. October 20, 1924), who married Mary T. Wallace (b. March 20, 1856 - d. May 1, 1917); Mary T. (Martin) Embry (b. August 2, 1859 - d. January 6, 1921), who married Nelson H. Embry (b. November 5, 1847 - d. January 24, 1914). Both the George Martins and the Nelson Embrys are buried in the Green River Cemetery. Martha F. (Martin) Stratton (b. March 24, 1865 - d. May 9, 1918), who married Thomas C. Stratton (b. November 20, 1859 - August 27, 1950). They, too, are buried in the Green River Cemetery.

John W. Martin (b.c. 1868) was the third son and fifth child. We have no other particulars concerning him. His younger brother, Rice P. Martin, was born on July 16, 1862 and died on February 16, 1876, in his thirteenth year. He was the third child. He is also buried in the Green River Cemetery. Ransom B. Martin, the sixth child and fourth son, was born on March 21, 1870, and died on November 11, 1933. He married Delilah Ann Flener on a Butler County Marriage License in November, 1887. She was born on January 1, 1871, and died on June 27, 1957, in her eighty-sixth year. They became the parents of the famous Hartford Lawyer and Commonwealth Attorney, Otto C. Martin (1889-1963). Ransom B. Martin was seventeen and his wife was sixteen when they married. They too, are buried in the Green River Cemetery. Sina M. (Martin) Taylor (b. January 25, 1873 - d. March 3, 1960) was married to John X. Taylor (b. February 24, 1867 - d. April 10, 1965), and their remains were interred in the Green River Cemetery upon their respective deaths. Luella E. Martin was married to J. C. Gentry. We have no particulars concerning them. Mrs. Jemima N. S. E. (Hodges) Martin's parents were Ransom S. Hodges (b. 1807 a native of Virginia - d.c. the year 1877) and Mary Ann (Murphy) Hodges (b. July 14, 1811 in Tennessee - d. January 5, 1882). The mother was born in Sumner County, Tennessee, and died in Ohio County, Kentucky. Her body was interred in the Green River Baptist Church Cemetery. We have no information as to his exact birth and death or place of burial. He was born in Franklin County, Virginia. They married in Sumner County, Tennessee, in 1829, moved to Ohio County in 1847, and became the parents of nine children. Mrs. Martin was the second child and first daughter. Her father was a school teacher of note. She became a member of the Green River Church by Christian Experience and Baptism on January 1, 1854, being baptized by Pastor James F. Austin. She continued therein until her death on June 27, 1921, a period of over 67 years. She is buried in the Green River Cemetery. 

Brother Martin became a member of the Green River Church by Christian Experience and Baptism on January 1, 1854, being baptized, too, by Pastor James F. Austin. He continued in the membership until his death on February 21, 1900, or over forty-six years. He was chosen as a Deacon of the Church on August 20, 1859, and ordained on April 14, 1860 by Pastor James F. Austin and Deacons David A. Miller, J. B. Rogers and Thomas Fulkerson. He filled the office of Deacon for over forty years. From 1863 through March 17, 1888, he served as the Treasurer of the Church - a period of over twenty-five years. He served as a Messenger from the Church to the Gasper River Association in the years 1859, 1861, 1864-1865, 1867, 1873, and probably in 1877 and 1879. After nineteen years, in 1874, Brother Martin discontinued the tanning business, which he had followed successfully for that length of time, and gave his attention to trading in land and stock, etc. which he followed for several years. By 1885 he owned 1,500 acres of land in Ohio and adjoining Counties. His home farm was well improved with good barns, an [sic] handsome dwelling, and an orchard. He was one of the original stockholders of the Beaver Dam Deposit Bank, established in 1890; he was a member of its first Board of Directors, continuing in this official position with the bank until his death in March, of 1900. He was an ardent advocate of the Temperance Cause and a total abstainer himself. He embraced the Whig political party in early life, and was a great admirer of Henry Clay of Kentucky; and, after, 1854, he supported the Republican party of Abraham Lincoln, as did many of his fellow citizens in Ohio County. This was long before woman suffrage (the law allowing their voting rights) was granted to them. 

Brother and Mrs. Martin were the parents of RANSOM B. MARTIN, born in Ohio County, near Cromwell, on March 21, 1870. He attended the common schools of the county and a special one at Morgantown. He married Delilah Ann Flener (1871-1957), the daughter of Bedford Franklin Flener (b. Feb. 20-1844 - d. November 29th, 1924) and Virginia (Martin) Flener (January 26, 18467 - d. July 14, 1932), in November, 1887. They became the parents of five children: R. B. Martin, Jr., who died in infancy (1909-1909); Audrey Martin, who died at age three; Wade N. Martin II (1903-1919), Maurine (Martin) Wilson (1895-1983) and Otto Carlston Martin (1889-1963), who became the distinguished Hartford lawyer and Commonwealth Attorney (1946-1956). He was a Deacon and Sunday School Teacher in Hartford Baptist 
Church for many years, and served as the Moderator of the Ohio County Baptist Association in 1934-1937. He was a grandson of the Wade N. Martins. His parents, grandparents, and brothers and sisters are buried in the Green River Cemetery. 

A Sesquicentennial History of the Green River Missionary Baptist Church 1836 - 1986, Written and Compiled by Wendell Holmes Rone, Sr., For the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of the Church, 1987.

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