Martin Family


MARTIN. The Martin family dates back in the history of Pennsylvania for more than a century, during which period its representatives have been honest, reliable citizens of several counties. The name is a well-known one in Armstrong county, and stands for integrity and uprightness of purpose.

Francis Martin, the founder of the family in America, was born in Scotland in 1750, and died in what is now Wayne township, Armstrong county, Aug. 23, 1845, aged ninety-five years. He came to the United States in 1800, settling in the locality which continued to be his home, where he not only carried on his trade of weaving, but operated a farm, which he first had to clear. He was twice married, and by his first wife, who was a Miss Powers, had these children: John, grandfather of Frank B. and William M. Martin on the maternal side, born in 1800, who died June 6, 1882; Robert, their grandfather on the paternal side; Hugh, who married Betsy Powers and had one child, Mrs. John Culbertson, of Philadelphia; and Stephen, who died Nov. 24, 1886, aged eighty-nine years.

Robert Martin, son of Francis, born in Scotland in 1798, died in Boggs township March 15, 1868, aged seventy years. He was brought by his father to this country when only two years old. For some time he lived in Little Britain township, Lancaster Co., Pa., but later moved to what is now Boggs township, Armstrong county, where he followed farming until his death. He married Margaret Wasson, and they had children as follows: John, born Feb. 3, 1830, died in 1901; Robert died April 3, 1914, on the old farm in Boggs township, aged eighty-one years; Francis died in Denver, Col., in 1906; Hannah married Robert Dill and had two children, Moses and Margaret.

John Martin, father of Frank B. and William M. Martin, and son of Robert, was born Feb. 18, 1830. He came to Armstrong county, settling in what is now Wayne township, near Snyderville, and became a successful farmer, dying upon his property in 1901. His wife was Rebecca Martin, born in 1833, who died in 1904. These children were born to John and Rebecca Martin: Robert S., an attorney at law, of Pittsburgh, born Nov. 9, 1855; Frank B., born July 20, 1857; William M., born Dec. 15, 1864; and John C., born Aug. 14, 1867.

The maternal grandfather of Frank B. and William M. Martin, John Martin, was born in 1800, and lived until 1882. His birth took place in Scotland, soon before the migration to the United States. During his younger days he was a weaver, and also worked on the old canal, but later in life devoted himself to farming. John Martin married Mrs. Eleanor (Culbertson) McCauley, daughter of William Culbertson, and widow of John McCauley, by whom she had four children: William, born 1821; John, born in 1826; Marjory, and Martha. By her marriage with Mr. Martin she had one child, Rebecca.

FRANK B. MARTIN attended the local school and grew up on the farm of his father, John Martin, in Wayne township. He now owns this homestead of 130 acres, as well as another one in Boggs township, of 100 acres, both of which are very valuable. On Dec. 28, 1910, he retired from the strenuous life of a farmer, and now lives in Dayton, where he is a representative of the Johnston Harvesting Company. He sells the machinery produced by this company, having eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania as his territory.

Frank B. Martin married Mary J. McIlwain, a daughter of John and Sarah (Moore) McIlwain, well-known people of Valley township, this county. They have had the following children: Robert B., Roscoe H., Alma R., Ellen C. and Elizabeth S.

Mr. Martin is a trustee of the Dayton Normal Institute, having been one of the organizers of same, and takes an active part in its management. He is a stockholder in the First National Bank at Dayton. Politically he is a Republican, and served as justice of the peace of Wayne township for six years, and as a member of the Wayne township school board for eighteen years, a part of the time being either president or secretary of the board. For years he has been a member of the United Presbyterian Church, and belongs to the session. Upon two occasions he was a candidate for the office of sheriff of Armstrong county, but was defeated by a small majority each time. A progressive man with advanced ideas in regard to civic responsibility, Mr. Martin takes a deep interest in the advancement of his community.

Robert B. Martin, eldest son of Frank B. Martin, was born in Wayne township July 19, 1885. He was graduated from the Dayton Normal Institute, class of 1907, and also attended Grove City College. For seven terms he has been a teacher, and at present is in charge of the Slate Hill school in Wayne township. Mr. Martin has business interests as well as high professional connections, for in 1908 he formed a partnership with H. L. Ellenberger, at Dayton, under the style of Martin & Ellenberger, for the purpose of handling hardware, groceries and farm implements. Since its inception the business has been in a flourishing condition, and a large trade is controlled. In August, 1911, Mr. Martin married Nancy M. Butler, daughter of John Butler, a farmer of Wayne township, and to this union has been born Helen Lucile, Nov. 11, 1912.

Roscoe H. Martin, another son of Frank B. Martin, was born March 3, 1888. He received a common school education and is now farming the homestead, being the fifth generation of his family to operate this property. He married Nellie Coleman, daughter of Wesley B. Coleman, of Indiana county.

Alma R. Martin, daughter of Frank B. Martin, was also graduated from the Dayton Normal Institute, class of 1911. She is a remarkably successful young teacher, having begun her work as an instructor when only fifteen years old.

WILLIAM M. MARTIN, a farmer of Wayne township, son of John Martin, and brother of Frank B. Martin, was born Dec. 15, 1864. During his boyhood he attended the township school, and worked on the farm with his father until 1887, when he located on his present property, consisting of 120 acres of valuable land. Mr. Martin erected all of his present buildings, and had the misfortune to lose a fine barn by fire in 1903. He had just gathered his crops, so lost them all, but he replaced the destroyed building with another equally convenient. There are five gas wells on his property, and the land is underlaid with coal. This farm in now one of the best in the township, and is held at a high figure. While carrying on general farming for years, Mr. Martin has specialized in stock raising, and is an admitted authority upon agricultural subjects. In addition to his homestead he owns two other farms, aggregating 240 acres. Mr. Martin takes a pride in maintaining a high standard of excellence, not only in his buildings and premises, but crops and stock, buying the highest grade. His operations are conducted upon an extensive scale, and he employs modern methods in all his work, fully recognizing the advantage accruing from scientific management. As a result he is one of the leading farmers and business men of his district, and a true representative of the heavy agricultural interests of Armstrong county. in addition to his other connections, he is a director of the local telephone company.

On Sept. 28, 1887, Mr. Martin was married to Ida May Mateer, daughter of James and Esther (Lowry) Mateer. Mr. and Mrs. Martin are the parents of the following named children: James Warren is at home; Hazel E. married John G. Kuhns, and they live in Boggs township; John E. and Lowry Mateer are both at home.

A Republican, Mr. Martin has not had much time to devote to public life, for his interests are focused upon his own affairs. For years he has been a member of the Presbyterian Church, which he serves ably as trustee.

Through all these generations, from Francis Martin down to the fifth generation, it is seen that the Martins have been numbered among the best class of people in their several communities, and wherever they go they are a distinct gain to a locality.

Source: Pages 564-565, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed December 1998 by Connie Mateer for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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