John Thomas Martin


(“John Thomas Martin” originally posted by Gail Martin to FamilyPoint on 06/13/1999)

Clyde’s grandfather, John Thomas Martin, the second son of Charles Coleman and Sarah Ann (Ellison) Martin, was born 21 June 1866, in Knox county Illinois. John was named for his two grandfathers, John H. (Hugh?) Martin and Thomas Ellison. John came to Kansas with his family the next year.

The family settled on 80 acres joining Charles’ brother, Thomas Claggett Martin’s farm on the east in the Chicago Mound community, 10 miles southeast of Emporia in Lyon County, Kansas. The Chicago Mound schoolhouse and cemetery is located on the Thomas Martin property.

J.T. always recalled seeing workmen, who boarded with his parents, quarrying rock out of Chicago Mound to be used in the construction of the MKT railroad bridge.

John’s family lived in this area until 1872, when they moved to Hilltop, in Greenwood County. It was here that John T. got his first taste of farm work. After his father cut off the timber to clear a field to farm, John would drive the lead yoke of oxen in breaking out the stumps from the land. In 1885 he drove the last yoke of oxen to appear on Madison streets when he hauled a load of hogs to market, through the deep mud of the Verdigris valley.

The Martins also broke out all their prairie land with oxen and used them for all their farm work. John claims he never used a tractor even when they became popular.

John T. married Cordelia Jane Stone on August 14, 1888. Jane was born March 1865 in St. Joseph, Mo., daughter of Lorenzo Dow and Martha Ann (Carrol) Stone. John Thomas and Cordelia Jane bought 80 acres in Sec.8; T23, R12 three miles north of Virgil Greenwood County in 1889 and raised five children. John T began his contracting and building business. He built many homes in the Madison area as well as his own family homes, one on the 80 acres southeast of Madison where Uncle Lloyd lived in later years and the other one in 1926 on the old Martindale ranch just east of Madison, where they retired. He built his three son’s homes with their help.

John was a member of the Modern Woodman Lodge, and the Grange. He was a justice of the peace, but that job didn’t bring much business so he complained and he was a member of the Prairie Belle school board for many years. John,his wife and family were members of the Madison Methodist Church, where John was a Sunday School Superintendent for a number of years. They were both Democrats and bragged of voting for Hoover.

Published in the 1986  The History of Greenwood County, Kansas

The John Thomas Martin house in recent years.

The John Thomas Martin house in recent years.


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