Presley Martin was born in February 1830 in Kingwood, Preston County, WV, the son of Henry and Keziah (Miner) Martin. He is one of two proven Confederate soldiers of the Civil War in an extended family of more than 170 Union military members.
In the early 1850s, when in his early 20s, Presley married Emeline Zinn (1823-1889), the daughter of Michael and Nancy Zinn. She was seven to 10 years older than her husband, and is thought to have brought a young son into the marriage, Elias Zinn, who later changed his name to Martin.
Presley and Emeline went on to have at least four children of their own -- William "Henry" Martin, Rebecca Leah Howell, George Westfall Martin and Harriet Martin.
When the federal census was taken in 1860, Presley and Emeline were farmers and made their home at Arnettsville, a town to the southwest of Morgantown, Monongalia County, VA (now WV). Arnettsville is 37 miles from Kingwood as the crow flies.
Presley "served as a soldier in the civil war, and was in the Confederate army," said the Fairmont (WV) Times.
During the Civil War, in the spring of 1863, Independence and nearby communities in Preston County came under the threat of attack from Confederate forces led by General William E. Jones, part of the famed Jones-Imboden raids. The goal of this campaign was to "destroy the B and O Railroad from Oakland, Maryland, to Grafton; defeat the enemy at Beverly, Philippi and Buckhannon; recruit for the Confederate army and control the northwest part of the state to enable the people to take part in the Virginia state elections in May," writes Stan Cohen in his book, The Civil War in West Virginia.
Confederate officials circulated pamphlets around communities stating that they had come:
...among you to expel the enemy, to rescue the people from the despotism of the counterfeit State Government imposed on you by Northern bayonets, and to restore the country once more to its natural allegiance to the State. We fight for peace and the possession of our own territory. We do not intend to punish those who remain at home as quiet citizens in obedience to the laws of the land....
While Jones attacked nearby Rowlesburg, Preston County on April 26, his army was repulsed and unable to "destroy the B and O Railroad trestles across the Cheat River." Jones and his army marched through Independence en route to Morgantown, the county seat of Monongalia County, and thence to Fairmont, Marion County.
During this time of great fear and turmoil, Presley and his brothers were divided in their loyalties. One of his brothers joined the Union army -- Sylvester Monroe Martin -- while Presley enlisted in the Confederate Army on May 1, 1863, in Monongalia County, just four days after the Jones raid into Preston County. A Preston County cousin, Jeremiah Minard, also joined the Confederate Army around that time and served in the 33rd Virginia Infantry.
Presley was assigned to the 46th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, Company C, holding the rank of private. He received a $100 bounty in return for his enlistment. Just 51 days after his enlistment, the northwestern states of Presley's native Virginia broke away from the Confederate government and were admitted into the United States as "West Virginia."
The first battle the 46th Cavalry fought was in Presley's native Preston County on July 1, 1863, at a site not yet known. The regiment later saw action at Lynchburg, VA; Hagerstown, MD; Martinsburg, WV; Fishers Hill, VA; and Buckhannon, WV; among many 36 known battles in which it was involved. Among the commanders of the 46th Cavalry were Lt. Col. Joseph K. Kesler and Maj. Henry D. Ruffner. After 21 months with the 46th Battalion, the regiment was merged into the 26th Cavalry Regiment Virginia on Feb. 2, 1865.
The war ended in April 1865, and Presley returned home to his wife and children. He is not known to have been awarded a military pension from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The U.S. census of 1870 shows Presley and Emeline residing near Fairmont, Paw Paw Township, Marion County, WV. That year, Presley is labeled as a farm laborer as is 17-year-old son William Henry Martin.
When enumerated in the 1880 census, the family lived in Rivesville, Paw Paw Township, with Presley laboring as a farmer and 28-year-old son William Henry as a teamster. That year, 22-year-old Martha Musgrove boarded in their home as a seamstress. The census record indicates that Presley could neither read or write.
Rivesville was engulfed by major flooding in late July 1888, when Presley would have been age 58. It is not known whether he was affected by the high waters.
Sadly, suffering from tuberculosis, Emeline passed away in Rivesville at the age of 64 on July 15, 1889.
Presley is listed in the 1900 census as widowed, living alone in Rivesville and working as a farm laborer. He apparently did not know his own age exactly, and it was marked in the census that year as 63 rather than 70.
As she entered her final years, Presley's aged, widowed mother moved into Presley's Rivesville residence in 1884. She rented out her old house in Independence, and remained with Presley for about five years. During that time, recalled neighbor M. B. Thorn, Presley "took care of her and boarded and clothed her. She was a very old woman and cripled, when she cam to my house I had to lead her and help her down the steps." Another neighbor, E.M. Satterfield, said that "She was a very old woman, not able to do any work to help maintain herself, she also was cripled in some way." Neighbor M.V.B. Knight noted that she was "an old decrepid woman not able to work." Presley collected no rent from his mother, or inherited any of her estate during the time she lived there.
Mother Keziah died at Presley's home in either February or April 1890 (records differ). The specifics are lost to history, but newspapers of that time will be researched for an obituary. Her burial place is unknown.
After his mother's death, Presley was only able to collect a small amount for rent of her Independence tract, and applied the funds he did receive to repairing a fence around the lot. He sued his siblings, asking for the sum of $100 per year for the five years Keziah had lived with him. A special commissioner assigned to the case ruled that Keziah's house and lot should be sold. Legal advertisements were placed in the weekly West Virginian newspaper in Marion County, and Notice to Creditors handbills were posted on the Preston County Courthouse and other public places. The house and lot in Independence were auctioned off for $200, won by top bidder Z.G. Morgan, and Presley was able to keep the amount, minus an administrative fee.
In 1906, said the Fairmont Times, suffering from a "complication of diseases," including cystitis, Presley was admitted to the Fairmont City Hospital. He died there at age 74 on Aug. 3, 1906. "He had been at the hospital for about a month past, and was suffering from a complication of diseases," said the Times. His remains, prepared at the F.L. Jenkins Morgue in the first ward of Fairmont, were returned to Rivesville for burial at the Musgrave Cemetery one mile from town.
Another obituary in the Fairmont West Virginian said that Presley had been one of Rivesville's "oldest inhabitants of this immediate section" and that he was survived by a "half-brother" Monroe Martin. The article said that Presley left behind "other relatives who live abroad and as no definite information can be gotten concerning them the writer will not endeavor to further explain." It added that Presley:
...was a distinguished character and was known to be for many years previous to his appearance in this section of county. He was a man who represented activity in every respect nothing sluggish or stupid pertained to his makeup whatever. he was a man in a manner destitute of education as far as books was concerned as all are aware who have transacted business with him but his natural business talent was so visible that it covered the educational part up to such an extent that he was bound to be christened a business man. He acted in the capacity of constable in Pawpaw district, Marion county, West Virginia, for more than a score of years being one of the best officially known men in the county as a warrant in his hands was almost sufficient evidence that the party wanted would be brought to justice or safely landed behind bars and an account in his hands was the same as collected if there was anything to work on. As a neighbor he was too charitable for his means or the surrounding circumstances to which he was dependent for a living and to lay up in a sinking fund for old age and infirmities. He was a soldier during the rebellion and was a Southern sympathizer and fought accordingly and after the war was over came to this section, lived next door neighbor to soldiers of opposite sympathy and warfare but in peace in harmony with malice toward none and charity for all. The deceased was a firm believer in the reality of religion and within the last year had expressed the same publicly at a meeting conducted at this place by Rev. clark who rendered religious services at the burial of our departed friend and neighbor.... the life and death of every man should be an example for the betterment of humanity....
If Presley's grave was marked, it is not listed today on the FindAGrave.com website. A personal visit to Rivesville by the founder of this website, in August 2019, proved unsuccessful.
Presley was named in an entry in the 1994 book 26th Virginia Cavalry, authored by Richard L. Armstrong (Howard Publishing, Virginia Regimental Histories).
~ Stepson Elias Zinn Martin ~
Stepson Elias Zinn (1845- ? ) was born in about 1845. His parents were not married, and he was raised in early childhood in the Preston County home of his grandparents, Michael and Nancy Zinn.
When he was about five, his mother married our Presley Martin, and Elias is believed to have taken the name of "Martin."
He dwelled with his mother and stepfather in 1860 in Arnettsville, Monongalia County, VA (later WV).
~ Son William "Henry" Martin ~
Son William Henry Martin (1851- ? ) was born in 1851.
At the age of nine, he lived with his parents in Arnettsville, Monongalia County, VA (later WV). Then at age 19, in 1870, he earned a living as a farm laborer in Paw Paw, Marion County, WV.
In 1880, now age 29 and unmarried, he worked as a teamster in Paw Paw.
He is believed to have been deceased by 1906.
~ Daughter Rebecca Leah (Martin) Howell ~
Daughter Rebecca Leah Martin (1855-1945) was born on March 11, 1855 in Marion County, Virginia (later West Virginia).
She grew up in Arnettsville, Monongalia County, VA (WV). At the age of 21 in 1880, she was unmarried and lived at home in Paw Paw Township, Marion County WV.
At the age of 42, on Nov. 17, 1898, Rebecca was united in holy wedlock with 58-year-old widowed farmer John Holland Howell (Sept. 18, 1840-1918), the son of Capell and Nancy Ann (Hoffman) Howell and a native of Uffington, Monongalia County. Rev. W.H. Phillips officiated at the wedding held in South Morgantown, Monongalia County.
John had been married previously on Nov. 22, 1860 to Mary Ann Jacobs (1842-1897), daughter of Rawley Jacobs, and brought eight known offspring to the union. They included John Anderson Howell, Oliver Perry Howell, Hamilton G. Howell, Emma V. Howell, George Howell, Draper C. Howell, Thomas L. Howell and Thornton P. Howell.
The couple did not reproduce. Circa 1906, and for many years, their home was in the community of Clinton near Morgantown.
Sadly, afflicted with leaky heart valves at the age of 77, John died on July 14, 1918. His remains were placed into eternal repose in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
Rebecca outlived him by nearly three decades.
Suffering from senility, pulmonary edema and hardening of the arteries, Rebecca passed into eternity at the age of 90 on April 8, 1945. Stepson Thornton P. Howell of Morgantown signed the death certificate. Burial was in Mt. Calvary Cemetery near Morgantown. Her grave is not known to be marked.
Stepson John Anderson Howell (1863-1931) was born on New Year's Day 1863. On Oct. 11, 1884, he was joined in marriage with Virginia E. "Jennie" Austin (1865-1933), daughter of Jesse and Abigail Austin. They were farmers and dwelled in Uffington in the Clinton District of Monongalia County. The known children born to this union were Jesse L. Howell, Glen C. Howell and goldie D. Howell. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, the Howells lived in Uffington, with John's aged grandfather Rawley Jacobs living under their roof. Suffering from heart disease, and burdened with a carbuncle, John succumbed to death on April 1, 1931, at the age of 68. Burial was in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Morgantown. [Find-a-Grave]
Stepson Oliver "Perry" Howell (1867-1932) was born in about 1867. He was a longtime farmer and never married. Oliver appears to have spent his years in the Morgantown area. Circa 1910, he resided with his married sister Emma Davis in Morgantown and earned a living digging ditches for a pipeline company. Admitted to the Monongalia County Home, and having suffered a stroke, Oliver passed into eternity at age 65 on Jan. 17, 1932. His remains were placed into repose in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
Stepson Hamilton G. Howell (1870-1940) was born on May 10, 1870. When he was age 20, on Nov. 2, 1889, Hamilton was united in holy matrimony with 20-year-old Alice "Ida" Pride (March 1870-1958), daughter of John and Mary E. Pride. Rev. E.C. Woodruff officiated at the nuptials held in a church parsonage. The couple were farmers in Uffington, Monongalia County. They produced a large family of at least 10 offspring -- Bessie Howell, John P. Howell, George Henry Howell, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Howell, Fred H. Howell, Bertha "Birdie" Howell, Draper Howell, Sarah Kinsley, Belle Radabaugh and Exa Catherine Shisler. Hamilton suffered a stroke and died at the age of 69 on Jan. 24, 1940. Interment was in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
Step-great-granddaughter Orpha Hazel Howell (1912-2000) was born on Nov. 16, 1912. She was joined in matrimony with James Russell Rich (July 17, 1912-2000). Both of them died in 2000 -- Orpha on Valentine's Day 2000 and James on Oct. 4, 2000. They lie side by side in repose in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
Step-great-granddaughter Ada Wanita Howell (1919-2015) was born on Dec. 16, 1919 in Morgantown. She was united in wedlock with Kenneth E. Poole (June 22, 1919-2006). As parents, they bore two children -- John Poole and Jane Adamczyk. At the age of 87, Kenneth died on Oct. 18, 2006. Her final years were spent in Windy Hill Village, Kingwood, Preston County, WV. She died there at the age of 95 on July 3, 2015. Rev. James E. Johnson officiated at the funeral service, with burial in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
Step-great-granddaughter Lula Belle Howell married (?) Osborne.
Step-great-grandson Henry Russell Howell (1927-2000) was born on Jan. 28, 1927 in Uffington, Monongalia County. At the age of 20, on May 2, 1947, he married 21-year-old Doris June Utzman (Sept. 1, 1925-2015), daughter of Edward Joseph and Evelyn Faye Utzman. The couple produced one daughter, Carol Yanego. Doris lived for another 15 years as a widow. She died at the age of 90 on Nov. 16, 2015. Rev. Dan Meadows led the funeral service, followed by burial in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
Step-great-grandson Samuel B. Howell (1934-1960) was born in 1934. He died in 1960. His remains are at rest in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
Step-great-grandson William "Bill" Howell wedded Wanda.
Step-great-grandson William M. "Bud" Fletcher (1918-1965) was born in 1918 and died in 1965. He is buried in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Morgantown.
Step-great-granddaughter Katie Belle Fletcher (1925-2013) was born on March 20, 1925 in Uffington near Morgantown. She was joined in marriage with Marshall Dale Lemasters (1919-1975). She died at the age of 88 in Morgantown on Dec. 11, 2013. Her remains were placed into the soil of Beverly Hills Memorial Park in Morgantown.
Step-great-grandson Hamilton Hile Fletcher (1938-2002) was born on April 17, 1938. He wedded Mildred Irene Woody (July 22, 1939-2006), daughter of Nellie Fay (McNemar) Woody. Hamilton passed into eternity at the age of 64 on Oct. 31, 2002. Mildred survived as a widow for another 14 years. She succumbed to death on May 15, 2006.
Step-great-granddaughter Mabel Virginia Kinsley (1926-2015) was born on May 1, 1926 in Ringgold, WV. On Aug. 21, 1943, she married William A. Roupe (Sept. 1, 1924-2008), a native of Morgantown and the son of Everett Lee and Clara F. (McNemar) Roupe. Their marriage endured for 65 years until the separation of death. The offspring from this couple were Robert W. Roupe, Virginia Suleyman and Nikki Cvetkovic. During World War II, William served a submarine as a member of the U.S. Navy. The couple relocated to Ohio, where William secured employment as an electrician with Republic Steel. They made a home for years in or around Poland near Youngstown, Mahoning County. Mabel loved photography and spending time in Fellows Riverside Garden in Mill Creek Park. After a career of 32 years with Republic, William retired in 1983. William died on Sept. 11, 2008. Mabel outlived him by seven years and became a resident of St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center. Sadly, she endured the untimely death of their son in law Isa Suleyman, who with his wife Virginia had resided in Al Bireh, Israel. Death enveloped her at the age of 89 on Feb. 11, 2015. Burial was in Brunstetter Cemetery.
Step-great-granddaughter Frances Kinsley wedded (?) Teets ( ? - ? ). She was deceased by 2001.
Step-great-grandson Frank E. Kinsley Jr. was deceased by 2001.
Step-great-grandson Harold Blaine Kinsley
Step-great-grandson John Albert "Froggie" Kinsley (1949-2001) was born on June 25, 1949 in Clinton Furnace, Monongalia County, WV. He was a military veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving for four-and-a-half years. In about 1979, John wedded Patricia A. Morris ( ? - ? ). They did not reproduce but loved a godson and goddaughter, Jake Naugle and Lacey Parker. For many years, John worked for B&B Glass. He was a member of the Pin Oaks Hunting Club in Huntersville, and they attended Methodist churches. John also liked to camp, fish and watch NASCAR races. Their home in the early 2000s was on Old Farm Road in Uffington near Morgantown. He succumbed to death at the age of 51 on April 11, 2001. His remains are in repose in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, with Rev. Ann Crawford having officiated at the funeral service..
Step-great-granddaughter Ida Shisler married Patrick "Jack" Taft. They lived in Collins, OH. Patrick was deceased by 2008.
Step-great-granddaughter Glenna F. Shisler (1937-2008) was born on June 25, 1937 in Morgantown. On Oct. 28, 1957, she wedded Donald M. Henline (May 28, 1934-2016), a native of Webster Springs, WV and the son of Dancil A. and Elsie (Adamy) Henline. Their marriage endured for half a century. The couple bore three children -- Donald M. Henline Jr., Mark Allan Henline and Brenda Black. In about 1961, the Henlines relocated to Collins, Huron County, OH, with Donald securing employment with the Lorain plant of Ford Motor Company. He was a member of the United Auto Workers Local No. 425. For 20 years, Glenna was employed in the cafeteria of ARA Services at Ford's Lorain plant. The family were members of Calvary Lighthouse Apostolic Church of Norwalk. She was a fan of the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians sports teams and liked to camp, play bingo, bake and cook and work jigsaw puzzles. Glenna was gathered away by the Grim Reaper in Collins on May 2, 2008 at age 70. Funeral services in the family church were preached by Rev. Bryan White, with interment following in Collins Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Norwalk Reflector. Donald followed her to the grave on Aug. 21, 2016.
Step-great-granddaughter Bonnie Shisler ( ? - ? ) was united in wedlock with Robert Crawford. They dwelled circa 1998 in Sandusky, OH.
Step-great-granddaughter Freda "Tootie" Shisler was joined in matrimony with Thomas Keyser. Their home has been in Morgantown
Step-great-grandson Robert George "Hound Dog" Shisler (1932-2008) was born on Sept. 20, 1932 in Uffington near Morgantown. When a young man, he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He married Jacqueline McGlone ( ? - ? ). Their marriage lasted for 55 years until cleaved apart by death. Their four children were Robert A. Shisler, James Shisler, Eric Shisler and Laura "Topsie" Himes. For 41 years, he was employed by Sterling Faucet Company, and in his spare time he liked to farm, fish and hunt, especially raccoons. Said the Fairmont Times West Virginian, "He also raised and sold produce to the Morgantown community on the courthouse square and recently the Morgantown Farmers Market on Spruce Street." In 1998, they were in Morgantown. While a patient in Monongalia General Hospital, he passed into eternity at the age of 76 on Nov. 29, 2008. He rests in Grandview Memorial Gardens in Fairmont, with Rev. Allen Donham and Joseph Donham having officiated at the funeral service.
Step-great-grandson Lloyd Shisler ( ? - ? ) wedded Bonnie ( ? - ? ). They lived in Morgantown in 1998. He was deceased by 2008.
Step-great-grandson Daniel Tell Shisler (1952-2012) was born on Aug. 17, 1952. He was joined in marital union with Marie and made a residence in Morgantown. At the age of 59, he succumbed to death on June 12, 2012. Burial was in Arnettsville Cemetery in Monongalia County.
Stepdaughter Emma Viola Howell (1872-1939) was born on April 12, 1872. When she was 22 years of age, on May 6, 1894, she wedded 25-year-old farmer Alphus D. Davis (1868-1920), son of Eugenius and Catharine Davis. Regular Baptist Church pastor Rev. W.H. Phillips officiated, with the wedding held at the home of Emma's parents. They were the parents of three children, Lawrence E. Davis, Guy Allen Davis and Ada Dell Davis. The United States Census for 1900 shows Alphus earning a living as a railroad track laborer in South Morgantown, Monongalia County, with their 20-year-old niece Maud Davis in the household. By 1910, he labored digging ditches for a pipeline company in Morgantown. They made a home in 1910 for Emma's bachelor brother Oliver Perry Howell, also a pipeline "ditcher." Emma passed away on Feb. 17, 1939. [Find-a-Grave]
Stepson George J. Howell (1875-1943) was born on May 10, 1875 in Morgantown. He earned a living as a labor when a young adult. On March 26, 1898, when he was 22, he was joined in wedlock with 17-year-old Elizabeth "Lizzie" Litton (June 1880- ? ), daughter of R.M. and Susan Litton of Marion County. Rev. W.H. Phillips, of the Regular Baptist Church, led the wedding ceremony held at the home of Lizzie's parents in Monongalia County. George worked as a coal miner, and in 1900 the couple lived over the state line in Smithfield, Fayette County, PA. They remained in Smithfield for at least several decades. The couple were the parents of Maud Howell, Earl Howell, Edgar/Edward Howell, Albert Howell, William Curtis Howell, Clarence Howell I, Gladys Howell, Robert Howell, Freda Howell and Clarence Howell II. Grief blanketed the Howells over the years when they suffered the loss of several unnamed stillborn and infant children, including baby daughters on Feb. 11, 1920 and Jan. 19, 1922. They also suffered the deaths of son Clarence I to colitis on May 23, 1911 and son William Curtis to diabetes at the age of 15 on Feb. 10, 1924. The children's remains were placed into eternal repose in Smithfield's Odd Fellows Cemetery. Census records for 1920 show George employed as a foreman with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Smithfield. Then in 1929, the family migrated to Cecil Township, Washington County, PA, where George found work as a coal miner. They also took in boarders to generate additional income. George shared a home in Cecil with his married son Albert, as shown in the 1940 census. His address in 1943 was 103 Maple Street in Muse, Cecil Township. Burdened with diabetes, he died at the age of 66 on Feb. 18, 1943. Elizabeth was the informant for the certificate of death. Burial was in Oak Spring Cemetery in Canonsburg, Washington County. [Find-a-Grave] Elizabeth survived her spouse by many years and is believed to have wed again to Leo A. Wise (1860-1961) and to have died on May 30, 1979.
Stepson Draper C. Howell (1877-1939) was born on July 16, 1877. Unmarried in 1900 and 1910, he lived at home in Uffington near Morgantown and worked as a farmer and day laborer. At the age of 44, on Nov. 5, 1921, he was married to 28-year-old widow Sarah E. McClintock (1894-1927). Rev. Edward A. Krapp, of the Presbyterian Church, led the ceremony held in Morgantown. The couple made a home on a farm in Uffington near Morgantown, Monongalia County. Stricken with anemia and a heart valve lesion, he was gathered away by the Angel of Death at the age of 62 on Sept. 11, 1939. Adaline Hartzell of Morgantown provided details for the West Virginia death certificate. Burial was in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
Stepson Thomas L. Howell (1880- ? ) was born in March 1880. Nothing more is known.
Stepson Thornton Pickenpaugh Howell (1884-1960) was born in Dec. 1883 or on Feb. 27, 1884 in Monongalia County. He married Emma J. (1894-1972). John earned a living over the years as a laborer on odd jobs and as a coal miner in and around Morgantown. At the age of 76, suffering from acute pulmonary edema and congestive heart failure, he died in Vincent Pallotti Hospital on June 16, 1960. His remains were lowered into rest in Mt. Calvary Cemetery near Morgantown.
~ Son George Westfall Martin ~
Son George Westfall Martin (1858-1945) was born on July 28, 1858 in Preston County, WV.
George spent his early years in Monongalia County, VA (WV) and learned the trade of carpentry.
At the age of 23, on April 23, 1880, George is believed to have married 22-year-old Isabell J. "Bell" Heller (Sept. 23, 1858-1937), a Pennsylvania native who was living in Preston County. Rev. R.T. Conaway officiated.
The couple produced a family of offspring, among them Erma Pearl Wagner Leak, Goldie Merle Welch, Charles Martin, William Henry Martin, Georgia Loew and Alma Fay Martin.
The family's home in 1900 was in the Grant District of Wetzel County, WV.
When he was about age 47, in 1906, George is known to have made a living working in the oilfields of Wetzel County. When his father was dying in a Fairmont hospital, reported the Fairmont West Virginian, George was called to be at his side.
Perhaps when the West Virginia energy boom ended, George parlayed his carpentry experience into a home-building and farming opportunity in Texas. The family relocated in 1909 to the Rio Grande Valley of Hidalgo County, TX. In making this move, two of their married daughters chose to remain behind, Goldie Welch and Georgia Lowe.
Census records for 1910 and 1920 show the Martins on a farm about a mile and a half south of the town of Mission. They remained on that farm for the balance of their lives. The couple were members of the Methodist Church.
George became a building contractor during the 1920s as shown in the 1930 census. Their next was empty that year.
Sadness swept over the family when Isabell, suffering from a septic infection, died at the age of 79 on Dec. 23, 1937. Son Alma Fay Martin, of Corpus Christi, TX, was the informant for the Texas death certificate. Interment was in Mission.
When the 1940 federal census enumeration was made, the 81-year-old George lived by himself near the town of Mission in Hidalgo County.
Having borne chronic heart disease and acute heart enlargement, George was admitted to Grandview Hospital in Edinburg, Hidalgo County. Four days later he died, at age 86, on Jan. 10, 1945. Burial is believed to have been in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Mission. William H. Martin, of 315 Lafitte Street in San Antonio, signed the death certificate. An obituary was published in the McAllen (TX) Monitor which said that his survivors included 24 grandchildren.
Daughter Erma Pearl Martin (1882- ? ) was in June 1881 in West Virginia. At the age of 28, in 1910, she lived with her parents near Mission, Hidalgo County, TX. At some point, she wedded (?) Wagner. In 1920, at the age of 38, she had separated from her husband, making her home with her parents in Mission. Then by 1937, she married Eldridge L. Leak/Leake (1866- ? ), a native of Georgia. She was 16 years younger than her second spouse. They were in Hidalgo County, TX in 1935, California in 1937, Mission, TX in 1940 and McAllen, TX in 1945. At the age of 74, in 1940, Eldridge had no occupation.
Daughter Goldie Merle Martin (1883-1980) was born on April 8, 1883. At the age of 18, on April 1, 1900, she married 19-year-old Charles Edward Welch (May 6, 1880-1961), son of John and Lady Jane (Hawkins) Welch. Rev. D.G. Helmick officiated at the nuptials held in Fairmont, Marion County, WV. The couple lived for decades in Fairmont. Among their known children were Lillian Bell Ansel, Georgia Lucille Marlow, Gilbert Welch, Esther Welch, Brady Welch, Arthur Welch and Doris Welch. The 1910 U.S. Census shows them living along the Fairmont and Bridgeport Pike, with Charles laboring as a coal miner. He turned to farming during the decade of the 1910s as indicated on the 1920 census. They were in Fairmont in 1935 and then by 1940, when the federal census enumeration was made, the Welches resided in Millersville, Marion County, with the 59-year-old Charles having no employment. Charles passed away in 1961, terminating their marriage which had endured for 61 years. Goldie outlived her spouse by 19 years. She died in March 1980, with burial in Bentons Ferry, Marion County. [Find-a-Grave]
Son Charles Martin (1884- ? ) was born in Dec. 1884 in West Virginia. In 1900, at the age of 15, he lived with his parents in the Grant District of Wetzel County, WV. He was deceased by 1937.
Son William Henry Martin (1886-1950) was born on Oct. 29, 1886 in Rivesville, Marion County. As a young man, he was of medium height and build, with blue eyes and brown hair. He learned the carpentry trade, and relocated to Oklahoma where he served as a corporal for eight months with the Oklahoma National Guard. After that service ended, he migrated to Mission, TX, where he was employed by Charles Barnes. Around that time, he was married and divorced. During World War I, he served in the U.S. Armed Forces. After the war ended, he chose to establish a home in Texas, and in 1920 boarded with his married brother Fay in Donna District, Hidalgo County. The 1920 census-taker marked him as divorced and earning a living as a building contractor, likely working closely with his brother Fay. Then in the 1920s, he married Kathleen (1897- ? ), a Missouri native. His home in 1930-1940 was in San Antonio. Census records for 1930 and 1940 show him working as a carpenter in the building industry. In 1950, their address was 309 Canterbury Road in San Antonio, with his employment as a guard with the U.S. Civil Service. Suffering from an abscessed liver, he was admitted to Brooke General Hospital at Fort Sam Houston, Bexar County, TX. He died there at the age of 63 on Feb. 23, 1950. Burial was in the fort's national cemetery.
Daughter Georgia Hazelton Martin (1889-1975) was born in Sept. 1889 in Marion County, WV. On Oct. 29, 1905, when she was 16 years of age, she married 25-year-old Julius Loew (Feb. 2, 1876-1963) of Elm Grove, WV, and the son of Adam and Barbara (Otto) Loew of Clarington, OH. Rev. I.N. Owens led the wedding held in Elm Grove. The children born to this union were Elmer Loew, Wilma Loew, Julius W. Loew and Freda Loew. Over the years, Julius labored as a machinist and farmer. In 1910, the Loews lived on a farm along the Riley-Delaplaine Road in Richland Township near Wheeling, Ohio County, WV. By 1920, they had moved to a new residence along River Road in Richland Township, with Julius earning a living as a farm gardener. During the decade of the 1920s, Julius found new work as a slate pitcher in a coal mine in Richland, as shown in the 1930 federal census. Their address in the 1960s was rural Warwood near Wheeling. Julius spent his final years in Jones Nursing Home in Beech Bottom, Brooke County, WV. On March 15, 1963, at the age of 87, Julius passed into eternity at the age of 87 from the effects of a heart attack. His remains were lowered into the earth in Kadesh Chapel Cemetery in Beech Bottom. [Find-a-Grave] Georgia lived for another dozen years as a widow, making her home on River Road in Wheeling. Admitted to Ohio Valley Hospital, she joined him in death on Feb. 7, 1975. An obituary was printed in the Steubenville Herald Star.
Great-granddaughter Shirley Stuntz ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She wedded Edward Wade and made a home in Wheeling. Their offspring include Mark Wade and Tamila Higley.
Son Alma "Fay" Martin (1891-1952) -- sometimes misspelled "Elmer" -- was born on Oct. 3, 1891 in Rivesville, Marion County, WV. He was tall and slender, with grey eyes and light brown hair. He and his brother William migrated to Texas in the mid-1910s, settling in Mission, Hidalgo County. He was married to Beulah Annabelle Duffy (1894-1984), a Texas native. They were the parents of Beulah Martin, Cecil Martin and Alvin Martin. They were in Waco, McLennan County in 1912 when their eldest daughter Beulah was born. Circa 1917, when he registered for the military draft during World War I, he made a living as a bottler. Their home in 1920 was in Donna District, Hidalgo County, TX, with Fay working as a building contractor. In 1920, Fay's 33-year-old divorced brother William, also a building contractor, and married brother in law Walter Mapes, a coal miner, lived under their roof. From there they moved to Raymondville, Willacy County, TX, where in 1930. Fay continued his work as a carpenter building houses. In 1937, they relocated to Corpus Christi, Nueces County, TX, where he earned a living as a carpenter. His address in 1945 was in Laredo and in the early 1950s was 3301 Newton Street. Suffering from kidney cancer, he died in Corpus Christi on Feb. 9, 1952. Interment was in Seaside Memorial Park Cemetery, also known as Aberdeen Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave] Beulah survived her husband by many years. In 1963, she lived at 3301 Brawner Street in Corpus Christi and made news when she hosted a visit from her sister, Trudie Mates, of Wilkes-Barre, PA, who had been abroad in the West Indies serving as a missionary, the first time the two had been together for 39 years. Beulah died in 1984.
Great-granddaughter Betty Jane Pennington (1928-1960) was born on May 21, 1928 in Brownsville, Cameron County, TX. On Sept. 21, 1951, she was joined in marriage with Wilfred Merrill "Netus" Dreyer (Jan. 16, 1920-1971), a native of Raymondville and the son of Max H. Dreyer and Anna Josephine Kennedy. The wedding was held in Raymondville. The couple were the parents of three daughters -- Patricia Jane Fisher, Carol Lynn Spence and Sherry Lee Handley. Wilfred served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, seeing service in England and France. They earned a living as farmers and were members of the Church of Epiphany. She also was active with the Junior Woman's Club of Raymondville and served as president of the San Perlita Parent-Teacher Association in 1959. Tragically, Betty Jane was diagnosed with cervical cancer in about 1956. She suffered for four years and died at the age of 31, in Raymondville, Willacy County, TX on Feb. 11, 1960. Burial was in Raymondville Memorial Cemetery. An obituary in the Harlington (TX) Valley Morning Star reported that she was a "member of a well known Willacy county family." Funeral services were held in the First Methodist Church of Raymondville, with Rev. W.V. Kegler officiating, Pallbearers were Neil Cantrell, John Freeman, Tommy Rains, Donald Florence, Charles F. Roberts and Fred Klosterman. Wilfred outlived his bride by 11 years and resided in Harlingen, Cameron County. Burdened with cirrhosis of the liver, he joined her in death on Sept. 8, 1971.
Great-granddaughter Faye Rene Pennington (1931-2004) was born on Sept. 1, 1931 on a farm east of Raymondville, Willacy County, TX. She was a graduate of Incarnate Word High School, and after graduation, moved to Corpus Christi. She was united in holy matrimony with Thomas William Fugett ( ? - ? ). Their marriage lasted for 51 years. They were the parents of a son, Paul W. Fugett. They also helped to raise Faye's motherless nieces Patricia Dreyer Fisher, Lynn Dreyer Spence and Sherry Dreyer Handley. The newlyweds spent their first few years in Corpus Christi before returning to Raymondville. They spent the next 34 years in Raymondville until retirement, and then relocated to San Antonio. Sadly, at the age of 72, Faye succumbed in TexSan Heart Hospital on March 3, 2004.
Great-granddaughter Eunice Martin married (?) Smith ( ? - ? ). In 1976, she lived in San Antonio.
Great-granddaughter Joanna Marie Martin (1942-2019) was born on March 10, 1942 in Corpus Christi. She was married several times. Her first spouse was Louis Michael Naro Sr. (April 25, 1940-2014 ), a native of Dunmore, Lackawanna County, PA. They were the parents of Louis Michael Naro Jr., Toni Hedreen, Edward Naro and Tina Banse. The Naros likely met in Texas during Louis' U.S. Navy assignment there. Circa 1976, they dwelled in Dunmore, with evidence suggesting that they relocated to Corpus Christi. The couple eventually divorced. Later, Joanna was joined in wedlock with (?) Sain ( ? - ? ). At some point she became a registered nurse and spent much of her career providing care for the infirm and elderly. For 11 years, she operated an adult day care in Fulton, TX. She liked to cook and can and often exhibited her canned goods at the local Market Days. The final decade of her life was spent with her companion Thomas Mostella. She suffered heartbreak on Sept. 6, 2012 when her 19-year-old grandson Kyle Linden Naro was killed in an accident when his Fort pickup crashed after leaving the road on State Highway 44 east of Alice, TX. At the age of 76, she died in Rockport, Aransas County TX on Jan. 27, 2019. Burial was in Aransas Memorial Park Cemetery. She was survived by a dozen grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson. Former husband Louis Naro Sr. married again to Lois ( ? ) and died on Sept. 3, 2014. At his death, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times said he "was a loving, generous man that loved God, his family, anyone that he met, and cooking. Louis wanted to feed you, make you laugh and lighten your load even if it was just for a little while."
Great-grandson Alvin E. Martin Jr. made a home in Corpus Christi in 1976.
Great-grandson Wade Martin resided in 1976 in Uvalde, Uvalde County, TX.
~ Daughter Harriet Martin ~
Daughter Harriet Martin (1876- ? ) was born in 1876 most likely in Paw Paw Township, Marion County, WV.
Copyright © 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2019 Mark A. Miner