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JESSE O. MARTIN, subject of this sketch, is an honorable and progressive farmer, and it is doubtless entirely owing to the industrious and persevering manner with which he has adhered to the pursuits of agriculture that he has arisen to such a substantial position in farm affairs in this county. He has for twenty years made his home in Stone County, Missouri, but is a native of Hot Spring County, Arkansas, where he was born October 17, 1843, being the fourth of eleven children born to John W. and Hannah (Grirer) Martin, both of whom were born in the State of Illinois, the former being a son of Owen Martin, one of the early settlers of the Sucker State. The parents of Jesse O. Martin were reared and married in the State of Illinois, after which they removed to Hot Spring County, Arkansas, and followed the occupation of farming. For a short time they resided in northern Louisiana after which they moved back to their old home in Arkansas. Upon the opening of the Civil War John W. Martin enlisted in the First Arkansas Cavalry, but about a year later died from fever at Cassville, Missouri He was first a Whig and later a Republican in politics, and he and his wife, who died in Arkansas about 1864, were earnest members of the Presbyterian Church. Their children were as follows: Michael, who died in Arkansas; Joseph N., who was a soldier and died at Little Rock during the war; John F., who died in Arkansas; Jesse O.; Sarah E., who died, the wife of William Bartlett, leaving one child; Rebecca A.. married Jesse Clark, and is deceased; James I., a farmer of Indian Territory; Albert, who died in early boyhood, and an infant.
The subject of this sketch attended the public schools of his native county, but as they were not conducted in a very able manner he was unable to acquire as good an education as he desired. He was about eighteen years of age when the war came on and was later conscripted in the Confederate Army, but succeeded in leaving the service a few weeks later and went to Springfield where he remained until the war closed. He settled in the vicinity of that place and there made his home until 1873, when he came to Stone County. He was married while living on his fine farm near Springfield to Miss Eliza Cutburth, a daughter of George Cutburth, who was one of the early settlers of Greene County. Mrs. Martin was born in Tennessee in 1840, and has borne her husband six children, three of whom are living: John H., who is a farmer of wealth residing on the James River; George, who is living on a farm belonging to his father, has a wife and family; and Oscar, who also lives on the James River, and has a wife and family; Thomas; Martha A. and Sarah E. died before marriage. Upon his removal to Stone County, Missouri, Mr. Martin became the owner of 117 acres of land, upon which he began the work of improvement. He engaged in farming and handling stock and in this branch of human endeavor he has been decidedly successful and has been enabled to purchase a fine farm of 165 acres, farther down the James River, on which two of his sons are living. In political matters he is with the People’s party, but was formerly a Republican, and has held a number of township offices with ability. He and his family attend the Methodist Episcopal Church, and as a Christian gentleman, a citizen and a man of business, he is highly respected. He is in every respect a self-made man and all his present possessions have been acquired through his own efforts.