When Charles Landon Martin started out in the business world it was as an employe in a woodenware house, and throughout the intervening period to the present he has continued in the same line of business, being now the vice president of the Crunden-Martin Manufacturing Company. He was born in Maquoketa, Iowa, on the 11th of March, 1858, his parents being James W. and Lois (Weaver) Martin. His father was a veteran of the Civil war, serving for three years as captain of Company I of the Twenty-fourth Iowa Infantry. He participated in many hotly contested engagements, including the battle of Champion Hill, the Red River campaign and the siege of Vicksburg, and was twice wounded.
Charles L. Martin pursued his early education in the public schools of St. Louis, Missouri, and afterward entered Cornell College of Mount Vernon, Iowa, in which he pursued a general scientific course. He took up the responsibilities of business life as an employe of the Samuel Cupples Woodenware Company of St. Louis, with which he continued for ten years, gaining a wide and comprehensive knowledge of the business, his experience therefore qualifying him to undertake the establishment and management of a similar concern. In 1891 he organized the Martin Woodenware Company, which was succeeded in a reorganization by the Crunden-Martin Manufacturing Company in 1892. The business has been conducted under the present firm style for twenty-eight years and has steadily developed into one of the important productive industries of the city. Mr. Martin tempers his progressiveness by a safe conservatism, is thorough and systematic in all business affairs and has great ability as an organizer. under his careful guidance the trade relations of the house have been constantly extended and the enterprise has long been numbered among the successful productive industries of the city. Mr. Martin also has other important business connections, for he is the secretary and treasurer of the Conzelman Realty Company of St. Louis and the vice president of the Webster Groves Trust Company.
On the 13th of May, 1886, at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mr. Martin was married to Miss Eleanor Camburn, a daughter of Dr. Jacob H. Camburn, who served as a surgeon during the Civil war and by reason of exposure and overwork so undermined his health that he never recovered. Mr. and Mrs. Martin have two children: Leonard C., who married Miss Alice Eliot; and Frances E. On the 1st of December, 1917, he enlisted as a private in the quartermaster’s department, was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant and was discharged in April, 1919, at which time he was acting as adjutant. In his military career he followed in the footsteps of a worthy ancestry that has always manifested marked patriotism and loyalty to the country, for the grandfather of Charles L. Martin was a member of the navy during the War of 1812 and his great-grandfather was one of the soldiers of the Revolutionary war.
In his political views Charles L. Martin has always been a stalwart republican, but the honors and emoluments of office have had little attraction for him. He belongs to various clubs of the city, including the Noonday, Bellerive Country, Algonquin Country and City Clubs and the Missouri Athletic Association. His religious faith is that of the Congregational church. He is a man of forceful personality who throughout his entire life has made his efforts count as potent factors in the attainment of his purposes. Actuated by laudable ambition, he has so directed his efforts in the field of business as to gain most gratifying returns and his activities have also ever been of a character that has contributed to the industrial development of the city as well as to individual prosperity.