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A well known Wichita manufacturer and business man, Fred W. Martin possessed the qualities which enabled him to grow and adapt himself in proportion to his opportunities. As a youth he learned the tinner’s trade and also clerked in a bardware store. It was on that narrow footing that he began to build himself into the larger affairs of business. He is now treasurer and manager of the Martin Metal Manufacturing Company, one of the growing and flourishing industries of Wichita.
Besides the interest that attaches to his own successful career, it is also a matter of note that Mr. Martin represents a pioneer family of Kansas. His grandfather, Henry Martin, came from Hull, Eagland, in 1856, and located at Eldorado, Kansas, when this was still a territory. He had the distinction of eondueting the first store at Eldorado.
It was in Butler County, Kansas, that Fred W. Martin was born October 19, 1874. He learned his lessons in the public schools there and in the meantime gained his first qualifications and experience for business as clerk in his father’s hardware store at Leon in Butler County. He also mustered the tinner’s trade while there.
From Leon he went to a clerkship in a hardware store at Coldwater, Kansas, and subsequently identified himself with the City of El Reno, Oklahoma, where he remained six years.
In 1899 Mr. Martin returned to Kansas and at Wichita helped establish the Hockaday Wholesale Hardware Company, of which he became assistant manager and buyer. In 1906 that company sold out to the Simmons Hardware Company, and he remained as secretary of the new concern two years.
In 1907 Mr. Martin perfected the organization of the Martin Metal Manufacturing Company, which began business March 1, 1908, with a capital stock of $25,000. The capital and surplus now exceed, $200,000. This company manufactures metal stack covers, which they ship to all parts of the country, and also a general line of metal grain bins, tanks, corrugated culverts, eave troughs, metal roofing of all kinds, automobile fenders, and sheet metal parts for automobiles.
The company recently added a jobbing line of pumps, pipes, plumbers’ supplies and heating material. Their new factory just completed is one of the most perfect in its appointment and equipment in the United States. In the office section of the building they have a large sample room for displaying plumbers’ enamelware, and that is without doubt the finest in Kansas. Their first factory, at 140 North Moseley Avenue, was soon found to be inadequate for the growing business. The company then purchased its present site at the corner of Second Street and Moseley Avenue, and there erected a handsome two-story brick structure, the present home of one of the newer but most flourishing companies of Kansas. The company employs fifty hands.
While a resident of El Reno, Oklahoma, Mr. Martin was married December 17, 1894, to Miss Irene M. Sullivan. They are the parents of three children. Lillian May is a stenographer in the office of the Martin Metal Manufaeturing Company, Hazel C, is the wife of Theodore Chapman and they live in Wichita. Fred W., Jr., is now a student in the Wichita public schools.