Harry R. Martin, now serving as county clerk of Butler County, had been known to the people of this section of Kansas since his life began, and he had an extensive experience as a farmer and business man prior to his election to his present office.
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Mr. Martin was born at Douglass, in Butler County, October 25, 1882. His father, J. T. Martin, was a homesteader in Butler County, and part of his homestead was used for the townsite of Douglass. The Martin family came out of England in the early days and first settled in Maryland, in which state J. T. Martin was born in 1845. He grew up in his native state, learned the trade of blacksmith, and in 1869, at the age of twenty-four, came out to Kansas and settled in Butler County. He set up a blacksmith shop and at the same time took up a homestead of 160 acres. Eighty acres of this he sold for the townsite of Douglass, but still retains the other half and also eighty acres adjoining it on the north. This now constitutes a fine farm of a quarter section and he is still active in its management. He is a republican, is a member of the Congregational Church, in which he had long served as deacon, and is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America. J. T. Martin married Ollie Weimer. Mrs. Martin was born in Ohio in 1857. Their children are: Charles W., clerk in a store at Douglass, Kansas; Harry R.; Walter R., a farmer at Douglass; Virgil L., a resident of Independence, Kansas, and a surveyor and civil engineer in the oil fields, being employed by the Prairie Oil & Gas Company; and Francis, who is in the class of 1917 in the University of Kansas.
Harry R. Martin grew up on his father’s farm at Douglass, attended the public schools of that town, and after his high school course entered the Wichita Business College, where he was graduated in 1904. On leaving business college he became an employe of the Long-Bell Lumber Company of Kansas City, and remained in their service two years. Mr. Martin had seen a great deal of the country, especially the Far West. For three years he visited along the California coast and north into Canada, and had been through nearly all the western states and territories. In 1909, returning to his old home at Douglass, Mr. Martin put in three years of farming. In 1912 he removed to the county seat at El Dorado and was deputy county clerk until November, 1916, when he was elected to the chief responsibilities of that office for the regular term of two years. He had his offices in the courthouse and is owner of his comfortable residence at 304 Merchant Street.
Mr. Martin was elected to office on the republican ticket and had been quite active in political affairs in the county. He is a member of the Congregational Church, is affiliated with Patmos Lodge No. 97, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; El Dorado Chapter No. 35, Royal Arch Masons; and El Dorado Lodge, Loyal Order of Moose.
On December 26, 1909, after his return from the West, Mr. Martin was married at Augusta, Kansas, to Miss Bertie E. Smith, a native of Missouri. Her father was the late Dr. P. B. Smith, long a well known physician at Augusta. Her mother, Mary (Esslinger) Smith, is still living at Augusta. Mr. and Mrs. Martin have one daughter, Dorothy, born August 28, 1910.