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Howard F. Martindale was born at Madison, Kansas, June 5, 1872. He grew up on the Martindale homestead adjoining that town, attended the district school and later the Emporia High School, from which he was graduated in 1893. He spent the following autumn and the spring of 1894 in the University of Kansas, but the call of the farm and the prairies was too strong, and he did not return to school the next fall.
Since that time Mr. Martindale had given his primary attention to farming and stock-raising, and had made a distinct success of both. He managed his father’s large estate until the failure of the First National Bank of Emporia in 1898. In 1900 he took up his residence on a small tract of land adjoining Madison on the west–a broken piece of land, picturesque with hills and woods and flanked by the Verdigris River–but better than this, to Mr. Martindale’s practical eye the tract was ideally situated for hog raising. He went into the raising of pedigreed Poland China hogs to win, and became one of the best known breeders in the state. No finer animals of this strain are found anywhere in the country.
Mr. Martindale’s home farm, though small, was equipped with all modern appliances and conveniences, and, as usual, Howard Martindale succeeded in his undertaking. Best of all, he made of that broken forty acres a beautiful home–one of the handsomest and most thoroughly modern homes in Greenwood County. It faces the southeast on a grassy knoll, standing aloof from the curving sweep of the highroad that winds gracefully up Patterson Hill. Mr. Martindale owned considerable real estate in the Town of Madison and in other sections of Greenwood County, and for several years he had been president of the Madison Bank.
As a republican Howard Martindale was a nominee for congressman from the Fourth Kansas District in 1914, and was a candidate for the nomination in 1916. He is affiliated with Madison Lodge No. 196, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Emporia Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Emporia Commandery of the Knights Templar; with Madison Lodge No. 171, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; with the Knights of Pythias Lodge at Madison; and with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in Emporia. He is a member of the State Historical Society at Topeka.
Mr. Martindale was married in Madison in 1898 to Miss Erma James, daughter of W. H. and Florence Wasson James. Her father, now deceased, was a pioneer farmer in Greenwood County. Mrs. James still lives in Madison. Mr. and Mrs. Martindale have one child, Sallie, who is a graduate of the Emporia High School and now is a student in the College of Emporia.
When Howard Martindale was a boy of twelve or so his father and mother decided he should learn to play the cottage organ which adorned their home. Howard protested, but what could a boy do against the wishes of his father and mother, aided and abetted by a music teacher who lived in Madison? This music teacher declared Howard had musical talent, and that soon he could learn to play “pieces.” Consequently, on Saturday mornings, the only day free from school, when any boy worth while wanted to be in the woods and fields attending to the various businesses of every well regulated boy, Howard, much against his will, combed and brushed and starched, rode his pony the mile into Madison, and for a weary hour strove to learn the scales and to play finger exercises in the “Rudiments of Music for the Parlor Organ,” known and abominated by scores of boys and girls in the eighties. Probably he never got as far as the “Maiden’s Prayer.” Just how far he got deponent sayeth not, but it is certain he had lived down that dark blot on the otherwise fair page of his history, and it should not be held against him. He had been trying for thirty years to forget it, but a hard-hearted historian dug up the tragic story and insisted in embodying it in these records.
The Martindale family belongs among the Kansas pioneers of 1857. They were participants in the movement that brought about the early settlement of Greenwood County and the surrounding territory, and for sixty years the name had been one of honorable associations in that part of the state.
One of the historic castles still standing in Scotland is Martindale Castle, the original seat of this family. Some members of the family emigrated from Scotland to Virginia in colonial times. John Martindale, grandfather of Howard Martindale, was born in Virginia, but was a pioneer in the Northwest Territory and cleared a farm near the village of Ginghamsburg, Ohio, about 1800. He died in Ohio. In politics he was an early whig and saw active service in the War of 1812. The land grant given him for service in that war subsequently was used by his son William Martindale in acquiring a quarter section of land.
William Martindale was born at Ginghamsburg in 1835. He grew up in that state, but when a young man joined the tide of emigration to the Territory of Kansas. He came by way of Westport, now Kansas City, when that river town had only four hundred and fifty inhabitants. From Westport William Martindale journeyed westward into Kansas Territory with an ox team and wagon, and was one of the first white men who located on the Verdigris River at the Norwegian Ford. He came in the spring of 1857. As he passed through Emporia that village was just being laid out. The claim he took on the Verdigris River is described as the southeast quarter of section 17, township 22, range 12. That quarter section was his home until 1886. He had rapidly extended his holdings, and his real estate at that time amounted to 9,300 acres. He used it for stock-raising chiefly, but he was also one of the pioneer farmers. In 1886 he removed to Emporia, and spent the remainder of his life in that city, where he died in 1909.
William Martindale was a republican, and during the period of the Civil war served two terms in the Kansas State Legislature, and later was a member of the Senate one term. For forty years he was a power in state politics. He belonged to the Masonic fraternity. He married Sallie A. Maurer. She was born in 1845 in Covington, Ohio, and is still living in Emporia. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Martindale, two of whom survive. Howard Martindale’s brother, Chester, lives in Emporia and is in the employ of the Santa Fe Railroad.