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John Elmore Martin, son of the late Senator John Martin, of Topeka, had for many years been an active business man and citizen in Emporia and is former mayor of that city.
He was born in Topeka, Kansas, October 2, 1862, was educated in the Topeka schools, spent one year in Washburn College, and on leaving college in 1882 became a clerk in the offices of the Santa Fe Railway Company under C. C. Wheeler, who was then general manager. For six years Mr. Martin served as Santa Fe agent at Emporia and for two years at Strong City, Kansas, and he remained in the Santa Fe service until 1896.
In that year he bought E. A. Beacher’s laundry at Emporia, located at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Commercial Street. Taking a small business and a plant and equipment none too good, Mr. Martin had concentrated his best efforts on this enterprise and now had the largest and finest laundry in this section of the state. He had erected a large brick building, had installed the latest and most improved apparatus and time and labor saving machinery, and had increased the service and the volume of work so that the entire amount of the weekly business done when he bought the plant hardly equaled in value the amount of the present weekly payroll. After conducting the plant under his personal ownership for many years he formed the Martin Laundry Company, with himself as president, for the express purpose of giving two faithful employes some stock in the company. The business is now located at 13-15-17 West Fourth Avenue. Mr. Martin is also a stockholder in the Emporia National Bank.
Like his father he had always been a democrat. He was elected mayor of Emporia for 1892-93 served as county clerk of Lyon County two years, and had ever interested himself in those movements and organizations which represent the best spirit and progress in his home community. He attends the Episcopal Church and is past president of the Emporia Commercial Club. Fraternally he is a member of Emporia Lodge No. 12, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Emporia Chapter No. 12, Royal Arch Masons; Emporia Commandery No. 8, Knights Templar; Emporia Council, Royal and Select Masters: Union Lodge No. 15, Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Emporia; past exalted ruler of Emporia Lodge No. 633, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; a member of Camp No. 615, Modern Woodmen of America; of Emporia Lodge of Ancient Order of United Workmen; and also belongs to the local order of Improved Order of Red Men.
On October 20, 1886, in Emporia Mr. Martin married Miss Elizabeth Ann Walkup. Her father was the late James Reeves Walkup, who worked out all the road taxes for the Santa Fe Railroad Company. There are two children: Charles Clements, who is secretary and treasurer of the Martin Steam Laundry Company; and Harry Hood, now a member in the senior class in Purdue University at Lafayette, Indiana.