J. S. Martin, who at the time of his demise on the 16th of October,
1905, was one of the oldest members of the Old Men’s Association of Kansas City, attained the age of eighty-seven years. For a long period he was identified with the interests of Western Missouri and because of a wide and favorable acquaintance his life record cannot fail to prove of interest to many of the readers of this volume.
He was a son of Colonel Amos Martin of the city of New York, and was born in Owego, Tioga County. New York, September 14, 1818. Good educationial privileges were provided him in youth and these he improved with the result that he was well qualified to take up the practical duties of life on attaining his majority. When a young man he began clerking in a store and developed good business ability, which as the years passed gained him place with men of recognized prominence and wealth in commercial and industrial circles. He was at the age of forty-five years connected with the reaper and mower factory in Auburn. New York. He traveled extensively for this firm, into all sections of the country and came to Kansas City on business in 1868. He was so well pleased with the growing western city and its prospects that upon his return to New York he disposed of his interests in the business there and returned to Kansas City to make his home.
He purchased a lot in what was then a cornfield and erected a residence that stands at what is now designated as No. 1509 Oak Street. There he made his home for thirty-seven years, or until his demise. He became a factor in business circles here as a local agent for implements. in which connection he appointed sub-agents and was also traveling collector and adjuster for different firms. As the years passed he built up a good business in these lines and was everywhere known for his thorough reliability in commercial transactions. A few years prior to his demise, however, he retired from active connection with business.
His life was a long, useful and honorable one and the many with whom he came in contact in his commercial career entertained for him high respect for his integrity as well as energy.
Mr. Martin was married twice. In the state of New York he wedded Margaret Maning, now deceased, and unto them were born two children: Lewis, a resident of Los Angeles, California; and Elizabeth, who has passed away. In 1881 Mr. Martin was married to Miss Adaline C. Chambers, who came to Kansas City from Ohio in 1868 with her parents, James and Jane Chambers, both of whom were natives of the Buckeye state. Their removal to this city was influenced by the fact that they had two sons in business here and wished to be near them.
Socially Mr. Martin was connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and he exercised his right of franchise in support of the men and
measures of the republican party. For thirty years he was a devoted and faithful member of the Presbyterian church and served as treasurer for eight years, while in the various departments of church work he took an active and helpful interest. He assisted in building three different churches here and did everything in his power to promote the moral development and progress of the community. He was a typical American in that he was never too busy to be cordial and never too cordial to be busy. When not occupied with commercial interests his time was given to affairs connected with municipal progress. He never regretted his removal to Kansas City from either a social or financial standpoint, for he found success in business here and gained many friends whose high regard he cherished. He was a man of very large acquaintance and was loved and honored by all who knew him. He regarded his own self-respect and the good will of his fellow citizens as infinitely more valuable than wealth, fame or position, and the sterling qualities which he displayed made his example one well worthy of emulation. Full of years and honors he passed away—his life span having covered eighty-seven years.
KANSAS CITY Missouri – It’s History and It’s People
1800 – 1908
BY CARRIE WESTLAKE WHITNEY
THE S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING CO.