Jackson County

Biography - James H. Martin

JAMES H. MARTIN. Among the essentially representative citizens of Murphysboro, Jackson county, whose influence and activities have contributed to the economic and social progress of this favored section of the state, stands James H. Martin, who claims the fine old Hoosier commonwealth as the place of his nativity, but the major part of whose life has been passed in Illinois. He is one of the leading members of the bar of Jackson county, and is a citizen of broad views and marked progressiveness. He is identified with various important corporations in his home city, including the City National Bank of Murphysboro, of which he is a director and concerning which specific mention is made in other parts of this publication.

Mr. Martin was born in Ripley county, Indiana, on the 18th day of October, 1852. He was a child at the time of his parents' removal to Illinois, the family settling in Richland county in 1865. There he was reared to adult age and there he availed himself of the advantages of the public schools. That he made good use of his opportunities is indicated by the fact that as a youth he taught school for some time in the country districts, and proved himself an able and popular exponent of the pedagogic profession. He early formulated different plans for a future career, and decided to prepare himself for the profession of law. With this end in view he began his studies under a private preceptor and finally entered the law department of the celebrated University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he remained until 1880. He was admitted to the bar in May of 1880, and shortly afterwards he established his home in Murphysboro, Illinois, where he has continued in effective practice during the long, intervening years. This interval has been marked by worthy accomplishments on his part, and he has gained prestige as one of the ablest and most conscientious representatives of his profession in this section of the state. For a number of years past he has given his attention principally to real-estate, common law and chancery practice, and along these lines he controls a large and representative business.

In all that pertains to the general welfare of the community, Mr. Martin has shown a loyal and public-spirited interest. He has gained a secure vantage ground in the confidence and esteem of the community in which he has so long made his home. He is a strong advocate of the principles and policies for which the Democratic party stands sponsor, and while he has given praiseworthy service in behalf of the party, he has never been an aspirant for political office. He was nominated at one time for the office of judge of the circuit court, but he declined the nomination. Since 1908 he has served as president of the board of education of the Murphysboro Township High School, and in the line of his profession he is attorney for several of the representative corporations of his home city, including the Jackson County Homestead Loan and Building Association, of which he was the principal organizer. In 1892 he was appointed attorney for the City National Bank, of which he has been a director from the time of its organization. He is attorney for the Murphysboro Telephone Company, as well as the Ohio & Mississippi Valley Telephone Company. In a fraternal way he is identified with the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias.

In the year 1888, on November 13, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Martin to Miss Elizabeth Kennedy, daughter of George and Ellen (Ross) Kennedy, for many years residents of Murphysboro. Mr. Kennedy was engaged in the mercantile business for fully forty years in that city, being well and favorably known in the community where he has made his home for so many years. Mr. and Mrs. Martin have two children: Milford M., who is a student at the Murphysboro township high school, and Anna K., who was graduated from the Murphysboro high school as a member of the class of 1909, and who is now Mrs. Otis F. Glenn.

Extracted 15 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 676-677.

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