The Comanche Chief, Comanche, Texas, 23 September 1882
Reminiscences of the Old Settlers of Comanche County and the Adjacent Country.
Here He Rests!
When the average man once casts his lot upon the frontier, it is often the case that he continues to move to the borders of civilization until old age disqualifies him for further enterprise. This fact is illustrated by the career of Henry MARTIN, sr., who died last week, at his last earthly home, six miles north of Comanche.
THE LIFE OF HENRY MARTIN, SR.
Henry MARTIN, sr., (familiarly and affectionately known in Comanche county under the name of Grandpa MARTIN) was born in Edgefield district, South Carolina, on the 16th day of April, 1800, and was, therefore, at the date of his death, which occurred as above on the 10th of September, 1882, aged 82 years, 4 months, and 25 days.
At the age of nineteen, he immigrated to Georgia, where in Habersham county, he was married to Elinder DOOLEY, whose parents were emigrants from North Carolina. He remained in Habersham county nine years. This was during the period when the wild hunt for gold was agitating that region of Georgia, and before the Indians had left that state. At the expiration of that time he removed to Lee county, where he remained only nineteen months, and returned to Harbersham county. Resting there for a short time, he removed into what was then known as the Cherokee purchase, in that section of it now known as Walker county. He settled in Dogwood Valley on Chickamauga creek. The country around was then occupied by Cherokee Indians. There were but three white families in the county at that time.
He next moved to Arkansas and stopped six miles south of Little Rock. In the spring of 1836 he planted a crop there, but some of his family having sickened, he became dissatisfied, sold out and moved back to Georgia, settling this time on East Chickamagua creek, in the year 1837. He helped remove the Cherokees from Georgia to Chatanooga, Tennessee, preparatory to their removal west of the Mississippi river. He then settled a place in Murray county, Georgia, near Catoosa Springs and remained there until the fall of 1852.
In the fall of 1852 he started for Texas. While on the way he was delayed by high water in St. Francis county, Arkansas. While there, his wife, Elinder, sickened and died.
Mrs. MARTIN was in every respect a dutiful, good, Christian woman. The date of her death was December the 5th, 1852. She was long a member of the Methodist church, and her dying words were an exhortation to her family to lead Christian lives, in preparation for the great change she was then experiencing.
Grandpa MARTIN embraced religion in Georgia and joined the Methodist church there, remaining a member thereof until his removal to Texas, where he united with the Baptist church. He was baptized by immersion, by Elder J.R. NORTHCUT on the first Sunday in April, 1874. From the period of his conversion in Georgia to his death, he was a devoted Christian, the hospitalities of his home always welcoming the preachers, and offering rest and food to the tired and the hungry. When he was buried, the largest assembly of people ever seen in Comanche county, on a similar occasion, in tearful sympathy, stood around his grave in the burying ground of Zion Hill church.
Mrs. Elinder MARTIN gave birth to thirteen children. Five of these were married at the time of her death.
Grandpa MARTIN arrived in Bell county, Texas, on the 5th of March, 1853, and settled a place on the Salado. In the fall of 1854, and in company with his son-in-law, J.A. McGUIRE, who now lives on Rush creek, in Comanche county, he started for the wilds of Comanche county with a load of corn, farming tools and house furniture, and stopped one mile east of where the town of Comanche now stands, and there built a house, (believed to be the first in the county), in which he deposited his goods on the 15th of December 1854. He returned to Bell county for his family, with whom he arrived at his ranch on the 12th of February, 1855. He remained at this place for 16 months and then settled the place on Indian creek where A.J. STEWART now lives. He remained there until January, 1861. At this time all his children were married excepting one son. This son was killed during the late civil war, fighting on the confederate side.
While he lived on Indian creek, there were a great many Indians in the country, but they were peaceable and well disposed until about the winter of 1857 and 1858, when they became hostile and troublesome, stealing horses and occasionally killing settles. During the period of hostilities they stole from Grandpa MARTIN about thirty horses.
[Unfortunately the last paragraph of this article has severe damage and is illegible.]
School opened last Monday with a large attendance.
Miss Lizzie FORD has moved her school to the REDDEN house in the west part of town. Miss Lizzie is an excellent teacher for the little ones.
J.W. GREENE has made great improvements in the looks of his store recently. He has a stock of dry goods en route and will devote one side of his building to that department.
Josiah EWING was tried before Judge WILLIAMSON this week, on a charge of lunacy and declared insane, and application has been made for his admission to the asylum.
The familiar face of Tom ESTIS was seen on our streets this week.
Mr. J.P. COOK returned this week from an extended visit to Kentucky.
Dr. STOUT started for Cisco, his future home on Sunday morning last.
Wm. BARNES has been confined to his bed this week with an attack of bilious fever.
Mr. Paschal TUCKER and lady, of Dallas, are in town visiting his father, Dr. G.W. TUCKER.
On Blanket creek, Brown county, September 14th, Mary Helen, youngest daughter of Dr. M. and M.A. RUPE; aged eight years and nine months.
A child of unusual promise, bright and affectionate, the pride of her fond parents. She has gone but to form another link between earth and heaven, to await that reunion beyond the river where death and partings are unknown.
De Leon Locals
Messrs. BLACK and SEDDEN each started their gins on a full run this week.
Another grocery house started in our town by the enterprising Dan. THAMES.
Mr. WYATT sold his hotel to Mr. CAPERS who will continue the business at the old stand.
©2004 Judith Michaels. This transcription is the generous work of Judy Michaels taken from microfilm held by the Newspaper Collection of the University of Texas at Austin with a microfilm copy at Comanche Public Library. The information may be used for personal research only and not for commercial purposes without specific permission.