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William Columbus Martin
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Birth: Aug. 3, 1847
Barnwell County
South Carolina, USA
Death: May 24, 1900
Lowndes County
Georgia, USA


William Columbus Martin, b. 3 Aug 1847, Tony Hill Bay, Barnwell Co., SC to John and Mary (Moody) Martin. Both of his parents died abt 1848 of typhoid fever and William, along with his two surviving sisters, Mary and Lavinia, were sent to Lowndes Co., GA to be raised by their grand parents, Stephen and Sarah (Touchstone) Martin.

When the War broke out, William joined the Confederate Army, the 26th Georgia Infantry Regiment, along with several of his cousins, on 21 Sept 1861. His unit was sent to Virginia to fight under Stonewall Jackson. During the Battle of Antietam, MD, almost a year to the date he enlisted, William was critically wounded. He was sent to the hospital in Richmond, VA to recover but contracted a fever there, was discharged and sent home.

After being nursed back to health by his grand parents, William taught school at Pine Grove and other country schools in the region. While engaged in this profession, he met and married Isabella Peters, the daughter of John Daniel Peters. The wedding announcement appears in the 25 Aug 1864 edition of the Southern Christian Advocate: "By the Rev. J.H. Wilkins, at China Grove, Lowndes County, Georgia, August 7th, Mr. W.C. Martin to Ms. Isabella Peters, both of the same county." China Grove should likely be Pine Grove.

Over the next 22 years, Wm and Isabelle Martin had nine children, the first one born 1866 and the last born 1888. Despite being badly debilitated from his military service, Wm Martin pushed a plow on his small farm until his death in 1900.

Wm and Isabelle attended Union (Burnt) Church shortly after they were married. Isabelle's father was a deacon there. William's family attended Antioch. On 13 Dec 1873, they asked for letters of dismissal from Union to join Cat Creek Primitive Baptist Church. Wm served as Church Clerk there for many years. The church records during this period are in William C. Martin's handwriting.

From Union Baptist Church records: "Dismissed by letter on December 13th, 1873, Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Martin." From Cat Creek Baptist Church minutes, February 1874: "Cat Creek, Feb. term, 31 Jan 1874. After Divine Service by our Pastor, the church came into conference after the usual preliminaries, a door was opened for the reception of members, a letter was handed in by brother William C. Martin, as a letter of recommendation for himself and his wife, Sister Isabel Martin, from Union, both of which was received by the moderator and church, extending the right hand of fellowship." Dec. 4th, 1881:" ... then being without a Clerk, the choice of W.C. Martin was made for the position of Clerk of Cat Creek Church ..."

Of William C. Martin's two known sisters, Mary Susan Martin mar. John Henry Dasher and Lavinia E. Martin mar. Rev. Elijah W. Overstreet.

Lavinia Martin Overstreet's obituary in the 13 Nov 1908 Tifton Gazette tells of how these children were reared by their grandfather, Capt. Stephen H. Martin (the article gets the birthplace wrong. She was born in Barnwell Dist., SC.):

"Mrs. Lavinia E. Overstreet, wife of Rev. E.W. Overstreet, of Nashville, was born April 17th, 1843, and died, November 2nd, 1908, having reached the age of sixty-five years, six months and sixteen days.

She was born and reared near Valdosta, in Lowndes County, by her grandfather, Capt. Stephen Martin.

She was married to Rev. E.W. Overstreet in 1867, and by this union, she became the mother of nine children: Messrs. Henry L., Arthur W. and Charlie E. Overstreet, and Mrs. Ella J. Horne, Mrs. Jennie Jefferson, Mrs. Georgia L. Warren, and Misses Minnie L., Laura O. and Annie Lithia Overstreet, all of this county, except Arthur, who resides in Lake Butler, Fla., and little Annie Lithia, who preceded her mother to the grave many years ago."

Lavinia Martin Overstreet's obituary states she was born in 1843 and Wm C. Martin's tombstone shows he was born in the same year. This is a mistake on the tombstone. Both the 1850 and 1860 census confirm that W.C. Martin was born in 1847, not 1843.

William ran for political office on the Democrat ticket in the mid-1890's. His name is mentioned numerous times in the Valdosta Times during this era.

In his later years, Mr. Martin's health began to decline, as noted in this mention in the 4 May 1900 edition of the Tifton Gazette:

"Nashville News: Mr. William Martin has been confined to his room for a long time. He has something like rheumatism." Twenty days later, Mr. Martin succumbed to this illness.

William C. Martin died 24 May 1900 and is buried at Cat Creek Church Cemetery. His widow, Isabelle Peters Martin, lived almost thirty years longer. Mrs. Martin remarried in 1905, to Elbert Mathis, a venerated Confederate veteran and Cat Creek Church deacon, and, after he died in 1915, she, spent the later years of her life living with her daughter in Savannah, Mrs. George W. Fountain.

Shortly after Mr. Martin died, his son almost met with tragedy in a sawmill accident, as mentioned in the Tifton Gazette, x 22 Jun 1900: "Cecil, Ga., 20 June - J.[H.] Martin, son of the late W.C. Martin, was seriously, if not fatally hurt by a piece of falling timber at Starling & Dobson's Mill, four miles east of Cecil. The doctor says he may recover." He apparently did recover: "J.[H.] Martin, has recovered so that he is able to go home. He thinks he will soon be able to be out again." (Tifton Gazette, x 6 Jul 1900.)

Mrs. Martin is mentioned in a Savannah Daily Morning News article x 9 July, 1927 as having 186 descendants, thought at the time to be a record:

"Mrs. Martin Has Hundred Eighty-Six Living Descendants

Family Believed To Be Largest In The State

Mrs. W.C. Martin, age 84 years, has lived to see her family develop through five generations, and while she has not been able to see each of her 186 descendants, she has found a fond spot in her heart for each of them and as the tidings of another great-great-grand child comes to her, she still finds her abundance of love sufficient to welcome it into the large number of descendants.

Believe To Be Record.

While her nine children do not make a record of the largest immediate family, it is believed the roll of her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren is the record of the state, if not the country. Mrs. Martin is grandmother to 65, now grown up and married, great grandmother to 100, some grown up and married, and great great grandmother to 12. Including the nine of Mrs. Martin's immediate family, the total makes 186 members of the great family, all of them living.

Sixty-two years ago Miss Isabelle Peters of Lowndes County and W.C. Martin were united in marriage. They became the parents of six girls and three sons. They are:

Her Children.

Mrs. G.W. Fountain, who lives at Fifty-fourth and Montgomery Streets and with whom Mrs. Martin is staying, had one child in her family. Mrs. Fountain is the grandmother of three children.

Mrs. Carrie Radcliffe of Argyle had eight children in her family and is now the grandmother of seven.

Mrs. Mattie Powell of Nashville, Ga., became the mother of ten children and is now grandmother of two.

Mrs. Ida Dixon of Blackshear is mother of eight children and has one grandchild.

Mrs. Sallie Sanders of Savannah, became the mother of eight children and now has seventeen grandchildren.

Mrs. Mary Fletcher of Valdosta, who has 11 children and 37 grandchildren.

Barney Martin of Hastings is the father of 5 children and has 2 grandchildren.

J.H. Martin of Miami is the father of 6 children and has 26 grandchildren.

The other son is Billy Martin of Nashville, Ga., who is the daddy of 8 children and has 5 grandchildren.

To name all the descendants would make the story read like a city directory.

Nearly All Baptists.

The religion of the families extends only to two faiths, Baptist for all, except two which are Methodist.

Mrs. Martin's birthday was last Monday, the Fourth of July. She has been visited regularly by Rev. John S. Wilder, pastor of Calvary Baptist Temple, and during her year of confinement from old age, there have been very few days in which she has not been called upon by the minister.

Mrs. Fountain laughed heartily at the expression on the face of the reporter when she asked if the press wanted the names of all of the family, and Mrs. Sanders, who was also present, offered to run into the house and get a brand new tablet to take all the names down on if he cared to.

May Be More.

Mrs. Fountain, who interviewed the reporter as Mrs. Martin was confined to her bed and asleep, stated the record was accurate up to this time last year, but close touch between all branches of the family tree has been made impossible since then and it is not known how many new members have come since that time."

Isabelle Martin died at the home of her dau., Mrs. George W. Fountain, in Savannah on 26 Apr 1929. She is buried at Cat Creek Baptist Church cemetery in the Martin family plot next to her husband, Wm Columbus Martin, and a dau., Mary Martin Fletcher. Elbert Mathis is bur. not far away next to his first wife.

Though orphaned in South Carolina as an infant, William Columbus Martin, went on to live a life of distinction, sacrificing greatly for his country, raising a large family and faithfully serving his church and community. As his Scot-Irish ancestors were accustomed to saying about matters that met with their approval, "that'll do", so we look at Wm C. Martin's life with approval and feel blessed to have such a worthy and venerable ancestor.


The Adel News (1935)

John H. Martin, Miami, Fla.

Mr. John H. Martin, a former esteemed citizen of Cook & Colquitt counties died at his home at Miami Sunday night afer an illness of about 2 years. When in health, he had been engaged with a lumber company at Miami. Mr. Martin was sixty-six years of age and was a good citizen and a devoted member of the Primitive Baptist church, his membership being at Sardis, in Colquitt county. He had resided in Miami during the past twelve years.

The remains were brought to Adel Wednesday and carried to Sardis cemetery where funeral services were held by Elder West Rogers, pastor of the church, who paid a fitting tribute to the life and character of Mr. Martin, who was well-known in this section and who had many friends who will greatly regret to know of his death and who will sympathize deeply with the bereaved ones.

Mr. Martin is survived by his wife and the following sons and daughters: Roy L., Jesse and T.C. Martin of Miami and Charlie Martin of River Junction, Fla.: Mrs. E.W. Plymale (Golie) of Colquitt county; Mrs. Ruth May of Hialeah, Fla.

He is also survived by the following brothers & sister: B. C. Martin, Palatka, Fla.; William Martin, Sarasota, Fl; Mrs. G. Ratliffe, Adel; Mrs. Ida Dixon, Blackshear; Mrs. W. M. Willis, Tifton; Mrs. Mary Fletcher, Fitzgerald; Mrs. Roy Powell, Nashville; Mrs. Letha Blanchard, Savannah.


Savannah Morning News, 1957

Mrs. Rachel Letha Fountain, wife of George W. Fountain, Sr., DeRenne Avenue and Middleground Road, died yesterday about 5 o'clock after a short illness. Mrs Fountain was born in Lowndes County, August 4, 1870. Mrs. Fountain is survived by her husband and three sons: Calhoun Fountain of Tampa, Fla.,; Chris A. and George Fountain, Jr., both of Savannah; one daughter, Mrs. Katie Simmons of Savannah; five sisters, Mrs. Mary Fletcher of Adel; Mrs. Carrie Ratliff of Adel; Mrs Sally Willis of Tifton; Mrs. Ida Dixon of Blackshear; and Mrs. Mattie Powell of Florida; and two brothers, Barney Martin, of Hastings, Fla., and Bill Martin, of Southwest Georgia.


Thomasville Times-Enterprise, 1963

William Elzie Martin, age 86, passed away on March 14th at his residence, Route 2, Quitman. Although Mr. Martin had been in ill health for more than three years, death came suddenly of a heart attack. Born on January 8, 1877 in Lowndes County, Georgia, Mr. Martin was the son of William Columbus Martin and Elizabeth Peters. He married Phoebe Fiveash of Hahira in January, 1897. Mrs. Martin passed away in May, 1946. Mr. Martin remarried to Miss Hannah Renfroe in 1948. Mrs. Hannah Renfroe Martin survives her husband. Mr. Martin was a member of Long Bridge Primitive Baptist Church near Nashville, Ga. He had farmed in Brooks County for more than seventeen years. In addition to his widow, Mr. Martin is survived by five sons: Mr. Clifford Martin of Adel; Mr. Remer Martin of Del Ray Beach; Mr. Earl Martin of Norman Park; Mr Carroll Martin of Quitman; and, three daughters, Mrs. Letha Newby of Sarasota, Fla.,; Mrs. Betty Gripp of Jacksonville; and Mrs. Kathleen Rowland of Sarasota, Fla. Two sisters survive their brother, Mrs. Ida Dixon of Blackshear and Mrs. Mattie Powell of Greenville, Fla. Mr. Martin leaves 32 grandchildren and 67 great grandchildren.


Ida Viola Martin Dixon Anderson

The Blackshear Times, 1968

Blackshear - Mrs. Ida Dixon Anderson, 80, of Rt. 2, died Saturday in the Pierce County Hospital following a long illness. A native of Berrien County, she had lived in Pierce County for most of her life. She was a member of the Enom Primitive Baptist Church. Survivors are three daughters, Mrs. L.D. Ellington and Mrs. John J. Griner, both of Blackshear, and Mrs. Elmer Box of Brunswick; three sons, Alton Dixon of Blackshear and Elzie and S.L. Dixon, both of Jacksonville, Fla.; one sister, Mrs. Mattie Powell, of Greenville, Fla.; 31 grandhildren, 32 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.


Valdosta Times, 24 October 1891
Saturday, Haines, Georgia

Last Thursday week, Mr. Ratliffe and Miss Carrie Martin were married, the knot being tied at the bride's parents' house, in the presence of a large gathering of friends, who showered down their best wishes on the happy couple as they left for Haines. Mrs. Fletcher, sister of the bride, provided supper, and after full justice being done thereto, the young couple left for Florida, being escorted to the train by the Haines Instrumental Band, who made their first public appearance on this auspicious occasion. The residents of Haines heartily wish Mr. and Mrs. Ratliffe long life and happiness.


Florida Times-Union, 6 May 1944

Palatka, May 5 - Funeral services for Barney Columbus Martin, 65, native of Valdosta and resident of this section since 1917 where he engaged in farming, will be held tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the Southern Methodist Church in Hastings. He died this morning after a brief illness. Burial will be in Oaklawn Cemetery at Jacksonville, with Masonic Rites at the grave. Survivors include the widow, Mrs. Alice Jane Martin, two daughters Mrs. Drury Wood, Atlanta, and Mrs. J.C. Keller, Arlington, Va.; three sons, H.C. Martin, U.S. Army, Chicago, George W. Martin, Jacksonville, and Carl H. Martin, Palatka; four grandchildren, Lieut. Drury Wood, Green Cove Springs, Miss Mildred Wood and Fitzhugh Wood, Atlanta and Addie Keller, Arlington; four sisters, Mrs. G. Ratliff, Adele, Ga., Mrs. Ida Dixon, Blackshear, Ga., Mrs. Sallie Willis, Adele, Ga., and Mrs. A.R. Powell, of Greenville, and one brother, W.E. Martin, Sarasota. Prior to taking up farming here, Mr. Martin was connected with the Construction Department of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, Savannah-Thomasville Division, for 29 years. He was a member of Cassia Lodge 224 F&AM, Homerville, Ga., and for the past 27 years had been steward of Hastings Methodist Church. He was also a former chairman of the St. Johns Drainage District and a director of Florida Planters, Inc. of Hastings.

Martin/Sanders Family Bible

The following transcriptions are from the family bible of William C. & Isabelle Peters Martin, which was passed down through their daughter, Sallie Sanders. When she died, the bible fell into the possession of Letha Murl Sanders, and, from there, into the Hayes family. The early writing is clearly in W.C. Martin's own hand, as it matches the distinctive handwriting found in Cat Creek Baptist Church records written while Mr. Martin was Church Clerk.

William Columbus Martin, the son of John Martin, was born AD Aug. 3, 1847.

Isabelle E. Martin, the daughter of John Peters, was born AD July 4, 1845.

W.C. Martin and Isabelle E. Peters were married in the year of our Lord, Aug. 7, 1864.

Mary Adeline Martin, the daughter of W.C. Martin and Isabelle E. Martin, was born AD May 24, 1866.

John Henry Franklin Martin, the son of W.C. Martin and Isabelle E. Martin, was born AD May 19, 1869.

Rachel Leatha Martin, the daughter of W.C. Martin and Isabelle E. Martin, was born AD Aug. 4, 1871.

Caroline Virginia Martin, the daughter of W.C. Martin and Isabelle E. Martin, was born AD Sept. 10, 1874.

William Elzie Martin, the son of W.C. Martin and Isabelle E. Martin, was born AD Jan. 8, 1877.

Barnie Columbus Martin, the son of W.C. Martin and Isabelle E. Martin, was born AD Sept. 13, 1879.

Sallie Belle Martin, the daughter of W.C. Martin and Isabelle E. Martin, was born AD Aug. 31, 1882.

Mattie Essie Martin, the daughter of W.C. Martin and Isabelle E. Martin, was born AD Oct. 24, 1885.

Ida Viola Martin, the daughter of W.C. Martin and Isabelle E. Martin, was born AD Feb. 3, 1888.

W.C. Martin died May 24, 1900.

Isabella Martin died in April 24, 1929.

Family links: 
  John Martin (1819 - 1848)
  Isabella Elizabeth Peters Martin (1845 - 1929)
  Mary Adeline Martin Fletcher (1866 - 1942)*
  John Henry Martin (1869 - 1935)*
  Rachel Letha Martin Fountain (1870 - 1957)*
  Carolyn Virginia Martin Ratliff (1874 - 1950)*
  William Elzie Martin (1877 - 1963)*
  Barney Columbus Martin (1879 - 1944)*
  Sallie Belle Martin Sanders (1882 - 1962)*
  Mattie Essie Martin Powell (1885 - 1969)*
  Ida Viola Martin Dixon (1888 - 1968)*
  Mary Elizabeth Martin Dasher (1837 - 1885)*
  Lavinia Elizabeth Martin Overstreet (1843 - 1908)*
  William Columbus Martin (1847 - 1900)
*Calculated relationship
Cat Creek Cemetery
Lowndes County
Georgia, USA
Plot: W. C. Martin Family Plot
Created by: Epictetus
Record added: Dec 13, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 102114508
William Columbus Martin
Added by: Marion Warner
William Columbus Martin
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Ann Parkinson
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Gary Moore
 Added: Feb. 22, 2013
Wounded in action, 17 Sept 1862, Antietam, MD.
- Epictetus
 Added: Jan. 11, 2013
Deo Vindice.
- Epictetus
 Added: Jan. 11, 2013

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