George M. Martin

Photo added by Glenda Ragan

George M. Martin

  • Birth 1826 Tennessee, USA
  • Death 11 Jul 1859 California, USA
  • Burial Auburn, Placer County, California, USA
  • Plot N-1/2-147
  • Memorial ID 42805982

Dave Weichmann is pictured with one of the many headstones he helps to maintain at the Auburn district cemeteries

Deputy George W. Martin


From the Placer County's Sheriff's Office - Memorial Page
Deputy George W. Martin

Deputy George Martin was murdered in the line of duty on July 11, 1859. Several deputies, including Deputy Martin, came under fire from the infamous outlaw Richard "Rattlesnake Dick" Barter and his gang while attempting to arrest them in Auburn. Deputy Martin was shot and killed and Undersheriff Johnston was wounded. Barter was shot twice and badly wounded by Deputy Crutcher, but able to flee on horseback. The next morning, a posse led by Deputy John Boggs located the murderer's body on the side of the road near the Junction House; a stagecoach stop in Auburn (the present day intersection of Lincoln Way and Foresthill Road.) The outlaw had committed suicide after being wounded in the shootout. A note found with his body indicated that he mistakenly believed he had killed his nemesis, Deputy John C. Boggs. It read, "If J. Boggs is dead, I am satisfied."

Weekly Stockton Democrat
Stockton, San Joaquin Co., CA
Sunday, 17 July 1859
FATAL AFFRAY with HIGHWAYMEN -- George W. MARTIN, a deputy sheriff of Auburn, accompanied by 2 policemen, while attempting to arrest 2 notorious prison birds on the Illinois-town road, about 1 mile from Auburn, was shot and killed. The prisoners were known by the names of "Rattlesnake Dick" and "Rattlesnake Jim."

The Sacramento 'Union' says that MARTIN, on approaching "Dick," and announcing his object, the latter commenced firing, and an indiscriminate shooting was kept up. The parties were all mounted.

MARTIN was killed at once -- it is supposed by a pistol ball fired by "Jim;" JOHNSTON, one of MARTIN's companions, had 1 hand all shot to pieces; "Dick" and "Jim" made their escape.

As the Iowa Hill stage came down Tuesday morning, "Dick's" body was seen lying on the roadside near the Junction House. He was shot through the body and head. His clothing was entirely saturated with blood. It was thought that when he made his escape that he was only shot through the body, but being unable to rise from loss of blood, he terminated his existence by shooting himself through the head. The place where he was found was over a mile distant from where the firing commenced. Constable Boggs, of Auburn, with a large posse, is after "Jim." MARTIN's body was brought to Auburn for interment.

George M. Martin went to his grave at age 33 years leaving his parents and other relatives still in Tennessee. Survivors of the shoot-out described Martin's killer, Barter's campanion. Martin's masonic Fraternity offered a $250.00 reward for the man. No one was ever convicted of the murder. George M. Martin was buried the following Wednesday at the, "Old Auburn Cemetery with full Masonic Honors and...was followed to the grave by the greatest number of people that has ever attened a funeral in the county."



The County Erecting a Monument to his Memory in Odd Fellows Cemetery, Auburn - Although Dead over 37 Years, Deceased Still Lives in the Hearts of the Pioneer and his Life Will Always Find a Page in Placer County History

The Board of Supervisors recently made an appropriation of $125 for the erection of a monument over the grave of George M. Martin, a Placer County pioneer who was killed by Rattlesnake Dick's pal in 1859. Messrs. W. M. Crutcher and J. C. Boggs were entrusted with the work of erecting a monument, and they have made a contract with a Penryn granite cutter.

[Placer Herald, Auburn, 2-22-1896]





  • Created by: Glenda Ragan
  • Added: 7 Oct 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 42805982
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George M. Martin (1826–11 Jul 1859), Find A Grave Memorial no. 42805982, citing Old Auburn Cemetery, Auburn, Placer County, California, USA ; Maintained by Glenda Ragan (contributor 47164677) .