Monday, April 18, 2016

A Portrait of Elmer

These photos of Elmer Martin were taken by Ditlev Thyssen.  The first photo is Elmer having his portrait painted.  Ditlev titled the photo "An Oilman in Oil" painted by Ejnar Larsen and photoed by Ditlev Thyssen.  Elmer is sitting in the living room of his home in Cortez while having his portrait painted.  Ditlev refers to Elmer as an "oilman" because Elmer bought and sold oil leases.

An Oilman in Oil

Back of photo

Ditlev titled this next photo, "Time for a piece of cake between oil talks."  When I think of Elmer, this is the image that always comes to my mind -- Elmer sitting at the kitchen table in his little home on 30 North Maple, Cortez, Colorado.

Elmer Martin blog posts;

Friday, April 15, 2016

Elmer Martin at Anvil Rock Lookout on Mount Rainier

In 1919, Elmer Martin climbed Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in Washington and the Cascade Range.  Elmer would have been thirty-two years old in 1919 when he made the climb.
Mount Rainier (Wikipedia)
While climbing Mount Rainier, Elmer had his photo taken at the Anvil Rock Lookout.   Anvil Rock is a rocky outcropping located on the south side of Mount Rainier about a half a mile southeast of Camp Muir.  The Anvil Rock Lookout was a stone lookout shelter constructed in about 1916.  The stone lookout was replaced with a cupola style cabin in about 1928 which was abandoned and destroyed in the 1940's.

Elmer Martin, Anvil Rock Lookout, Mt Rainier 1919
It is not known who Elmer made the climb with but it looks as if several people are standing inside looking out the windows of the Anvil Rock Lookout.  On the back of the photo, Elmer said he was at an elevation 11,000 feet, but according to information online, the elevation at Anvil Rock Lookout is 9584 feet.  Perhaps Elmer meant that at sometime during his climb on Mount Rainier, he reached an elevation of 11,000 feet.  Below is a US Park Service photo of  Anvil Rock Lookout.

Anvil Rock Lookout 1916-1928

Other Blog posts about Elmer Martin:
Elmer Martin's Photo Gallery
Maymie and Elmer
Elmer Martin's Prize Winning Potatoes

Elmer Martin's Photo Gallery

Elmer Matthew Martin
A Short Biography

Elmer Matthew Martin is my paternal grandfather.  He was born on 16 March 1887 in Bowling Township, Rock Island, Illinois, the son of John Stephen Martin and Elizabeth Dorothea Weiss.  Both the Martin and Weiss families had emigrated from Germany and settled in Rock Island County, Illinois.   Elmer grew up on his family's farm in Bowling Township.  The Martin farm was located about six miles south of Milan, Illinois (which is four miles south of Rock Island, Illinois.)

Martin Farm, Milan, Illinois
As a youth, Elmer attended school a the Woods School.  After graduating, Elmer attended Business College in Rock Island until he got typhoid fever and had to stay home.
Elmer Martin, abt 1910
I love these snapshots of Elmer, especially the one on the far right where he is goofing off with a big smile on his face.  I only knew Grandpa Elmer as an old man (he was 64 years old when I was born) and never saw him smile very much.:(   I wish I could have known him when he was younger.
Elmer Martin, 1910
On March 8, 1903, Elmer's mother and oldest sister both died of measles.  Nearly all of the family had come down with the measles and were recovering but Elizabeth and Mae developed complications and died.  The family felt that the Doctor did not know how to properly care for them.  Elmer lost his beloved mother and sister, as as the oldest child, was left to help his widowed father.  Four years later his other sister, Emma, died of tuberculosis.  It is hard to tell what the deaths of his mother and sisters had on Elmer because he never talked about it.  Elmer's "old maid aunt" Christine Wiess eventually moved in the the Martin family to help.
Elmer Martin, abt 1915, Milan, Rock Island, Illinois
Elmer married Elizabeth "Lizzie" Coyne in 1915 when he was 28 years old.  She was the only daughter of a successful farmer in Rock Island County, Illinois.  Elmer and Elizabeth were living in Bowling township, Rock Island County when Elmer registered for the WWI Draft on June 5, 1917.

Elmer in sleigh, Milan, Illinois
Elmer and Elizabeth traveled around the west for the next several years.  At one time, Elmer worked as an ambulance driver for the copper mines in Miami and Globe, Arizona.
Ambulance Elmer drove for the copper mines in Arizona.
Elmer Martin touring the West 1920
Not sure who is standing next to Elmer in the below photo.  It's possible that it's his first wife, Lizzie.  But, I've never seen a picture of her so I am not sure.  I imagine Maymie destroyed any photos of Elizabeth.:)  Or maybe Elmer did after the divorce.  

Elmer swimming in Pacific Ocean.
Elmer and Elizabeth eventually settled in Dove Creek, Colorado.  They divorced in 1922.  Elizabeth is said to have ran off with Elmer's good friend.  The reason for the divorce was desertion.  There is no record of Elmer and Elizabeth ever having children.  Nothing is known of Elizabeth after the divorce.  After the divorce, Elmer stayed in southwestern Colorado.
Elmer swimming in Great Salt Lake 1924
Elmer became acquainted with the Charles B Wilson family, who had homesteaded near Monticello.  He started dating Charles' daughter, Maymie.  In 1927, Elmer married our grandmother, Maymie Pearl Wilson.  Elmer was 40 years old and Maymie was 22 years old.
Maymie and Elmer just before they married.
Elmer Martin

Elmer and Maymie lived on his farm north of Dove Creek.  Elmer farmed for a while - mostly potatoes.  He invented an attachment for his Case Tractor to help with the planting and harvesting of the potatoes.  His potatoes won first and second place at the Dolores County Fair.  Elmer even started a general store in Dove Creek but it burned down about the time he opened it.  He always felt it was arson.

Some time in the mid 1930's, the family moved to Cortez and purchased a small adobe house at 30 N Maple Street.  The original adobe structure was a small one bedroom home.  Elmer enlarged the home by building a small bedroom and porch on the side of the house with a cellar underneath the bedroom.  This home remained their main home through-out their lifetime, even though they moved away at different times.  Their two sons, Wilbur and Leroy, attended school at the old Calkins School in Cortez.
Leroy, Maymie, Elmer, Wilbur
During WWII, the family moved to Las Vegas and Elmer worked on a military base for a while.  Elmer also drove a stagecoach for the Las Frontier Hotel.

Sometime in the late 1940's, Elmer and Maymie moved to Yuma, Arizona.  Several of Maymie's brothers had also moved to Yuma to find work.  Elmer owned one one of the first Trailer Courts in Yuma.
Martin's Court in Yuma, Arizona
One of the reasons Elmer moved to Yuma was to be able to fish year round.  Elmer loved to fish and would go fishing on the Colorado River or down into Mexico.  He also like to race horses and watch "cock fights".  As a small girl, I can remember going to watch "cock fights" with Elmer.  Almost every weekend was spent at the horse racing track.  Elmer would buy horses and Wilbur would be the trainer.
Elmer loved to fish - Maymie usually went with him.
Maymie and Elmer
Eventually Elmer and Maymie purchased a house on First Avenue.  It had a large screened in back-porch where Elmer would sit to drink his beer and eat Limburger cheese and sardines.  Elmer liked to cook and he would make his own sauerkraut in big crocks that sat out by the garage in back of the house.  Eating his sauerkraut was mandatory when visiting his home.
Yuma home on First Avenue
In the mid 1950's, Elmer bought a yellow and grey Dodge car and I remember that it had push button transmission.  I thought the car was really cool - Elmer would let me on his lap and push the buttons and pretend to drive the car down a quite lane in Yuma.

In the mid 1960's Elmer and Maymie moved back to Cortez and lived in the house at 30 North Maple.   I remember Elmer always wearing a fedora hat.  
Elmer & Maymie, Cortez, dog named George.
Elmer fishing

Elmer Martin blog posts;

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Chambersville Cemetery

James and Martha Ann Wilson

The Chambersville Cemetery in Collin County, Texas is the final resting place for some of our Wilson ancestors.  I visited the Chambersville on a very chilly March day in 2007 and took the following photos.
Chambersville Cemetery, Collin County, Texas
James and Martha Ann Wilson are my 3rd great-grandparents on the Wilson family line - they are Maymie's great-grandparents.  James and Martha Ann were originally from Sumner County, Tennessee but moved to Texas about 1843 when they received a land patent for 640 acres through the Peters Colony land company.  In 1850, James, Martha Ann, and their three children (Sarah Elizabeth, William, and Mary) were enumerated in the Collin County, Texas Federal Census.  They lived in the Weston community of Collin County.

Martha Ann died in Aug 1873.  James died 28 Mar 1891 and was buried in the Chambersville Cemetery next to Martha Ann.  His obituary reads "J.C. Wilson, died at his home near Weston on Saturday, March 28 last.  The cause of his death was tumor of the stomach.  Mr. Wilson was 77 years old.  He was born in Sumner County, Tennessee.  He came to Collin County in 1845.  Thus the old pioneers are passing away."

Below are photos of the Wilson headstones for James and Martha Ann Wilson.
James Wilson Headstone

Martha Ann Wilson Headstone
As seen in the photo below, the headstones are actually smaller than they appear in the above photos.

Chambersville Cemetery Historical Marker

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Elmer Martin’s Prize Winning Potatoes

Elmer Martin’s Prize Winning Potatoes

Elmer Martin is my paternal grandfather.  He was raised on his family’s farm near Rock Island, Illinois.  As a youth, Elmer worked alongside his father and two brothers on their large farm.  Elmer headed west with his first wife, Elizabeth Coyne Martin.  They traveled around for several years and then ended up in Dove Creek, Colorado in the early 1920’s.  After their divorce, Elmer stayed in southwestern Colorado.  In 1927, Elmer married Maymie Pearl Wilson and they lived on his large farm north of Dove Creek.
Dove Creek Post Office - about 1925
Elmer started growing potatoes and won awards at the 1928 Dolores county fair.  The January 1929 “Case Eagle” magazine featured an article on Elmer and his prize winning potatoes.  According to the article, Elmer used a Case 12-20 tractor.  The article shows a picture of Elmer driving his Case 12-20 tractor.  His brother-in-law, Martin Barnes, is on the attachment on the back.  Family tradition states that Elmer made the attachment for his tractor to help with the potato harvest.  The article also shows a picture on the left-hand side of Elmer's prize potatoes and his first and second place ribbons.  It is kind of hard to see the potatoes and ribbons because they are laying on a brightly patterned Navajo rug.
The Case Eagle Magazine, January 1929, Vol 12, No. 1
Elmer's Case 12-20 Tractor
Elmer took the below photo of his potato cellar and trucks piled with bags of potatoes.

“The Case Eagle” magazine referred to above was published by the J. I. Case farm equipment company of Racine, Wisconsin for the distributors of their tractors and farm equipment.

In 1932, Elmer was still growing potatoes when he placed the following advertisement in the Monticello, Utah newspaper "The San Juan Record" for seed potatoes.  It appears he grew Irish Cobblers and Burbank Russets.
San Juan Record, Monticello, Utah, 14 April 1932

clmroots Blog Posts about Elmer Martin: