JOHN ALFRED MARTIN, who has been a resident of Tarrant county since 1877 and for a number of years was known to the business world as proprietor of a hotel at Arlington and in Fort Worth, is now serving his second term as clerk of the district court at Fort Worth and is one of the most popular and efficient of the county officials.
Mr. Martin has passed through a varied and active career. He was born on Boone’s creek, near Jonesboro, Washington county, Tennessee, in 1842, a son of Dr. Alfred and Sallie (Hunt) Martin, both of old and well known families in that part of the state. His father was an old-timer and prominent in the affairs of Washington county, which was one of the earliest settled portions of Tennessee and the scene of a part of the life of Daniel Boone. Besides being a physician he was a member of the state legislature, and later of the state senate. He died at the old home in Washington county in 1883, age eighty-two years. The mother, also a native of Tennessee, was a daughter of Major Samuel Hunt, one of the first sheriffs in his part of the state. She died on October 8, 1861, aged fifty-three years.
Mr. Martin’s mother died while he was serving his country in the war. Though reared on a farm, he passed his young days in a home of comfortable affluence and with surroundings of culture and refinement. He received most of his education at Boone’s Creek Institute. He was on the verge of young manhood when the Civil war came on, and early in 1861 he enlisted for Confederate service in the Twenty-ninth Tennessee Regiment, Company G, which was one of the first companies organized in that part of the state. He served under several of the prominent Confederate leaders, including Bragg, Beauregard, Joe Johnston and Hood. Beginning with the battle of Wilson’s Creek, he took part in several of the great campaigns of the war; was in the campaign through Georgia, fought at Dalton, at Atlanta, thence went to Jonesboro and participated in the most important movements of the Confederate armies of the west and south. Beginning as a private, at the time he received his honorable discharge on account of his wounds he was adjutant of his regiment. He had three brothers in the army who spent much of their time in Federal prisons, and one of them, Captain Jerome N. Martin, commanded his company at the battle of Franklin.
After his army career Mr. Martin remained at home about three years, and during that time was married to Miss Mattie A. Brown. He then went to Christianburg, Virginia, where he lived seven years. In 1877 he came to Tarrant county, Texas, and has made his home in this county ever since. Both at Fort Worth and in Arlington he was in the hotel business, conducting a hotel in the latter place about seven years. He has also had considerable and successful experience in farming in this county, having a place south of Fort Worth. A man of recognized worth and of very popular standing among all his fellow citizens, in November, 1902, he was elected to the office of clerk of the district court of Tarrant county, and in 1904 received a re-election without opposition. The district court of this county is divided into two branches, the seventeenth and the forty-eighth judicial districts, so that the business of the clerk’s office is very heavy.
Mr. Martin is well known in fraternal circles, being affiliated with the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Red Men; and is a member of the Lee Camp of the Confederate Veterans. Eight children have been born to the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Martin. One daughter, Mattie A., is deceased, and the others are: Flora, Mrs. Lallah R. Rollins, John A., Jr., Mary L., Horace H., Walter, Hortense.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 78-79.