During the years which marked the period of Dr. Martin's professional career he has met with gratifying success and during the period of his residence in Sacrament he has won the good will and patronage of many of the best citizens here. He is a thorough student and endeavors to keep abreast of the times in everything relating to the discoveries in medical science. Progressive in his ideas and favoring modern methods as a whole, he does not dispense with the time-tried systems whose value has stood the test of years. There is in his record much that is worthy of the highest commendation, for the limited privileges and financial resources made it necessary that he personally meet the expenses of a college course. In doing this he displayed the elemental strength of his character, which has been the foundation of his success. He now stands very high in the medical profession of the state, and is in the fullest sense of the term a self-made man. While pursuing his studies in an Oregon college he was associated with four other young man who were in similar financial circumstances to himself. They had "bachelor apartments" and put forth every effort to make the expenses of their college course as small as possible. In order to pay his way Dr. Martin worked with the surveying party on the Coast Range mountains back of Astoria, Oregon. He was also employed in the harvest fields and for one year pulled a fishing boat on the Columbia river. His companions in bechelor quarters wer John T. whalley, now one of the leading lawyers of Portland, Oregon; Newton McCoy, who afterward studied law under Judge Deady, and was recently assistant United States district attorney at Portland; Calvin Barlow, a wealthy resident of Tacoma; and A. Radcliffe, who returned to England.
Like the others of the quintette, Dr. Martin has attained success and prominence in the field of his chosen labor. He was born in Yamhill county, Oregon, November 26, 1850, near the town of Gaston. His father, Norman Martin, was born at Stornoway, Lewis Island, Scotland, and came over to Oregon territory in the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1841. he afterward proceeded up the Saskatchewan river, thence making a portage over the divide to the Columbia river, and afterward by boat to Fort Vancouver, where he arrived in 1842. He remained in the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company until 1848, and in June of that year was united in marriage to Miss Julia Bridgefarmer, who had come across the plains to the Pacific coast in 1847. In the fall of 1850 he went to the placer mines of Feather river in California, where he remained during the succeeding year, and then, returning to Oregon, he settled on Tualatin plains, where he secured a ranch under the old donation land laws of 1850, the first being located twenty-five miles from Portland is what is known as Martin valley. There he spent his remaining days, his death occurring in 1881, having survived his wife about ten years, she passing away in 1871. Donald David Martin, a brother of Dr. Martin, is now living in Seattle, Washington. There were three sisters, Mrs. nancy Ann Tyler, who is a widow and resides in Palo Alto; Harriett jane, the wife of Samuel Vestal, state senator of Washington in Snohomish; and Ellen, the wife of George H. Proctor of Seattle.
Dr. James T. Martin is indebted to the public schools of Washington county, Oregon, for th early educational privileges he enjoyed. He afterward attended the tualatin Academy and subsequently was a student in the Pacific University at Forest Grove, Oregon, in which he was graduated with the class of 1876, winning the degree of Bachelor of Science. the difficulties and hardships which he underwent in order to acquire an education are indicated elsewhere. His strong purpose and commendable ambition won him the respect of his college mates and professors, and have secured him advancement since leaving school. After completing his college course he engaged in teaching near Tacoma, Washington, and was afterward principal of the South school in Seattle for a year or more. He then resigned there in order to accept the chair of natural history in the University of Washington, where he spent one winter, after which he went to Olympia as principal of the public schools there through the winter of 1879-80.
Desiring to become a member of the medical profession, Dr. Martin made a trip across the plains to cheyenne for the purpose of earning money to pay his way in college. This trip was full of interesting incidents. He entered the employ of a cattleman as a vaquero and left Olympia in March, following the old emigrant trail and taking a large drove of cattle to Cheyenne. At that place he boarded a train bound for Ann Arbor, Michigan, and was matriculated in the State University as a medical student. He continued his preparation for the profession until he had mastered the branches of learning constituting the curriculum, and on the 28th of June, 1883, was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Dr. Martin received the appointment of physician to the Skokomish Indian reservation in Washington, where he remained for two years. In September, 1885, he came to California, locating in Woodland, Yolo county, where he practiced for fourteen consecutive years. During that period he served for a number of years as a member of the board of health and was its president during a portion of the time.
In 1899 Dr. Martin removed to Sacramento, where he has since been engaged in general practice, securing a large patronage. He is a member of the Homeopathic State Medical Society and was at one time its president. He was formerly examiner for the Northwestern Life Insurance Company while at Woodland, and his prominence in his profession is widely acknowledged by his brethren of the medical fraternity and by the laity as well. He has been a contributor to some extent to medical journals and his writings have elicited deep attention because of their clear and coherent presentation of the subject treated. As the years have advanced Dr. Martin has become interested in various business enterprises and is now secretary of the Bob's Farm Mining Company, owning and operating property in Trinity county. He is also a stockholder in other companies which arecontributing to the industrial and commercial development of the state.
On the 31st of March, 1885, Dr. Martin was married in Seattle, Washington, to Mrs. Mary M. Huntington, who was born in Switzerland. Her first husband was Charles Huntington, a brother of Dr. I. W. Huntington, formerly of Sacramento. She is a sister of Professor Carl Cutherz, the eminent artist, and a second cousin of General John A. Sutter, the famous pioneer, at whose mill in California gold was first discovered. One of her sisters is the wife of General Mark B. Flower, now president of the Union Stock Yards at St. Paul. To Dr. and Mrs. Martin have been born twin daughters: Lenala Alice and Luella Avice, both in school. They also lost two children. By her first marriage Mrs. Martin had two children: Charles Frederick Huntington, who is now a traveling salesman; and Miss Henrietta L. Huntington, who is a teacher in the schools of Sacramento.
Dr. Martin has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1882 and is a past master of the blue lodge and a past patron of the Order of the Eastern Star. he also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and to the Knights of Pythias fraternity and in the latter he is a past chancellor commander. Concentration of purpose and persistently applied energy rarely fail of success in the accomplishment of any task, however great, and in tracing the career od Dr. Martin it is plainly seen that these have been the secret of his rise to prominence.
Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume I
The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine
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