The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

The Lives of William Martin

There were apparently several.

Keeping Law and Order Required Special Talents
in Early Oregon Territory
    Of the many courageous and colorful figures who came to the Oregon country when it was little more than a wilderness, the name of William Martin would have to rank near the top of the list.
    Born February 2, 1822 in that part of Virginia now known as West Virginia, he moved with his family to Missouri in 1841. Two years later the St. Louis newspapers announced that Dr. Marcus Whitman, the noted missionary-physician, had arrived from Oregon and would pilot an emigration party across the plains, taking the wagons through to the Columbia River.
    The 21-year-old Martin was enthralled by Dr. Whitman's revelations of the wonderful country west of the Rockies and his plea that the region could only be saved for the United States by immediate settlement by determined Americans.
    In the spring of 1843 young Martin joined the Daniel Waldo family and began the momentous journey by the first organized group of such size to come to the Northwest. The expedition involved approximately 900 persons--more than three times the white population in Oregon at the time.
    Peter H. Burnett, who later became famous as an Oregon jurist, was elected captain of the wagon train but resigned after eight days. Martin, despite his youth, was chosen to succeed Burnett and continued in that capacity until the arrival of the company in the Willamette Valley the following December.
    The Waldos took a claim in the rolling hills east of what is now Salem and the hills bear the family name. Martin, having agreed to pay for his passage west by working as a Waldo farmhand for six months at $10 a month, met his obligation even though offered a job at $60 monthly by another settler.
    While the Waldos were building their first log house they occupied a tent and had a brush camp. The latter took fire and in saving the contents one of the daughters, Avanilla, was badly scorched.
    Waldo had 33 cows, 12 oxen, four mares, and a black stallion named Martin Van Buren, so called because he was won on an election bet. The family also had a rather choice bull, and the rapid increase of this stock made Waldo wealthy. Good crops also helped him prosper.
    In 1846, at age 25, Martin became the first elected sheriff of Champoeg County, one of the four political districts of the Oregon country under the Provisional Government. Champoeg--originally spelled "Champooick" but changed by the Legislative Committee--embraced all the valley on the east side of the Willamette, from the Molalla River on the north to the summit of the Calapooya Mountains on the south--all of what is now the counties of Marion and Linn, a portion of Clackamas, and the part of Lane east of the Willamette.
    One might wonder how a sheriff could keep the peace in such a vast territory, but at this point the country was still too young for much crime. The settlers had scattered themselves throughout the Willamette Valley, each staking out a claim of rich farmland or perhaps finding temporary employment as carpenter, mechanic or laborer. The newcomers soon became a fairly influential people, eager to build homes and preoccupied by the task of cultivating the land.
    The more unstable and dissatisfied drifted off to California where there was more excitement, thereby leaving Oregon's population more or less free from the reckless and criminal element which usually pervaded a new frontier.
    Real criminal acts were few and far between in early Oregon. The rough frontier character was softened and even changed under the stress of the new environment.
    As one pioneer wrote in his memoirs: "It was interesting to observe the influence of new circumstances upon human character. Among the men who went to Oregon the year I did, some were idle, worthless young men, too lazy to work at home and too genteel to steal; while others were gamblers and others were reputed thieves. But when they arrived in Oregon they were compelled to work or starve. It was a dire necessity. There were no able relatives or indulgent friends upon whom the idle could quarter themselves, and there was little or nothing for the rogues to steal; and if they could steal, there was no ready way by which they could escape into another community, and they could not conceal themselves in Oregon. I never saw so fine a population as a whole community as I saw in Oregon."
    As sheriff, Martin made his headquarters at the Waldo farm, and the justices held court in their own houses. F. X. Matthieu was justice of Lower French Prairie and Daniel Waldo of the Salem precinct.
    The most "famous" trial was that of a family named Brown charged with stealing wheat from Reuben Lewis and tried before Waldo. Brown gave Sheriff Martin a "heavy blessing" when the family was arrested. Prosecutor was James W. Nesmith, later U.S. Senator, while the defense attorney was Burnett.
    The wheat in question had been ground at English's mill and although the prosecution proved the presence of shavings in it and that cats had camped in the wheat bin, the jury couldn't agree that the Browns were guilty. The defendants were so elated at having escaped conviction that they wanted Nesmith to go after Lewis for malicious prosecution, but Nesmith told them they were lucky to be acquitted and he saw nothing to be gained by further proceedings. The Browns found it an unhealthy country to live in and moved to California.
    Another case that created amusement was the suit of W. H. (Billy) Rector against a man named Force for $250, the price of a carriage in which the latter drove across the plains. Force didn't pay, so Rector brought suit before Justice Matthieu.
    The case was set for a certain hour in the morning and Rector called at the Waldos' for Sheriff Martin. Waldo decided to go along "for his own pleasure." Rector was a man of considerable ability and aggressive character but rather quick tempered and irascible. When the group neared Matthieu's place they met Force, who told them they needn't go any farther as he had been awarded a non-suit. It seems that as soon as the hour set for the trial arrived, he had moved for a non-suit, as the plaintiff had not appeared.
    This aroused Rector's ire and he started after Force as fast as his horse could go. Rector had a heavy rawhide in his hand and used it on his horse, as well as on Force's back as often as he could catch up. The prairie was all open land there and the two spectators--Sheriff Martin and Waldo--got in the center of the circle occupied by plaintiff and defendant.
    Rector "prosecuted" his suit after his own fashion until tired out, and when they came riding up to the others, Force was laughing good-naturedly at the rage of his antagonist. Another suit was begun and the hack finally paid for.
    As Sheriff Martin recalled in an interview many years later, suits were not often of much importance and were sometimes the cause of fun or gossip for the whole community.
    One of Martin's duties as sheriff was collecting property taxes for the county. Records show that a total of $133.25 was realized in 1847.
    On November 29 and 30, 1847 the peaceful Oregon country was stunned by the murder of Dr. Marcus Whitman, his wife Narcissa and 12 others at the Whitman Mission near Walla Walla by Cayuse Indians who had gone on the warpath. Indignation was great throughout the entire region and the cry went up for volunteers to fight the marauding red men. Emotion was so high that 15 young women of Oregon City announced they would "refuse to condone any young men who would not enlist."
    Three new companies of volunteers were formed--one jointly by Champoeg and Linn counties; one by Benton, Polk and Clackamas counties; and the other by Yamhill and Tualatin counties.
    His term as sheriff having expired at year's end, Martin immediately joined the Champoeg-Linn company and was commissioned a captain. The expedition against the Cayuses lasted nine months, and during its progress the volunteers often smelled gunpowder smoke and were targets for arrows.
    The first skirmish was in Sand Hollow in Morrow County, where several soldiers and a number of Indians were killed or wounded. The belligerent redskins were eventually subdued, and most of the volunteer soldiers returned to the Willamette Valley. Captain Martin and 50 men, however, remained to command Fort Waters and protect emigrants en route to the Whitman Mission. When this was accomplished Martin and his group returned home.
    In the spring of 1849 he went to the gold fields of northern California and mined on the Trinity River. That winter was severe and the miners weren't able to reach the lower Sacramento for supplies. Food was $3 a pound, much stock died, and many miners killed and ate their mules. It took an average of $15 a day to live. A pair of brogans (shoes) cost an ounce of gold, then valued at $16.
    When the camp ran out of meat, Martin quit his mining, which averaged more than $30 a day and many days yielded from $100 to $200, to go hunting. He was the best hunter in camp and in 16 days sold venison at 75 cents a pound for a total of $1,142, though others sold the meat for $1.75 a pound.
    In the following year he began driving cattle purchased in the Willamette Valley or Southern Oregon to Yreka, Scotts Bar and other gold mining camps in California.
    Martin was with General Joseph Lane when a treaty was made with the Southern Oregon Indians in 1853. During the Rogue River Indian uprising of 1855-56 he headed a company of volunteer soldiers from south of the Siskiyous as a major. He served with distinction in the conflict and was mustered out as a lieutenant colonel.
    He resumed his cattle business and in 1860, while living in Siskiyou County in the neighboring state, was elected sheriff--only one of two Oregon sheriffs to serve in that capacity in two states. He also was married in California.
    In 1862, after 12 years in the stock business, he headed for Florence, Idaho, where a rich gold strike had been made. While crossing the John Day River he tried a panful of dirt, found "colors" and did further prospecting, eventually finding rich ground. He took up a claim and for the next 13 years mined on the John Day, settling there before the towns of Canyon City and John Day were founded.
    In 1875 he moved to southern Umatilla County and pioneered the raising of cattle on Camas Prairie. He moved to Pendleton in 1886 and was elected county judge in 1888. He served in the latter capacity until his death June 25, 1899.
Statesman Journal, Salem, June 8, 1975, page 64

William J. Martin
    In the early '50s, while Roseburg was still, so to speak, in its infancy, the United States land office was located here, and, if memory serves me right, it was in charge of William J. Martin, "Old Warnick Bark," and Colonel Mosher, a son-in-law of General Joe Lane.
Samuel Handsaker, "Pioneers of Umpqua," Oregonian, January 15, 1900, page 6

    Robert J. Metcalfe, of Jackson County, has been appointed Indian agent, in place of Wm. J. Martin, resigned.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, February 27, 1855, page 2

(From the Oregon Statesman.)
The "Expedition to Fight the Emigrants."
    July 5, 1855.
    A. Bush, Esq.--Dear Sir: In the last Oregonian I notice a letter from B. F. Dowell, commonly known in the southern country as "collar-mouthed Dowell" (horse collar) or the "man with the cracked voice." It is said that Dowell ruined his voice in the winter of 1852-53 while he was crying, flour for sale at a dollar and a quarter per lb. During those memorable starvation times, Dowell arrived in Jacksonville with a load of flour, and commenced to sell it out at fifty cts. per lb., but soon increased his extortionate demands until he raised it up as high as a dollar and [a] quarter, when he broke down; his voice failed him, and he has not recovered it to this day.
    In the recent political canvass, Dowell stated in a speech in Jacksonville that the "time had been when a Whig daren't open his mouth in this Territory," which was true so far as he was concerned, for until he became sanguine of the Know Nothings and the election of Gaines, he was professedly neutral in politics, but like many other neutrals, he claimed to be as good a Democrat as could be found in Oregon.
    Last summer when Chas. S. Drew, then Quartermaster General of the Oregon Militia, was organizing his expedition to "fight the emigrants" on the southern road, Dowell was among the first to invest in that infamous speculation. It is now generally conceded that this expedition was unnecessary and wholly uncalled for--no hostility existed on the southern route--indeed the whole affair was gotten up for the purpose of speculating off the general government. The greater portion of the forage, transportation, provisions, hospital and ordnance stores, &c., for the expedition were furnished either by the quartermaster himself or some of his partners in business, or relations. Indeed the report of Gen. Drew shows that he has allowed the claim of his brother, B. J. Drew, for the use of pack mules in that service, amounting to the enormous sum of $9,876! No more than thirty pack mules belonging to B. J. Drew were ever in the service at any one time, and consequently the claim amounts to more than $250 per animal. Again, Drew claims and is allowed $2,360 for flour furnished for that service at the low rate of forty cents per lb., while 75 cts. is allowed for coffee, and the same or bacon; 50 cents per lb. is charged and allowed for sugar and salt. Yet Chas. S. Drew, quartermaster, "certifies that all these articles were purchased at the lowest market price, and that he was in no way interested in the purchase." Messrs. Pearson and Hunter, supposed partners of the quartermaster, have also large claims of a similar character.
    It appears that Mr. Pearson was paid and is allowed $50 per month for rent for four months of office for the quartermaster, while it is well known in Jacksonville that C. S. Drew kept his office on his own house, and that Pearson owned no interest in the house unless by virtue of his copartnership with Drew.
    Mr. Hunter, another partner in this enterprising firm of Drew, Dowell & Co., is allowed $3 per lb. for powder, 50 cts. per lb. for lead; 75 cts for shot; $10 per thousand or percussion caps, &c. Dr. Cleaveland, late of the Council, and as a member of which body he voted for the resolution asking Gen. Lane to get an appropriation to pay these bills, another personal and political friend of the distinguished Gen. Drew, is allowed $20 per oz. for quinine, also $2 per oz. for cubebs, copaiba, and paregoric; charges for other hospital stores furnished by Dr. Cleaveland are of a similar character. Among the rest, $8 per gallon is allowed for brandy. The miscellaneous items of the expenses of this service include many very singular and interesting stores for a campaign in the mountains--$12 per ream is charged for foolscap paper; $4 per bottle or ink; large amounts are allowed for soap, candles and other extras.
    Perhaps Dowell's bill is a fair specimen of the rest, and for the edification of the good Democrats who read the Statesman, and believe in the economical administration of the government, we will subjoin Dowell's account against the United States in full. Comment is unnecessary when we consider that Quartermaster General Drew has certified that all these extravagant demands are just--that the articles furnished were purchased at the lowest market price, and that he is in no way interested in the purchase.
30  animals 90 days at $4.00  each per day
80  lbs. lash rope, at 1.50  per lb.
2  black rasps, 3.00  apiece,
1  hatchet, 4.00
4  balls twine, 1.00  apiece,
2  sail needles, 0.50  apiece,
2  saddler's awls, 0.50  apiece,
3  axes with helves, 10.00  apiece,
1  coffee mill, 5.00  apiece,
2  camp kettles, 6.00  apiece,
28  frying pans, 4.00  apiece,
13  bread pans, 3.00  apiece,
20  tin cups, 1.00  apiece,
33  saddle blankets, 4.00  apiece,
6  lbs. powder, 3.00  apiece,
18  lbs. lead, .50  apiece,
10  lbs. shot, .75  apiece,
3  boxes percussion caps, 5.00  per box,
1  box steel pens, 4.00
1  bottle ink, 3.00
4  quires of paper, 1.00  apiece,
2  dozen pencils, 1.30  apiece,
1  spring balance, 4.00
50  lbs. loaf sugar, .75  per lb.,
25  lbs. rice, .62½  per lb.,
34  lbs. soap, .75  per lb.,
70  lbs. beef, .30  per lb.,
269  lbs. pork, .75  per lb.,
3650  lbs. flour, .40  per lb.,
75  lbs. sugar, .50  per lb.,
329  lbs. coffee, .75  per lb.,
116  lbs. beans, .50  per lb.,
5  gals. vinegar, 6.00  per gal.
    I would like to accompany the above with some extracts from the quartermaster's report to Gov. Curry. It is a rich specimen of military eloquence, and taken in connection with the accompanying accounts is quite an amusing product indeed; it is couched in the latest style of official reports, and is such a model of its kind as you have never before met with. But I will not trespass further upon your space at this time.
    The Statesman editor comments as follows upon the above communication:
    In the letter of Capt. Martin, which we publish today, and to the astounding disclosures of which we invite the attention of the public and the authorities at Washington, will be found the bill of Mr. Dowell, on account of the "expedition to fight the emigrants."
    The items of this bill, as given, are correct, or we have caused them to be compared with the bills on file in the Governor's office, made out and certified by C. S. Drew, late quartermaster general. The other bills on file there, on account of this scheme to "fight the emigrants" and plunder Uncle Sam, are of the same character, exorbitant beyond degree or parallel. We subjoin a few items which we have copied ourself from the report of the late quartermaster general, Drew. We copy from the medicine bills:
Capsules, per oz., $1.
Balsam copaiba, per oz., 1. 50
Cubebs, per oz., 1. 50
Sweet spirits [of] nitre, per oz. 1.
Blue mass, per oz., 3.
Cholagogue, per bottle, 10.
Quinine, per oz., 20.
Seidlitz powders, per box, 2.
Paregoric, per oz. 2.
    Some of these are queer articles or an expedition of that kind, unless they expected to take sick Indians prisoners. And those prices are all rather refreshing for hard times and dull sales. All these articles Gen. Drew certifies "on honor were purchased at the lowest cash price"--sometimes at the "lowest market price."
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, August 9, 1855, page 2

    Col. W. J. Martin of Douglas County, one of Southern Oregon's oldest pioneers, is spending a while with his daughter, Mrs. W. J. Plymale.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 6, 1889, page 3

Death of Judge Martin.
    PENDLETON, Or., June 25.--County Judge William Martin died at 9:30 this morning. He was elected county judge in 1888, and, had he lived until next year, would have served 12 years in that office. He had been sheriff of this county three terms, sheriff of Siskiyou County, California, and mayor of Pendleton. He was one of the early pioneers, and had, besides the title of judge, that of captain, which he earned in the Indian wars. Judge Martin was 77 years old, and had always had good health up to June 15, when he suffered from an apoplectic stroke.
Dalles Daily Chronicle, June 27, 1899, page 4

    Col. Wm. J. Martin, who died at Glendale, April 26, 1901, was born in Knox County, Kentucky, February 2, 1814. He was, therefore, at the time of death. 87 years, 2 months and 24 days old. He was raised on a farm until he was 15 years old, when with the consent of his parents he left home to make his living in his own way. In 1832 he went to the Yellowstone Park with Indian Agent Bean and wintered there. He returned and served through the Black Hawk War. Later he went trapping and hunting to the Black Hills,and passed through the "Bad Lands." Returned in 1834 and went to Fort Leavenworth. Went to the Yellowstone Park again in 1835. Returned the same year to Big Little Horn and trapped. Returning to Fort Leavenworth, where the Indians had killed some settlers, he was elected captain of a company to chastise them and soon settled the trouble by securing the delivery of the murderers. He fought through the Florida war of 1837, and was wounded five times; but none of the wounds were serious. Returned home after the war and assisted his father in building a flouring mill and learned the trade of a miller. Aug. 9, 1839, he married Harriet Crobarger. In April, 1843, he started for Oregon in company with Capt. Gant. When the expedition all got together west of the Missouri River, in what is now Kansas, there were 137 wagons, and something more than 1000 men. Col. Nesmith, Peter H. Burnett, Jesse, Lindsay and Charley Applegate and many other prominent persons were with the expedition. It started from Westport, and Capt. Gant, Col. Martin and eleven others left the company at Fort Boise and came in through Harney Valley, arriving at Sutter's Fort, called then New Helvetia, Nov. 12, 1843. In March, 1844, Capt. John C. Fremont, with his company, arrived at the fort. He had lost and consumed the most of his outfit, and bought 114 mules and all necessary supplies and started back March 22nd, a short time after his arrival. Col. Martin accompanied the party on its return and all reached Westport the last of July. The Colonel was not employed by the company, but his services were considered so valuable that Capt. Fremont gave him a check for $185.
    Upon his return the Colonel went home and prepared to remove with his family to Oregon, which he did in 1846, settling in Yamhill County. In 1849 he contracted with Lieut. Hawkins, U.S. army, to deliver 95,000 pounds of beef on foot at Fort Hall, for the use of the Rifle Regiment, en route from the East, under Col. Loring. He delivered the beef in accordance with the contract, but upon his return found Lieut. Hawkins insane, never recovering sufficiently to give Col. Martin the necessary vouchers, and was never able to collect the amount from the government. The Colonel was a prominent figure in the Cayuse and other Indian wars, and was particularly conspicuous in the Rogue River troubles. He took a prominent part in politics; assisted largely in the development and pacification of the country, and assisted in organizing the first Masonic lodge in the state, as well as being a member of the first grand lodge.
    Mr. Martin was gifted with a rare intellectual endowment, and though with scarcely the rudiments of an education, he was nevertheless a man of extended information, a forcible and fluent talker, and singularly pleasant and agreeable. It is hardly probable that anyone living has had a wider pioneer experience, or a more checkered and eventful career. He was a man of frank and genial disposition, and had the confidence of all who knew him. He leaves two sons and two daughters living, his wife having died some twenty-odd years ago.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 2, 1901, page 1

    William Martin was also a resident of Pendleton in 1891. He was born in Virginia in 1822 and came to Oregon with the Applegates and Waldos in the emigration of 1843. He settled in the Waldo Hills, just east of Salem. In 1846 he was elected sheriff of Champoeg County, which in those days embraced the present counties of Marion and Linn and parts of Clackamas and Lane. He served in the Cayuse Indian war in 1848 under Colonel Gilliam. The following year he went to the California gold diggings and in 1860 was elected sheriff of Siskiyou County. In 1862 he went to Eastern Oregon and mined in the Granite Creek district in Grant County. In 1880 he was elected sheriff of Umatilla County, and was reelected in 1882 and 1884. He was later elected mayor of Pendleton, and in 1888 became county judge of Umatilla County.
Fred Lockley, "Observations and Impressions of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, April 21, 1921, page 10

    "How many meals have I cooked and served since I started keeping a boarding house?" said Mrs. W. B. Mays of Pendleton, repeating my question. "I have to do some figuring. I have kept boarders for more than 30 years. I think I started about 33 years ago. For the past two years I have kept roomers only. Say I have kept boarders for an even 30 years. I have had as few as 10 and as high as 30. I have averaged 20 or more. To make it easy figuring, say 20. That means 60 meals a day, or 21,900 meals a year. Allowing for my boarders taking vacations and missing meals, it is safe to say I have served 20,000 meals a year, which means that during the past 30 years I have served 600,000 meals. You will have to figure for yourself how many gallons of tea, coffee or milk that means, how many carloads of potatoes and cabbages, and how large a herd of cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens was required to prepare 600,000 meals. It has kept a good-sized flock of hens busy to furnish eggs, and a herd of cows to furnish milk and butter. When you boarded with me, 25 years ago, I had about 25 boarders. At that time I was in the Captain William Martin house. Not long after that I moved to larger quarters, and later I overflowed into two houses.…
    "Captain William Martin, who was captain of the wagon train to Oregon in 1843 after Peter H. Burnett resigned, was county judge of Umatilla County at one time. He also served as sheriff. He was, without exception, one of the squarest, kindest, finest men in every way I ever met. He gave my husband the contract to build the gallows on which White Owl and Quit-a-Tumps, two young Umatilla Indians who had killed George Coggan, were hanged. He employed me to make the black cloth death caps for the two Indians. They were hung in the jail yard on January 10, 1879, and Aps, another Umatilla Indian, was hung a week later. Captain Martin was supposed to spring the trap when the Indians were killed. He was so tender-hearted he wouldn't kill a chicken. It worried him so to have to hang these Indians that my husband volunteered to do it for him, and Captain Martin gratefully accepted his services. Captain Martin gave my husband the job of making the coffins for the Indians he had hung."

Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, August 4, 1926, page 8

Fred Lockley's Impressions:
Colorful Career of Capt. William Martin Related
    Sam Jackson, who made the Oregon Journal a power for good in the Oregon country, was a Democrat, as was natural for a man born in Virginia, yet he was as quick to give credit to an honest and efficient Republican official as he was to criticize an inefficient or self-seeking Democratic official.
    He was a warm friend and admirer of Capt. William Martin, who was first elected sheriff of Umatilla County in 1880.
    The first time I was in Pendleton was in the late summer of 1880. We were en route by mule team to Walla Walla. At that time Pendleton was not much more than a wide place in the road.
    The fact that Capt. Martin was elected on the Republican ticket in a county strongly Democratic was a tribute to his worth, and the further fact that he was reelected in 1882 and in 1884 and was elected county judge in 1886 was an evidence of his efficiency and popularity. He also served as mayor of Pendleton.
    Being sheriff was no new job to Capt. Martin, for he served as sheriff of Champoeg County, now Marion County, in 1846. Later he was elected sheriff of Siskiyou County, California. He was born in what was then Virginia but is now West Virginia.
    When he was 19 years old he moved to Missouri and two years later he joined the first large wagon train headed for Oregon. Peter H. Burnett was elected captain of the wagon train but resigned after eight days and, though William Martin was only 21 years old, he was elected captain and continued in that position till the arrival of the company in Willamette Valley.
    Capt. Martin's word was as good as his bond. On the plains he had agreed to work for Daniel Waldo, a Virginian who was 43 years old when he joined the 1843  emigration to the Oregon country. Waldo offered him $10 a month to work as a farm hand, which Martin accepted. Martin was offered a job at $60 a month, but having agreed to work for Waldo at $10 a month, he turned down the higher offer and took the job at $10 a month.
    Daniel Waldo took a claim in the rolling hills east of Salem, now known as the Waldo Hills. In 1848 William Martin served with the Oregon volunteers in the Cayuse war and went to Walla Walla to fight the Cayuse Indians who had killed Dr. Marcus Whitman, his wife and others stationed at the Whitman mission.
    When the volunteers returned to the Willamette Valley, he was placed in charge of the Whitman mission district to give protection to the emigrants en route to the mission. He remained in charge there for nine months.
    The year 1849 found him in the California "gold diggings." He was an expert hunter so, in place of taking a claim on Trinity River, he furnished the miners wild meat. In the first three weeks he took in over $1100 in gold dust in exchange for the game he killed and sold to the miners.
    In 1850 he started driving cattle purchased in the Willamette Valley or Southern Oregon to Yreka, Scotts Bar and other gold camps in Northern California. He was in the stock business for 12 years. In 1862 he started for Florence, Ida., where a rich strike had been made. While crossing John Day River he tried a panful of dirt, found colors and did further prospecting and struck rich ground. He took up a claim and for the next 13 years mined on the John Day. He settled there before there was any Canyon City or John Day. In 1875 he moved to southern Umatilla County and ran cattle on Camas Prairie. He moved to Pendleton in 1880. Capt. Martin was married while living in Siskiyou County.
    In the spring of 1849 the government employed him and Capt.Levi Scott to guide a company of U.S. troops to Fort Hall. Capt. Scott in a skirmish was wounded by several arrows. In 1853 Capt. Martin was with Gen. Joseph Lane when a treaty was made with the Southern Oregon Indians. In October 30, 1855, Capt. Martin was commissioned major of the Northern Battalion and served with distinction in the Rogue River Indian war, being mustered out as a lieutenant colonel.
Oregon Journal, Portland, October 28, 1951, page 35

Last revised November 28, 2023