Jay County Indiana Biographies
O. P. MARTIN, senior member of the firm of MARTIN Bros., manufacturers of tile and building block at Dunkirk, and one of the leading factors in the industrial life of that city, is a native Hoosier and has resided in this state all his life. He was born at Winchester, in the neighboring county of Randolph, May 18, 1867, son of Oliver and Julia ( LIVINGSTON ) MARTIN, both of whom were born in Ohio, the latter at Little Roundtop, and whose last days were spent in Jay county, where they had resided for years, both dying within a week of each other at their home at Greene Post office in 1907, Mrs. MARTIN's death occurring on January 13 of that year and Mr. MARTIN's, January 20. Oliver MARTIN was born at Cincinnati [Hamilton Co.] and was but six months old when his parents came to Indiana, the family locating at Winchester, where he received his schooling and where he early learned the craft of tile and brick making, the process then involving the arduous use of the old-time hand molds and presses. He later became engaged in the manufacture of tile and brick at Union City, where he remained for about five years, at the end of which time, in 1878, he came to Jay county and set up a tile factory at Greene Post-office, where, in association with his sons, he continued in business until his death in 1907, building up an extensive plant. Oliver MARTIN and his wife were the parents of eleven children, of whom seven are still living, those besides the subject of this sketch being Sarah, Henriette, Ella, John, Frank and Mary. O. P. MARTIN was ten years old when the family came to this county and he completed his schooling in the school at Greene. He early became a valued assistant to his father in the operation of the tile mill, and when twenty years of age bought from his father a one-third interest in the mill. This was about the year 1887, and this partnership arrangement continued until 1902, in which year Mr. MARTIN's brother, Frank MARTIN, bought into the firm, taking a one-fourth interest, his father retaining a one-fourth interest and O. P. MARTIN having a one-half interest. In 1906 Frank MARTIN bought his father's interest in the mill and the brothers since have operated the plant in equal partnership under the firm name of MARTIN Bros., a name which has become widely known in the field covered by the firm's operations. In 1908 MARTIN Bros. secured possession of a valuable tract of twenty-seven acres of clay bank on the edge of the city of Dunkirk and abandoned the old plant at Greene, erecting a new and up-to-date plant at the new site, where they ever since have been engaged in business and have done well. The firm manufacturers drain tile and hollow building block and has one of the most capacious plants in Indiana, the same comprising three drying houses and two kilns. All sizes of tile, from 4 to 18 inches, are provided for as well as a sufficient variety of building block to meet whatever demands may be made in that line, and an extensive business has been built up. On September 28, 1888, O. P. MARTIN was united in marriage to Emma LaFOLLETTE, who was born on a farm in Greene township, this county, daughter of Eben C. and Ella ( ZIGLER ) LaFOLLETTE, who were the parents of three children, Mrs. MARTIN having two brothers, William R. and Adam L. LaFOLLETTE. To Mr. and Mrs. MARTIN have been born three children, namely: Charles, who died at the age of eleven years; Ella Z., who married Acil R. EDWARDS, now employed as a United States Government machinist at Charleston, W. Va., and has one child, a son, Ralph; and Edna, who was graduated from the Dunkirk high school with the class of 1921. Mr. MARTIN is a Democrat. He is a Royal Arch Mason, a past worshipful master, a member of the blue lodge and the chapter at Dunkirk and of the council, Royal and Select Masters, at Muncie, and is a past noble grand of the local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Dunkirk and a member of the encampment there, he also is a member of the local lodge of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics and is a past state officer of that organization.