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Martin W. Earhart (1830-1911)
THE SILENT ANGEL BECKONED
The death of Martin W. Earhart, which occurred at his home on Fourth street last Tuesday morning about 11 o’clock has cast a gloom over the community. It had been known for some days that Mr. Earhart was in a critical condition, but his many friends had hoped that his life might be spared. His death was due to a paralytic stroke and he passed away surrounded by his wife and is sons and daughters. The funeral was held from the residence this afternoon at 2 o’clock, the services being conducted by Rev. H. J. Rhodes, pastor of the Christian church.
Ever since the organization of oar [sic] town, when the Charter was first received, and among the first officers elected by our people who now sleep upon the pleasant hillside, we find the name of Earhart. It was the father of the subject of this sketch who was the first Assessor under the charter. From that time on until the present day the name Earhart has figured in the records of the town, and the ability and integrity of the family have always been appreciated.
Aaron R. Earhart and Sarah A. DeNise ware the parents of Martin W. Earhart, and both were born in Ohio. Aaron R. Earhart was by occupation a harnessmaker, and as an upright and conscientious citizen he left a noble heritage to his descendents. He held various positions of trust which proved the esteem in which he was held by the early settlers of the village. Wealth may give temporary station in a community – so long as wealth may last – but character if the only true foundation for man’s standing in society. It is the latter only to which the name of Earhart lays it just claim. The character of the father descended to the son, and from him again to his children.
Martin W. Earhart was born in Franklin, February 27, 1839, and passed to his reward on March 28, 1911, aged 72 years, 1 month and 1 day. In 1853 his parents moved to Cincinnati; in 1854 they moved to Dayton, and in 1856 returned to Franklin. Martin attended school in Cincinnati and Dayton as was admitted to the Dayton High School in 1854. After this he entered the office of the Dayton Daily Gazette as a compositor and maintained his interest in newspapers until the end. He was associated with Mr. Stephen A. Burrowes in the publishing of The Franklin Gazette shortly after the close of the war. In 1896 and 1897 he came back to his old love and with the late John Harding published The Chronicle under the firm name of M. W. Earhart & Co.
The news of the firing upon Fort Sumpter [sic] aroused the spark of patriotism that slumbered in his breast and he was among the first to rush to the front, being at that time but 22 years of age. He responded to the first call and in April 1861 offered himself to his country and was enlisted into Company F, of the 1st Regiment, O. V. I. He was a brave soldier and bore the brunt of battle unflinchingly. When the years strife were over he returned to his home town and resumed the garb of a citizen, without boasting and without ado. Aside from his service in the Civil War he held a discharge from five years’ service in the State militia.
On September 18, 1862, he was united in the bonds of matrimony to Miss Hannah J. Corwin, also of Franklin, and the union was blessed with four children: Winifred, Clifford, Anna and William, all of whom are left today to mourn and honor the passing of this father.
Of this wife who preceded him to the Land Beyond, the fondest memories still cling to those who knew her. She died in 1890.
On March 28, 1893, he was married to Miss Catherine Corwin, a sister of the first wife. In this second marriage he was blessed in securing a loving and faithful companion who has journeyed by his side until this sad hour of separation, who has made a home for him that has been a haven of peace and proven all that a mother could have been to her sister’s children.
Mr. Earhart engaged in the drug and book business after the war, and later on he was given a position in the U. S. mail service. At first he was appointed route gent between Toledo and Cincinnati, then he was promoted to postal clerk in 1874 and was made chief clerk in 1875. On January 1, 1880, on account of threatening paralysis which is son common among men thus employed, he resigned his position and gain established himself in the drug and book business. About 1887 his son, Clifford, was taken into the business and from that time the firm has been known as M. W. Earhart and Son. This association of father and son has been one of the finest examples of filial devotion we have ever known. In recent years the burdens of the business have rested almost wholly upon the son’s shoulders, but to the day of his death the father had his desk at the store and was consulted and considered in all the transactions. While our friend had been blessed always with the shelter of a home made happy by loving children he was doubly blessed in the loyalty and faithfulness of this son who walked daily by his side down the rough pat of business life.
From 1866 to 1870 Mr. Earhart served as Township Treasurer and later on he was elected a member of the Village Council. On the Board of Education he served faithfully for 25 years and always took the greatest interest in the welfare of our public schools. When Franklin built her city Water Works he was one of the first trustees elected and served for several years on the Board. At the time of his death he was a member of the County Children’s Home Board and was loved by the little folks at the home whose welfare was ever his chief concern. He was also Secretary of the County Soldiers’ Relief Commission. One of his many virtues was the practice of charity and he responded at all times to the appeal of the needy.
In fraternal circles he was an active member of the Orders to which he belonged until the weight of years forced him to husband his strength and made early hours imperative. He held all the principal offices in Easter Star Lodge, F. & A. M., as well as in the Warren Lodge, I. O. O. F. He was a prominent member of John Kell Post, G. A. R., and held membership in Minerva Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, at Miamisburg.
Source: The Franklin Chronicle 30 Mar 1911 [copy obtained from obituary collection at the Warren County Genealogical Society]
Arne H Trelvik
21 January 2006
|9 Nov 2008||Corrected year of birth from 1830 to 1839|
This page created 21 January 2006 and last updated
9 November, 2008
© 2006 Arne H Trelvik All rights reserved