Tarrant County TXGenWeb

James Brassfield Martin
Early Settler of Tarrant County, Texas

Contributed by Robert C. Davis, Austin Texas

Based on historical documents of his great grand daughter, Helen Elizabeth (Martin) Beeman 

James Brassfield Martin (born 1827; died 1904) was an early pioneer settler of Tarrant County having moved from Collin County in 1866 after the end of the Civil War. He was born in Madison County, Kentucky in 1827, the son of David Gentry Martin and Samiramus Brassfield. He married Henrietta Simpson Lipscomb in 1860. She was born in 1840 in Kentucky the daughter of Dabney Smith Lipscomb and Susan Davis Simpson. James Brassfield Martin served in Company C, Alexander's Regiment, seeing battle at Prairie Grove, and then served in Quartermaster Department.

His farm in Tarrant County included 320 acres located southeast of Fort Worth in what is now the Forest Hill community. His oldest son, John Deatherage Martin, was born in Collin County, Texas in 1861, lived with his parents on the family farm, and then later purchased the 112 acres just adjacent and west of his parents' farm. James Brassfield Martin and his wife had ten children, eight males and two females.

Martin Street in southeast Fort Worth was named for James Brassfield Martin and marks the northern boundary of their property. His son's farm extended west to near today's Wichita Street. James Brassfield Martin died in 1904, but his wife Henrietta Simpson Lipscomb Martin lived on to the age of 99, dying in February 1940 just seven months short of her 100th birthday. The Fort Worth Star Telegram featured an interesting article in September 1930 celebrating her 90th birthday. The photo below left appeared in the newspaper along with the article in which she related several interesting stories.

Henrietta Simpson Lipscomb Martin, September 1930
Click on photo for larger image (235 KB)

On April 1, 1861 the young couple sailed down the Mississippi River, Texas bound. With many a chuckle Mrs. Martin recalls the ride down the Mississippi and on into the swollen waters of the Red River, where, near a little town close to Shreveport, "the boat simply sank with us."

"It was in the Spring," Mrs. Martin said, "and the waters were high. The boat struck a snag and tip-tilted on a sand bar. Mr. Martin and I were on the hurricane deck and so he just handed me over the railing into a little boat. We had to stay in that little town about two days for our things to dry and for another boat to come and carry us on up the river." Mrs. Martin continued to live on the Martin farm until 1915 when she moved into town.

Her eldest son, John Deatherage Martin and his wife, Ola Cornelia Herndon Martin, raised five children, four males and one female. Their farm was very productive and included large acreage of cotton, corn, vegetables, and a vineyard of large white grapes. The farm also had chickens, geese, and cows. The vineyard was the responsibility of the boys who took care of its upkeep until World War I when it declined significantly when three of the boys served in the war. John Deatherage Martin died in 1942, and his wife, Ola Cornelia Herndon Martin died in 1946.

Left to Right (1937): Albert Clarence Martin, John James Martin, John Deatherage Martin, Ola Cornelia (Herndon) Martin, Lottie Ernestine Martin, Jesse Eugene Martin, and Harry Herndon Martin
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At the far left are Albert C. Martin and his future wife, Effa Brokaw, in the grape vineyard.
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The Martin farm remained in the family until after their grandmother's death, and then was sold and developed into residential properties. The old pioneer settler, James Brassfield Martin and his wife, Henrietta Simpson Lipscomb Martin, are buried in the Forest Hill Cemetery.


Shown below are several photos of the John Deatherage Martin farm.

Ola Cornelia (Herndon) Martin, rear view of Martin farm house with smokehouse to left, c.1910
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Martin farm house c. 1910
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Martin barn and yard, c.1910
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Martin barn and yard, c.1910
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Martin farm, front view, c.1910
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Ola Cornelia (Herndon) Martin at Martin farm with her favorite geese, c. 1910
Click on photo for larger image (134 KB)


This page created 11 Jan 2008. - Last modified 6 May 2008.

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