William Wallace Martin, soldier, lawyer and stateman, was born at Crawfordsville, Montgomery county, Indiana, Nov. 12, 1840, son of Owen and Sarah (Reese) Martin. His parents were Virginians, descended from a long line of Scotch-Irish ancestors, who settled in that state at an early day. In 1841 the family removed to Boone county, Indiana, and William's early life was spent on a backwood's farm near Thorntown, where he attended the district school held in a log house during the winter months. In 1860 he entered the academy, at Thorntown, to gain a more liberal education. After leaving school he began to read law, but at the call for volunteers enlisted as a private in Company G, Fifty-fifth Indiana infantry, in 1862. He was wounded at the battle of Richmond, Ky., and was mustered out in August. As soon as he recovered from his wound he reënlisted in the One Hundred and Sixteenth Indiana infantry, and was promoted to first sergeant for gallantry at the battle of Tazwell, Tenn. He served in the Kentucky campaign against Morgan and in the Ninth corps, under Burnside. Subsequently he was transferred to the One Hundred and Fifty-fourth Indiana infantry with the rank of second lieutenant, and served until mustered out of the service, Aug. 4, 1865, at Stevenson Station, Va. In the fall of 1865 he entered the law department of the University of Michigan and upon examination was admitted to the senior class, graduating with it in the spring of 1866. He immediately started west and was admitted to the Kansas bar, at Lawrence, in May. He located at Fort Scott and formed a partnership with Gen. C. W. Blair. He soon began to take an active part in local politics; was elected police judge of Fort Scott, probate judge of Bourbon county for two terms, was appointed register of the United States Land Office at Independence, Kan., serving in that capacity from 1873 to 1878. Upon his return to Fort Scott in 1881, he reëntered political life and was appointed city attorney in 1885, but resigned when elected to the state senate on the Republican ticket from the Seventh district. After receiving the nomination he made a strong campaign against the Democratic and Union-Labor parties, and proved himself an orator of great ability and a ready debater. He was elected by a majority of over 800. During his term as senator he was chairman of the committee on state library and a member of the committees on judiciary, judicial appointment, mines and mining, and manufacturing and industrial pursuits. He introduced the bill making it a felony to give or sell to any inmate of any state or national military home any liquor or drug that would intoxicate or stupefy. He has always been an untiring worker in behalf of the old soldiers, served as judge-advocate of the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Kansas, and in 1900 was elected department commander of the order. He is also a member of the Loyal Legion. In 1891 Governor Humphrey appointed him state agent for Kansas at Washington, to succeed Samuel J. Crawford.
On April 24, 1866, Mr. Martin married Caroline Mills, of Thorntown, Ind., sister of Brig.-Gen. Anson Mills, United States Army. Mrs. Martin died in 1878, leaving two childrenCarl A., who served with distinction as first lieutenant of the Twenty-fifth infantry during the Spanish-American war and later in the Philippines, and is still an officer in the regular army; and Nellie, who died at St. Mary's Convent, at Leavenworth. In 1882 Mr. Martin married Elizabeth Truby, of Independence, Kan. Two children have been born to themTruby C., second lieutenant field artillery, United States Army, and Elizabeth. In August, 1901, Mr. Martin was appointed treasurer of the National Military Home at Leavenworth, Kan., with rank of major, and has since discharged the duties of that office.Pages 818-819 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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