Thomas M. Martin
Thomas M. Martin was born May 11, 1824, in Hall County, Georgia. He married Frances Mary Ann Stone on October 29, 1844 in Hall County. They traveled to Winston County, Alabama, in late 1859. Frances died in March 1863, and Thomas remarried to Malissa J. Lane about 1867. Thomas died May 8, 1901, and was buried at Pleasant Hill No. 1 (now Enon Missionary Baptist Church) Cemetery. Malissa died on February 6, 1908, and is buried at Enon in an unmarked grave.
Thomas and Frances’ children were: Martha E. (August 1844 – Aft. 1906; married William Tucker); Elizabeth Jane (1847 – Aft. 1879); K.R.M. (Abt. 1848 – Bef. 1860); Emmaline (Abt. 1849 – Abt. 1880); married William Posey); Nancy Amanda (September 6, 1850 – October 24, 1936; married Isham Dodd); Sarah A. (April 20, 1853 – December 20, 1945; married Elijah Dodd); Jeremiah H.G. (October 17, 1856 – July 8, 1934; married Idella Elizabeth Guthrie); Mary Emily (June 1860 – Aft. 1910; married William Henry Harbin); and Francis Marion.
Thomas and Malissa’s children were: Narcissus Syrenia (July 3, 1868 – March 1, 1960; married George M. McRea); Loduskey J. (November 7, 1872 – October 21, 1898; married Tom Crow); James Thomas (March 1, 1878 – May 1954; married Zora A. Holden); and an infant.
From the book The History of the Clear Creek Baptist Association by Jerry Burns:
“Elder B.F. Shank held his funeral and made the statement that, ‘Brother Martin had preached forty years…’ A beautiful tomb marks his resting place. Brother Martin was a devoted, plain, conscientious preacher. He did much to plant the Gospel in this part of the state. He was a messenger from Sardis No. 1 when the Association was organized at Rock Creek October 9, 1874, and was elected the first Moderator from 1874 to 1883, then again from 1886 to 1897 making twenty years he served as Moderator of Clear Creek Association. He was kind and sympathetic…Brother Martin served as moderator until 1883…In 1886, Elder Martin was again chosen and served until 1897…Brother Martin's church membership was at Sardis No. 1, three miles north of Lynn, for many years. Many older people in Winston County can remember Uncle Tom (long ago), as he was called, riding horseback to preach over a large area of this county.” Tribute of Respect: “Whereas, it has pleased Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, to remove from the walks of man, since the convening of the last association, our worthy and much esteemed brother, Elder T.M. Martin, who served as moderator of this association, for 20 years. Brother Martin, filled the high calling which his God placed him in, to the credit of himself, his church and to the glory of God. Therefore, be it, resolved that we can show no greater respect than to emulate his Godly walk in life. Resolved, further, that we cherish his memory in our hearts while we humbly submit to the will of Him who tempers the wind and the shorn lamb, whose ears are ever open to the orphan's call and the widow's cries. Resolved further, that these resolutions be placed upon our minutes, and a copy be sent to the widow of the deceased.” G.W. Gibson, W.R. Long, and L.H. Davis. Mrs. Betsy West Lovett was received after a kind and positive explanation of what is meant to be a church member in the Baptist church and the difference between what she had belonged to and what she was coming into. This explanation was made to her by Thomas Martin. Elder T.M. Martin's membership was there at Sardis before the Civil War and until about 1893 when he moved his membership to Pleasant Hill No. 1, which was close to his home.
The following is from the Winston Herald newspaper, published in Double Springs on May 10, 1894. “The time for the selection of men to go before the people for election to the offices of Representative in the lower house of the next General Assembly of Ala., and also for Sup't of Education of Winston County is near at hand. Would not the name of Eld. T.M. Martin be a good one at the head of the ticket for representative, and the name of S.J. Hiller a good one for Supt of Education? These two men are well known to the people of Winston County. Both are farmers and Christian gentlemen of the highest order. Both are men of ability and men whom the offices will have to seek. Both are conservative in politics, but believe, like Washington, Jefferson, and Jackson in the grand old principles of Democracy…”
Again, from the Winston Herald, August 13, 1897: "Three prominent Baptist preachers, T.M. Martin, B.F. Shank, and G.W. Gibson dined with us the other day. We had nothing to eat but biscuit and fried chicken and they nearly starved to death."
In his Southern Claims Commission file, Thomas Martin stated that “I took the Union side. I voted against secession and done all I could against it.” Anderson Ward, who was called upon to testify for Thomas’ loyalty, stated that “The Union Scouts and U.S. Soldiers and outlyers burned up the jail and town of Jasper in Walker Co. Ala. [in 1865] and before we done this we got the Claimant to go down to said town of Jasper as a spy. He done so. Come back and reported to us the situation of the place. How many Rebel's was stationed there and all about the place in general. He told us they kept arms and ammunition in the Jail House and that they also had a Union Prisoner in the Jail. The prisoner's was took out of jail, the jail and courthouse fired and burned up. Before we done all this, I learned from our Union boys that Claimant had been furnishing them Rations for several days before the Raid was made on Jasper before stated. And mostly afterward, Claimant fed and assisted us Union boys in running out a Gang of Cavalry out of this settlement that was in here as we supposed to burn up the Houses of Union men and their families. And all such favors and things was bestowed and given by the Claimant from beginning to the end of the Rebellion.”
Thomas Martin’s parents, though unproven, were Joab Joseph Martin (born about 1790 in York County, South Carolina and died March 15, 1864, in Hall County, Georgia) and Jane Murphy (born about 1790 in South Carolina and died in 1882 in Hall County). Joab’s father, though unproven still, was the Revolutionary War soldier Thomas Martin.
The State of Alabama, Winston County.
Whereas we are indebted to Thomas M. Martin in the sum of two hundred dollars which is evidenced by our promissory note bearing ___ date herewith due on the 25th day of Dec. 1888 and whereas we are anxious of security the punctual payment of the same at maturity. Now therefore in consideration of the promises and for the purpose of securing the payment of said indebtedness we do grant, bargain, sell, and convey unto the said Thomas M. Martin following described seal estats to wit - all the land in SW 1/4 of section 12 T11 R8W lying south and west of the following conditional lines to wit: Beginning with the creek where the south boundary line of section 12 crosses the creek, thence north? of the creek to the ford on the old Houston road, thence south west along the said road to rock with a cross mark on it about half way west of the bluff, thence due west to the west-boundary line of section 12 containing one hundred & twelve acres more or less. Upon conditions however that if we pay said note at maturity this mortgage to be void, but if we fail to pay the same or any part thereof then the said Thomas M. Martin or his agent attorney or legal representative is authorized to take possession of said property and after given thirty days notice by advertising in same news paper published in said county, to sell the same at public auction for cash before the court house door in said county and devote the proceeds of such sale to the payment of all cost that way accrue in such foreclosure find, and to the payment of said note with ______ second?, and if there is a balance it is to be returned to the undersigned.
Witness our hand this 15 day of June 1888.
M.B. Lane (LS)
John E.L. Lane (LS)
Motes Ala June 15, 1888,
On or before the 25th day of Dec. 1888, we promise to pay Thomas M. Martin or bearer the sum of two hundred dollars for value received with a waives of exemption as to personal property.
The State of Alabama, Winston County.
I, V. Lee Cowart, Notary Public for said county, hereby certify that Mary B. Lane and John E.L. Lane, whose names are signed to the foregoing conveyance and who are known to me, acknowledged before me on this day that being informed of the contents of the _____ such? they executed the same voluntarily on the day the same bears date.
Given under my hand this 15th day of June 1888.
V. Lee Cowart
The Winston Herald, May 31, 1901:
The Herald regrets to chronicle the death of that venerable and reverend old landmark, Eld. T.M. Martin of Brown’s Creek. He was loved wherever he was known. For many years he was moderator of the Baptist Association, and his voice has resounded from almost every hilltop in Winston proclaiming the gospel of peace on earth and good will to men. While all the people mourn his departure, we are consoled with the assurance that he had, like Paul, fought a good fight and deserves a crown, if any one can be said to deserve a reward for good deeds and the faithful discharge of duties.
The Winston Herald, October 5, 1901:
Eld. T.M. Martin. On the 8th day of May, 1901, it became the solemn duty of the subscriber to consign to their mother earth, in Enon Church cemetery, the mortal remains of our revered and regretted brother, Thomas M. Martin, of Brown’s Creek. We laid the body away to await the trumpet call, but the Spirit had fled to its Maker. On May 11th, 1824, Thomas M. Martin was born in the State of Georgia, from whence he subsequently moved to this state and engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was twice married—his last companion surviving him. He was the father of eleven children of whom eight are left to mourn the loss of a kind father and spiritual guide, but all of whom, owing to religious training and example, are treading in his father’s footsteps towards that celestial home. Elder Martin was for fifty years prior to his death a consistent member of the Missionary Baptist church, and a zealous worker for the Lord—being in active service as a minister and pastor for forty years and for twenty-two years occupied the position of Moderator of the Clear Creek Baptist Association, in which capacity his zeal for the furtherance of the cause and his sound counsel have been the greatest degree of benefit to the churches.
His work in the ministry has been crowned, time after time by the most glorious results in bringing many precious souls to the cross; and at the great judgement day many will rise and call him “blessed.” Well may we exclaim for the departed, “O, death where is thy sting? O, grave! Where is thy victory?” But is this the whole extend of his bliss? Who can describe the joys of the redeemed in that blessed abode where troubles and sorrows are unknown, where joy and peace fill every heart and where the sole occupation is to give glory to the Lamb who was slain for the acquisition of such happiness? Could it be given to man to see the buties of New Jerusalem or to enjoy but for a short while that peace which is the portion of its inhabitants, would be able to describe his feelings? This body would not be able to endure the surprises of such a sight; that glory is reserved for his view when his body will have been changed. Will we not, as our dear departed brother, do our duty and our Maker’s will on earth so that on that great day we may receive the glorious invitation—Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world!” May our desire and heartfelt prayer be “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!” Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, for they rest from their labors and their works do follow them.