100 Years Ago With Charlie Miller

By Diana Shaw

January 23, 2014

Jan. 23, 1914

Madison County Democrat — No news in the paper this week, but last week we mentioned Jacob Martin in our column. Jacob Martin, also spelled Marten, was born Feb. 16, 1854 in West Jefferson, the son of Augustus and Catherine McNeal Martin. Catherine or Kate, was the daughter of Jacob McNeal Sr., a former mayor of West Jefferson. Augustus, born in New Jersey, settled in West Jefferson in the 1850s. He went by the name of A. L. Martin and was a tailor. He died in January of 1891.

On Oct. 17, 1877 Jacob married Etta Hoe the daughter of Benjamin Hoe. In 1877 he opened a mercantile store on the northwest corner of Main and Chester streets, with a partner, Ben Hoe. In 1880 he built a large home on the southeast corner of Center and Jones streets, which is no longer there. Jacob became mayor of West Jefferson in December of 1903 upon the death of Mayor George Gillivan. He served 1904 and 1905. Both A. L. Martin and Jacob had served on village council at various times.

Jacob and Etta had a daughter Eva who married Charles T. Hardin and they had a daughter Janet. “It’s a small world.” Sometime around the 1970s Elaine McIntosh, organist at the First Baptist Church took an ocean cruise. On the ship she met a lady named Janet who finding out that Elaine was from West Jefferson, asked her if she knew Charlie Miller. Of course she did. I had been writing to Janet trying to get information on her grandfather. Jacob Martin died Dec. 19, 1923 at the age of 69 years, 3 months and 11 days. His picture hangs in the village hall.

Part II

The Madison Press, April 12, 1954 — The regular meeting of the West Jefferson Businessmen was held Thursday, April 8. Luncheon was served at the high school cafeteria at 6:30. The meeting was presided over by Russell Stratton in the absence of president Francis Baker. Russell Blauser of the Businessmen’s Committee reported on the new bank opening about May 15. Ray Peterman of the recreation committee, said that tentative plans call for a dance every two weeks beginning May 22 on the tennis courts at the high school. The Red Cross Drive as of Saturday, netted $275.56.

— The West Jefferson school will dismiss Thursday afternoon at 3:30 o’clock for the observance of Good Friday. School will be resumed at the usual time Monday morning, according to Supt. Dale Porter.

— The Missionary Society of the Baptist Church met Thursday afternoon at the home of Mrs. Lois Harrison, with an inspiring program with an Easter theme. At the business session, the following officers were elected: Mrs. Gertrude Deardorff, president; Mrs. Edith Stephenson, vice president; Mrs. Helen William, secretary; Betty Case, treasurer.

— The Darby Valley 40-H Club with a membership of 20, is under the leadership of Don Reibel and Don Elliott. Lester Denton was elected president, Bob Sanders, vice president, Arlene Geyer, secretary, Lloyd Reibel, treasurer; Dave Peterman, health and safety, and Jo Ann McDaniels reporter.