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MARTIN, CLARENCE WHITE

MARTIN, CLARENCE WHITE (1868–1936). Clarence White Martin, lawyer and district judge, son of William Washington and Mary Elizabeth (Routh) Martin, was born in San Marcos on November 26, 1868. He grew up in Blanco and surrounding counties, where his father was an attorney. After finishing high school he worked for several years on his uncle's ranches near Midland and Colorado City. He returned home and in 1891 was appointed justice of the peace of Precinct No. 1 of Blanco County. In 1892 he married Frank Barnett Johnson, daughter of Samuel Ealy Johnsonqv and aunt of President Lyndon B. Johnson. They had one son. After his marriage Martin studied law in his father's office. In 1893 he was elected to the Twenty-third Legislature to represent the Ninety-eighth District. He resigned in 1894 and moved to Kerrville, where he and his father established a law office.

Martin moved to Fredericksburg in 1896 and in 1902 was elected judge of the Thirty-third Judicial District, which included Blanco County. He was reelected for three additional terms of four years. During his first term of office as district judge he participated in the statewide campaign to save the Alamo. He collected public contributions, then helped to persuade the state legislature to appropriate the remainder of the purchase price. Martin appealed for funds in the towns of his judicial district, at state meetings of various organizations, and over a wide area of the state. He was said to have been responsible for half of the total amount of $20,000 that was collected. Martin's letters to Adina Emilia De Zavala show that both of them drafted bills for the purchase of the Alamo. At her request he went to Austin to guide the Alamo Purchase Bill through the Twenty-ninth Legislature. It was passed by an overwhelming majority.

Martin resigned from office in 1915 and resumed his law practice. For a time he lived in Austin and was a partner of C. C. McDonald, former attorney general. In 1917 Martin became the chief defense attorney for Governor James E. Ferguson in the latter's impeachment trial before the Texas Senate. During the last years of his life he owned and operated a farm and ranch near Stonewall in Gillespie County. This property was traded by his widow to Lyndon B. Johnson and is now the Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch (see LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON BIRTHPLACE, BOYHOOD HOME, AND RANCH). Martin died in Fredericksburg on August 31, 1936, and was buried in the Johnson family cemetery near Stonewall.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

James T. DeShields, The Fergusons, "Jim and Ma": The Stormy Petrels in Texas Politics (Dallas: Cockrell, 1932). Adina De Zavala Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Rebekah Baines Johnson, A Family Album, ed. J. S. Moursund (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, (Martin, Clarence; Ranches-L.B.J.).

Sister Francis Xavier Brannen

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Sister Francis Xavier Brannen, "MARTIN, CLARENCE WHITE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fma58), accessed November 24, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.