It is with a large degree of satisfaction that the biographer takes up the life history of the gentleman whose name forms the caption to this article, a man widely known as one of the honored citizens of Hancock county, and who has long been prominently identified with the varied interests of his community. His well directed efforts in the practical affairs of life, his capable management of his business interests, and his sound judgment, have brought to him true prosperity, and his life demonstrates what may be accomplished by the man of energy and ambition who is not afraid to work. In all the relations of life he has commanded the respect and confidence of all with whom he has been brought in contact, and the history of Hancock county would be incomplete without a record of his career.
The parents of the subject were William and Mary (Bridges) Martindale. The former was a native of Stokes county, North Carolina, and the latter of Maysville, Kentucky. The latters father, Joseph Bridges, was a native of the state of Virginia and married in Kentucky Nancy Bennett, of Maryland. They lived for some time near Maysville and about 1816 went to Brown county, Ohio, where they lived for several years. In 1821 they removed to Switzerland county, Indiana. In a few years they settled on the old state road east of Greenfield, in Center township, and there the father followed his trade, that of a miller. He and his wife both died in Center township, both advanced in life. Their children were John, Jessie, Pollie, James, William, Perry and Mary. William and Mary Martindale came to Hancock county, Indiana, in 1839 and entered eighty acres of land in section 17, Center township. This land was all heavily covered with timber, and Mr. Martindale at once went to work to make a home. He helped to cut the Pendleton road through that section and assisted in making other roads and clearing much land. He sold this tract and bought another tract of eighty acres in section 15, Center township, cleared this place and lived here during the remainder of his life. His death occurred January 13, 1864, his wife surviving him upwards of twenty years. In politics he was an active Democrat, and so much confidence had the people in his integrity and unbiased judgment that for twenty years he was retained in the office of justice of the peace. Their religious affiliation was with the Curry Chapel Methodist Episcopal church, of which they were original members. Of their children, Thomas died in Switzerland county, Indiana; Angeline was twice married, first to William Brooks and, second to John Barrett; both are now deceased, while she still lives in Center township; Caroline is the wife of William Taylor, of Center township; Nancy, deceased, was the wife of William Bussell; Joseph died young; William died in boyhood; Mary J. is the wife of Stephen Curry; Calvin died in Center township, though he had spent fifteen years in the mines of Montana; Isaac is a retired farmer of Brown county, Kansas, being the oldest pioneer of that county, settling there in 1856, while James K. P. is the immediate subject of this review.
J. K. P. Martindale received the benefit of such education as was afforded n the common schools of his community and remained at home until he had attained his majority. He was three times married. His first wife was Miss Mary Mills, of Hancock county, who died March 13, 1874. For his second wife he chose Miss Nancy M. Frost, also of this county. She passed away on the 16th of January, 1879, and on December 18, of the same year, he wedded Miss Sarah Low, of Shelby county, this state, the daughter of Dr. Woodbeck and Malinda (Near) Low, the former a native of Kentucy and the latter of Shelby county, Indiana. By his first wife he is the father of three children, all deceased: William L., Elizabeth, who died January 16, 1898, was the wife of Edgar Moore and the mother of four children, Earnest, James, Daisy and Cecil, and Ella May. One child was born to the second union, Cora Alice, who is the wife of C. B. Orr and the mother of two children, Fred and Ralph H., who died in infancy on the 22nd day of July, 1902. Mr. Orr is now assisting Mr. Martindale on the farm work. By the later union of the subject and wife have been born the following children: Francis E. married Ethel Brandenburg, who is now located on his fathers farm, and they have one child, Mildred; Walter E. died in childhood; Annie is at home.
After his marriage Mr. Martindale bought a part of his fathers old farm, on which he lived until 1873. He then sold that place and purchased the sixty-acre tract upon which he now lives. This is located in section 22, Center township, and when he secured it it was a wild, unimproved tract with a small log cabin. This land he has cleared and improved until it now ranks with any of the neighboring farms and now contains one hundred and ninety-six acres. Like nearly all citizens in this part of the state, Mr. Martindale does not confine his attention to any one line of effort, but is diversified in his farming, keeps Poland China hogs, good horses and splendid beef cattle, and the value of the place is enhanced by the fact that it contains an abundance of the finest fruit of various kinds.
Mr. Martindale has always affiliated with the Republican party, but has never cared for the honors or emoluments of office, being content with the exercise of his right of franchise. Fraternally he belongs to Greenfield Lodge No. 135, I.O.O.F., and with his wife belongs to the Rebekahs. In him were early inculcated the principles embodied in the creed of the Methodist Episcopal church, and to his early teachings he has ever since remained true. Mr. Martindale is a man of striking personality and strength of character, which easily places him among the most influential residents of his township. He is public-spirited to a high degree and is unselfish in his endeavors to advance all movements looking to the public good.
Transcribed from Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902 Pages 289-291.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI July 17, 2002.
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