The John Martin Story


John and Elvina Root Martin were married in 1912.  They lived in Bald Knob until after their first baby son Harold Martin was born in 1914.   Then they moved to Rio Vista, AR.

          They bought one store. There was a Depot, school house that was one room with one teacher, large sawmill, 12 houses.  It was really a booming little place to see all the loggers bringing the logs in on the wagons and teams.  The men at the mill cut the lumber, loaded it on the train that was on the side tracks.  Then it was shipped to the shipyards to build the ships during the war. 

          My daddy was a sawyer in the mill and my mother ran the store.  I was born January 20, 1917. I remember how Rio Vista looked at night with little oil lamps and daddy had a lamp in the store; you could see it for a mile.  Don’t know what it was called but you had to pump it up like a tire pump.

          Don’t know when the men got their sleep; they would work 10 hours in the mill, go home and eat supper, then they would come to the store to talk, laugh and play cards.  People came from Little Rock, Searcy and Bald Knob to our store to go fishing and hunting.

          Mr. Cory owned the mill.  He came from up north.  I remember him, he was so nice.  Like a father to my daddy and uncle Dug Martin and uncle Jessie Martin.

          My mother and daddy worked so hard and they had it all. White picket fence, a son and a daughter.

          Then my mother died on October 9, 1927.  Then in the Depression daddy lost everything. 

If you have additional information on the Martin families of early White County, please share it with the White County Historical Society, P.O. Box 537, Searcy, AR 72145.