JAMES H. MARTIN. Among the essentially representative citizens of Murphysboro, Jackson county, whose influence and activities have contributed to the economic and social progress of this favored section of the state, stands James H. Martin, who claims the fine old Hoosier commonwealth as the place of his nativity, but the major part of whose life has been passed in Illinois. He is one of the leading members of the bar of Jackson county, and is a citizen of broad views and marked progressiveness. He is identified with various important corporations in his home city, including the City National Bank of Murphysboro, of which he is a director and concerning which specific mention is made in other parts of this publication.
Mr. Martin was born in Ripley county, Indiana, on the 18th day of October, 1852. He was a child at the time of his parents' removal to Illinois, the family settling in Richland county in 1865. There he was reared to adult age and there, he availed himself of the advantages of the public schools. That he made good use of his opportunities is indicated by the fact that as a youth he taught school for some time in the country districts, and proved himself an able and popular exponent of the pedagogic profession. He early formulated different plans for a future career, and decided to prepare himself for the profession of law. With this end in view he began his studies under a private preceptor and finally entered the law department of the celebrated University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he remained until 1880. He was admitted to the bar in May of 1880, and shortly afterwards he established his home in Murphysboro, Illinois, where he has continued in effective practice during the long, intervening years. This interval has been marked by worthy accomplishments on his part, and he has gained prestige as one of the ablest and most conscientious representatives of his profession in this section of the state. For a number of years past he has given his attention principally to real-estate, common law and chancery practice, and along these lines he controls a large and representative business.
In all that pertains to the general welfare of the community, Mr. Martin has shown a loyal and public-spirited interest. He has gained a secure vantage ground in the confidence and esteem of the community in which he has so long made his home. He is a strong advocate of the principles and policies for which the Democratic party stands sponsor, and while he has given praiseworthy service in behalf of the party, he has never been an aspirant for political office. He was nominated at one time for the office of judge of the circuit court, but he declined the nomination. Since 1908 he has served as president of the board of education of the Murphysboro Township High School, and in the line of his profession he is attorney for several of the representative corporations of his home city, including the Jackson County Homestead Loan and Building Association, of which he was the principal organizer. In 1892 he was appointed attorney for the City National Bank, of which he has been a director from the time of its organization. He is attorney for the Murphysboro Telephone. Company, as well as the Ohio
& Mississippi Valley Telephone Company. In a fraternal way he is identified with the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias.
In the year 1888, on November 13, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Martin to Miss Elizabeth Kennedy, daughter of George and Ellen (Ross) Kennedy, for many years residents of Murphysboro. Mr. Kennedy was engaged in the mercantile business for fully forty years in that city, being well and favorably known in the community where he has made his home for so many years. Mr. and Mrs. Martin have two children: Milford M., who is a student at the Murphysboro township high school, and Anna K., who was graduated from the Murphysboro high school as a member of the class of 1909, and who is now Mrs. Otis F. Glenn.
CITY NATIONAL BANK OF MURPHYSBORO. One of the strong and actively ordered financial institutions of Jackson county and one that contributes its quota to the commercial and industrial stability of this favored section of the country is the City National Bank of Murphysboro. The institution is the direct successor to the Bank of Murphysboro, organized by James E. Walker and his wife, who owned and controlled the business for a number of years. In 1892 the City National Bank was organized and incorporated, and business had practical initiation on the 25th day of November of that year. At the time of organization the total assets of the bank were $112,000, and in the early stages of its operations its individual deposits aggregated something less than $60,000. The enterprise has been handled with marked conservatism and circumspection, and the institution has gained an impregnable hold upon the public confidence and esteem, aggregating in bonds alone a capital stock of $50,000, and the total deposits now aggregating $550,000. In 1895 Mr. Walker and his associates sold their interests in the banks to Mr. William K. Murphy and others. Mr. Hardy has been chief executive of the institution since May, 1899. The bank has a fine modern building of brick, two stories in height and twenty-four by sixty feet in lateral dimension.