Benone F. (B.F.) MARTIN, son of Stephen MARTIN, one of the first settlers of the Smith Mills neighborhood, was born near Smith's Mill on the 26 Jul 1829. B.F.'s grandfather was John MARTIN, son of John MARTIN, former colonist of Ireland. John (the second) was born in South Carolina in 1759 and died at Smith Mills, Kentucky in 1838. In 1784 he married Drucille WILLIAMS, born about 1762 at South Carolina and died in Smith Mills, Kentucky in 1844. Drucille and John MARTIN had a son Stephen MARTIN, born at Smith Mills, Kentucky in 1790 and died there in 1873.
In B.F.'s youthful days, there were no regular schools, and the greater part of his education was gained from itinerant teachers. Near his father's house was Colonel Robert SMITH's old sweep mill, the only one in the country around, and a part of work allotted to him, was the bolting of flour in an old fashioned hand bolter for the family use. This flour, when bolted, was, perhaps, as course as bran, yet it was so highly regarded as a luxury the little ones were only treated to cakes made of it once a week, on Sunday morning. Another luxury to which he, with the other children was sometimes treated, was mush and milk for supper, supplied in a large bowl set before them, and each child permitted to dip for himself. Such a comfort or convenience as a pair of pants was not known until the boy had grown large enough to handle a plow. His usual dress consisted of a long coarse cotton garment, cool and airy - particularly in the winter time - with a button at the neck. All of the cloth, including cotton for the boys and linsey for the girls, was made at home on a handloom. Thus the subject of this sketch grew up, and yet he lost no time in learning the ways of the world, and fitting himself for useful citizenship.
At the age of 27, on the 23 Dec 1856, he married Miss Margaret (SMITH), daughter of Colonel Robert SMITH. They had two daughters, one the wife of Dr. L. C. ROYSTER, a promising young physician.
Mr. MARTIN was the owner of a fine body of land, and was one of Henderson's most successful farmers. He was the first constable of his district elected after the adoption of the new Constitution, in which office he served during the years 1851, '52, '53, '55, '56. He also served his district as Magistrate during the years 1855, '58, '59 and '60.
Contributed by Mrs. Owen DAVIS, Henderson, Kentucky
B. F. MARTIN REFERENCES
MARRIAGES IN HENDERSON COUNTY, 1858 - 1900
B. F. Martin married Margaret Smith, 22 Dec 1856, Book 003, Page 225
B. F. Martin, born 1829, died 1909, Smith Mills Cemetery
1850 CENSUS OF HENDERSON COUNTY
Stephen Martin age 25, Page 136, House No. 632 and Benone F. (m) age 21
1860 CENSUS OF HENDERSON COUNTY
B. F. Martin age 31, Margaret (wife) age 22, Sallie (dau) age 1
1870 CENSUS OF HENDERSON COUNTY
B. F. Martin age 41, Margaret (wife) age 33, Sallie B. (dau) age 10, Fannie (dau) age 5, Elizabeth Smith age 74
1880 CENSUS OF HENDERSON COUNTY
B. F. Martin age 50, Margaret (wife) age 42, Sallie (dau) age 20, Fannie (dau) age 15
Contributed by Netta Mullin, HCH&GS
Copyright 2002 HCH&GS