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Notes on Family of W. E. and Maggie Holder Martin. By William Cody Martin, Jr


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Notes on Family of W.E. and Maggie Holder Martin.
By William Cody Martin, Jr.

July 2001


The best I can tell, my great-grandparents, Willie Edgar Martin and his wife Maggie Bell Holder Martin lived in the house at the end of Baker Street in Granbury, Texas from the early 1920's (possibly before) until at least the late 1930's.
My father, William Cody Martin, Sr., was born in the house on September 17, 1926 and had many memories of the house. He told me that he remembered his grandfather (Willie Edgar) sitting on the back porch with his 30-30 rifle and shooting at wolves and coyotes that were trying to kill the sheep that he ran on the property to the west and south. He also fondly remembered that when he was a young boy, some of the black farm workers who occasionally worked there would take him to the Brazos River fishing from time to time. He recalled that they would tie a rope around his waist and then to a tree to prevent him from falling into the river.
My grandfather Cody Catlett Martin died before I was born, so I never had the opportunity to hear anything directly from him about his parents, or the time he may have spent in the house on Baker Street. He was married to my grandmother in 1923, so I'm not sure if he lived in the house or not. Although I have heard a number of stories from family and other Granbury old-timers about his father Willie Edgar Martin.
Willie Edgar was known around Granbury as "Bill" Martin, and his family referred to him as "Big Papa". His wife, Maggie, was known to family as "Big Mama". She always referred to him as "Mr. Will". Apparently he was a colorful character and was known to love a practical joke. I have heard stories that it was not uncommon for "Bill" and his friend (at the time Hood County Sheriff) Tom Mullins, to get into a fist fight on the Granbury town square after sharing a bottle of whiskey. I was told that these type antics caused some distress for Big Mama, who was very religious and active in the First Baptist Church in Granbury. In fact, my father always maintained that Big Mama was the "Baptist Pope".
Another story I heard about Big Papa related the time that he bet someone that he could carry several large, heavy bags of sacked cattle feed a certain distance. The bet was placed and Big Papa got down on his hands and knees, had someone place the feed sacks on his back, and proceeded to crawl the specified distance to win the bet.
I was sixteen years old when Big Mama died, and I remember visiting her frequently while I was growing up. She once told me that her mother related a story to her about a time during the Civil War. I believe that they lived in Missouri. They had word that Yankees were approaching their house, so they drove wire into the hooves of their mules, causing them to limp, so that they would not be taken by the Union soldiers.
The three sons of Willie Edgar and Maggie, (Cody, Clive and Lynn) were also well known in Granbury.
My grandfather Cody Catlett Martin married Sara Sue Landers, the daughter of local saloon owner George Landers and Mollie Sellars. An historical marker is on the building that housed the Aston-Landers Saloon on the north side of the Granbury square. George Landers mother was Susan Nutt, a sister of the blind brothers, Jesse and Jake, who owned the Nutt Grocery also on the square. George's father Henry Landers was killed in the Civil War, his mother Susan died shortly thereafter, and he was among a number of orphans that were raised by Jake Nutt on the Nutt Ranch near Paluxy, Texas in southwest Hood County.
Clive David "Poodle" Martin ( I don't know the origin of his nickname) coached the Granbury High football team in the 1920's that beat TCU. He was married to Carletta DuVal. According to family members, Poodle was quite a colorful character and was often involved in playing some sort of prank or joke on someone.
Lynn Drennon Martin married Lucy Juliff on August 8, 1936. Lucy was the granddaughter of Dan Cogdill, wealthy Granbury banker and businessman, and builder of the Cogdell House on Travis Street in Granbury. I knew my great-uncle Lynn Martin personally before he died in 1971, and he was a fun loving and fine person. When Lynn was a young man, he and Granbury legend E.G. "Pig" Williams decided they would go to Hollywood and become movie stars. They took off on Lynn's motorcycle, and made it as far as Brownwood, Texas, where they hit a dog in the road. This caused them to wreck the motorcycle, so they came home and never did become movie stars. Another story involving Lynn happened when they lived on Baker Street. Lynn had received a new .22 caliber rifle. A hired hand was coming to the house from the barn carrying a bucket full of milk, and walking with his head down. Poodle dared Lynn to shoot a hole in the bucket, which he proceeded to do. The hired hand was understandably upset and told Willie Edgar, causing Lynn to get into a lot of trouble.
I'm sure that there were many other stories about Big Papa, Big Mama, and their sons who all spent at least a part of their lives at the end of Baker Street, but they have been lost to time.


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