PROF. CHARLES LAWBURGH MARTIN.
Professor Charles Lawburgh Martin, superintendent of the city schools of Rawlins, was born October 13, 1872, in Rockport, Indiana, a son of the late John Martin who was a native of Italy but came to America in 1852 when a youth of thirteen years. He settled near Rockport, Indiana, and was a painter by trade, following that pursuit successfully throughout his remaining days. He was born in October, 1839, and passed away in 1899, at the age of sixty years, at the National Soldiers' Home in Dayton, Ohio, for he was a Civil war veteran, having served in defense of his adopted country as a member of Company H, Twenty-fifth Indiana Infantry. For three years he was engaged in active duty as a private and was wounded at Fort Donelson. He suffered many hardships during his army experience, from which he never recovered, and his last days were spent in the Soldiers' home amid his old army comrades, their blue uniform indicating the valiant service which they had rendered to the country. Mr. Martin was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, being identified with James C. Veatch Post. His wife bore the maiden name of Caroline Elizabeth Lawburgh and was born in West Carrollton, Ohio. Her father was a native of Holland, while her mother's people were of French-Huguenot stock. Mrs. Martin passed away at Rockport in 1886, when forty-one years of age, her birth having occurred in 1844. By her marriage she had become the mother of five children, four of whom are yet living, three sons and a daughter, while Elsie died in infancv. The others are: Edward, a resident of Rockport, Indiana, where he is widely known as a prominent merchant, while in 1917 he was elected to the office of mayor of that city; James, who is also engaged in merchandising in Rockport; Charles L., of this review; and Minnie, who is living in Dayton, Ohio.
Professor Charles L. Martin acquired his elementary education in the schools of Rockport and passed through consecutive grades to his graduation from the high school as a member of the class of 1890. He later spent three years as a student in De Pauw University at Greencastle, Indiana, and for one year continued his education in the Indiana University at Bloomington. He also studied in the University of Utah and in the University of Wyoming. In the meantime he had become actively identified with the work of the ministry, having in 1895 joined the Indiana Conference. He completed his conference course in the study of theology in 1899. He had been ordained a deacon in 1897, was made an elder in 1899 and served several student charges, one extending from 1901 until 1904 and another from 1905 until 1907. He devoted fifteen years to the work of the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church, covering the period between 1895 and 1910. His first professional activity, however, had been in the field of teaching, to which he devoted his energies from 1892 until 1895, being thus connected with the district schools of Spencer county, Indiana. He afterward entered the ministry, being mostly engaged on student appointments while completing his education. Two years were spent in Utah in missionary work and during the following five years he was superintendent of the city schools at Park City, Utah, where he installed many new and modern features in advanced education. In July, 1915, he came to Rawlins and in August of that year entered upon his present position as superintendent of the city schools, to which he had been unanimously elected in June previous. Again his labors have been of the utmost effect and importance in improving the school system of the city, the schools of Rawlins today being recognized as among the most advanced in all branches of learning in the state. A domestic science department is conducted, while training is given in all of the higher branches of learning and in several foreign languages. The school contains all of the latest and best in equipment and furnishings and there is a large assembly hall with stage on which entertainments may be presented. Instruction is given in athletics and in the manual of arms and the pupils are provided with shower and bath privileges. There has been installed an electrical equipment for the domestic science department and for manual training work and a splendid library is maintained to supplement the instruction given along these various lines. In fact, the Rawlins schools compare favorably with the schools in any of the leading cities of the country and much of the present achievement has been brought about through the efforts of Professor Martin, who is a liberal and broad-minded educator and who has won the cooperation and support of the board of education of Rawlins, which is composed of progressive and farsighted men. In November, 1917, Professor Martin organized the Wyoming State Penitentiary Evening School, which he directs with five assistants, sessions being held four evenings a week and pupils range in age from eighteen to sixty years of age. Professor Martin is identified with several organizations which have to do with educational progress. He belongs to the National Education Association, the National Society for the Study of Education, the National Society for Vocational Education and the Wyoming State Teachers' Association. He is president of the Prisoners' Welfare Association of Wyoming.
On the 12th of May, 1901, Professor Martin was married in Putnamville, Indiana, to Miss Pearl McClure, a native of that place and a daughter of William and Ellen (Perry) McClure, representatives of an old Kentucky family of Scotch descent. The father has passed away but the mother is living and makes her home near Putnamville, Indiana. To Professor and Mrs. Martin have been born three sons and three daughters: Paul McClure, who was born in Cloverdale, Indiana, January 15, 1903; Ellen Elizabeth, born in Cloverdale, July 20, 1904; Charles Frederick, born in Greencastle Indiana, June 4, 1907; Cora Lillian, born in Park City, Utah, December 28, 1908; Mary Beatrice, born in Park City, May 22, 1912; and John William, born on the farm at Putnamville, Indiana, June 9, 1914.
In politics Professor Martin maintains an independent course, voting according to the dictates of his judgment with little regard for party ties. Fraternally he is a Mason, also has membership with the Knights of Pythias and the Sons of Veterans, and he is a consistent and loyal member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is now head of the Boys' Club, a religious dramatic club known as the Knights of the Holy Grail. Professor Martin is one of the products of America's great melting pot. He is only of the second generation in this country, his father having been a native of Italy. Coming to America, however, the father identified his interests with the land of the free, became an active factor in the business life of the community in which he lived, and when his adopted country needed military aid made ready response to her call. His children were thoroughly imbued with the American spirit and Professor Martin has made valuable contribution to American progress along educational lines. His standards of life are high and he holds to advanced ideals in his chosen profession. Continuously and closely studying all those questions which have to do with the preparation of the young for life's practical and responsible duties, he has evolved new ideas and displayed an initiative in methods of instruction that has brought most splendid results and Rawlins is to be congratulated that he stands today at the head of her school system.