Member Biography

Franklin Martin 


Portrait: Senate photo, East Pennsboro Historical Society


Sessions Office Position District Party
1913-1914       31 Republican
1915-1916       31 Republican


11/03/1844 - 03/21/1932

Franklin Martin (R31) Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin and Perry Counties, 1912-1916

Early Life: 

Franklin Martin, born November 3, 1844, West Fairview, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; son of William and Elizabeth Starr Martin; public and private schools education; White Hall Academy, Camp Hill;  first lieutenant, Civil War, 1862-1865; teacher, three years; engaged, lumber business, West Fairview;  married Laura C. Bowman, 1868, children, Sarah A., William F., Frank J., Sylvania, George Warren, Laura A., Thomson S.; provost marshal, Charles City, Virginia; engaged, lumber business; bank cashier, West Fairview; realtor; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1912-1916; auditing clerk, Pennsylvania State Treasury, 1917-1922; died, epithelioma, face, March 21, 1932 (aged 87) interment, Enola Cemetery, Enola, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Early Career:

Civil War, private, Company H, 1st Pennsylvania Militia, September 11 - 24, 1862, Antietam crisis; enlisted, mustered into federal service, Harrisburg, October 1862, private, Battery C, 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery; corporal, November 1862; sergeant February 1864, second lieutenant, July 1864, first lieutenant, June 1865; was among those who guarded captive Confederate president Jefferson Davis, co-inmate, Confederate Secretary of War Clement C. Clay at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Legend has it that Clay gave Lieutenant Martin a one-dollar Confederate note with the inscription:  “Martins, those harbingers of spring, doth comfort ever to me bring.”

Provost marshal, Charles City, Virginia; engaged, lumber businesses, superintendent, H. R. Rupley, interest sold 1870, then bought, Cumberland and Perry County millworks; bank cashier, West Fairview; realtor; overseer, real estate, farms, McCormick Estate, thirty-four years.

Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships:

Charter member, Goodwill Fire Company; member Civic Club, West Fairview; Superintendent, Sunday School, West Fairview Methodist Church, fifty-two years, official board, thirty-four years. 

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 31st district, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry Counties, 1912-1916; chair, Agriculture Committee; member, Education, Exposition Affairs, Finance, Insurance, Pension and Gratuities and Public Roads and Highways Committees. 

Auditing clerk, Pennsylvania State Treasury, 1917-1922. 


With his neighbor, R.L. Spong took the first charter on the first trolley line from Harrisburg to West Fairview. 

At time of death, was the last member of the Pennsylvania State Senate, who served in the Civil War.


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members M"Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

The Pennsylvania Manual, (1916). Miller, H.P., (Compiler). Baker, W.H., (Assistant Compiler). Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 1116, 1123-1126, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 1095.

Franklin Martin (1844-1932) - Find a Grave Memorial