Martin Luther Brown

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
January 27, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New Published 1923,
The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 126

Martin Luther Brown, cashier of the Fairmont State Bank, one of the
substantial financial institutions of the judicial center of Marion County,
was born on a farm in Clinton District, Monongalia County, West Virginia, on
the 20th of March, 1867, and is the eldest son of Jabez A. and Mary V.
(Galliher) Brown. The father was born in Monongalia County in the year of
1844, and his entire active career was marked by close association with farm
enterprise, his death having occurred in 1903. He was a son of Jabez Brown,
Sr., who was born at Brown’s Mills, Harrison County, West Virginia, in 1802,
a son of Jabez, who was too young for service as a soldier in the War of the
Revolution, but whose service patriotism was expressed in his service as a
teamster with General Washington’s army. After the close of the war Jabez
Brown (I) came to what is now Harrison County, West Virginia, where he
reclaimed a farm at the place now known as Brown’s Mills. He was born in New
Jersey, where representatives of the family, including, probably, his father,
settled upon removal from Connecticut. The father of the subject of this
sketch was a republican, and he and his wife were members of the Baptist
Church. Mrs. Brown was born in Marion County, a daughter of William Galliher,
whose wife was a member of the Miller family that became prominently
identified with the pioneer history of this country.
Martin L. Brown was reared on the old home farm that was the place of his
birth, and his youthful educational advantages included those of the
University of West Virginia. At the age of seventeen he became a successful
teacher in the rural schools, and at the age of twenty-three years he was
appointed county superintendent of schools for his native county, to fill out
an unexpired term, in 1890.
Thereafter he was regularly elected to this office for a term of two
years. In Monongalia County he also served as deputy clerk of the Circuit
Court for two years, and for several years he was chief clerk in the post
office at Morgantown. He next held for three years the position of teller in
the farmer’s & Merchants bank at Morgantown, and later served as assistant
cashier of the Citizen’s National Bank of that city.
In 1906 he organized the bank of Morgantown, and of the same he continued
the cashier until January 1, 1911, when he resigned to accept the office of
warden of the West Virginia Penitentiary. he held this position for four
years, and for the ensuing three years was engaged in the insurance business
at Morgantown, West Virginia. he had given eleven years of service as a
member of the Morgantown Board of Education, of which he was secretary during
this period.
In 1917 Mr. Brown was elected cashier of the Fairmont State Bank, and he
has since been numbered among the progressive business men and honored
citizens of the county seat of Marion County, where also he is a director of
the Fairmont Tool Company. He is treasurer of the local Red Cross, a member
of the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club, and is affiliated with the
Masonic fraternity and the Odd fellows. In political matters he has been an
active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The first marriage of Mr. Brown was with Miss Sallie K. Duncan, who was
born in Clinton District, Monongalia County, a daughter of Charles H. Duncan,
and whose death occurred in 1899. She is survived by two children, Nellie G.
and Ross D. For his second wife Mr. Brown wedded Miss Cora B. Duncan,
daughter of Joseph R. Duncan, of Pittsburgh, and the child of this union is
Joseph T.