CAPT. JOHN MARTIN
SURNAMES: BORDEN, PITMAN,
resides at Alviso, where he is extensively engaged in the
warehouse business, being part owner and sole manager of the "Empire Warehouse,"
which is a large brick structure with an iron roof, and fire-proof. He also rents two buildings, which
he devotes to his business. He was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1825. His
parents dying when he was an infant, he was brought up in his native place in
one of the many charitable public institutions, where he received a good
education. At the age of sixteen years he entered upon a seafaring life, and it
was while following this occupation that he came to the United States, landing
at New York in 1842. He continued his seafaring life for the next three years.
After visiting various countries of the world, he found himself in Chili and
there he remained for about four years, being engaged in the coasting trade on
the southwestern coast of America. Ill health necessitated a change of climate,
and consequently, in 1849, Captain Martin shipped for San Francisco in the
American ship George Washington, which called in at Valparaiso.
He arrived at San Francisco in July, 1849, and engaged in freighting on the bay. He was soon placed in command of the schooner George H. Ensign, in the passenger and freight business between San Francisco and Alviso. He prospered in this work, and eventually became the owner of vessels himself. In 1868 Captain Martin and J. S. Carter built the schooners Maggie Douglas and Nellie Carter, of 100 tons burden, and engaged in the grain trade. This life, to which he was thoroughly trained and for which he was well fitted, he led for twenty years, leaving it in 1870 to enter into the warehouse business at his present home.
The subject of our sketch was united in marriage, in 1862, with Miss Theresa B. Borden, a native of Ireland, who came to California from Flushing, Long Island. To Captain and Mrs. Martin have been born eleven children. Their names are: John T., Peter B., a resident of San Francisco; Elinor L., the wife of Neal Pitman, of San Jose; May A., Terry P., residing in San Francisco; William H., now deceased; James C., Marguerite E., Flora M., Esther J., and Theodore E.
Captain Martin has long been identified with the interests
and growth of Alviso; and is one of its most respected citizens. After many
years spent in the active, roving life of the seafaring man, he is well content
to live in this pleasant valley, leading a useful life and surrounded by his
interesting family. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
being associated with Santa Clara Lodge, No. 52. Politically he is a Democrat,
with liberal views, and during the war was a strong Union man.
Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight