MEMOIRS OF ERNEST SHIPP MARTIN
THE FIRST EIGHTY-ONE YEARS
FIRST EDITION OCTOBER 2016
With Ernieís permission, a few words have been removed or changed.
THE DASH Somewhere I read that the dates on your headstone just represent the beginning and the end.
On the other hand that little dash that separates those dates represents a lifetime. Come with me to revisit my
lifetime of memories. Itís been a long journey and other than the moment, our lives consists of memories. In
January 2014 I had quintuple bypass surgery and came very close to not making it back. That started me thinking
about my life and how lucky I have been, and probably because of my engineering background, I think in numbers.
On my 80th birthday I had lived over 29,000 days or about 700,000 hours which equals approximately 42,000,000
minutes. That means that my heart has been working continuously for about three billion heartbeats. Thatís a
bunch. And time keeps marching on. Itís time to reflect and take some time to smell the roses. First to put
things in prospective, let us take a look back to the day I was born and consider some of the ways our world has
changed since then. The following is a list of just a few events or inventions during that period: ? lived through
thirteen presidents, including the first black president and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
- walked on the moon, and exploring space
- television (invented by Philo T. Farnsworth, born in Beaver Aug 19, 1908)
- the internet
- cell phones
- credit cards
- duct tape
- polio vaccine
- microwave ovens
- super glue
- paper clips
- the atomic bomb
- contact lenses
- heart transplants
- tie wraps
How in the world did we get along without this stuff ?
FEBRUARY 10, 1935, BEAVER, UTAH
I was lucky enough to be born to Porter Authell (Thell) and Elsie Merle Martin.
They were just kids themselves when they
were married on July.14, 1934 in Parowan, Utah with her brother Otto and his wife Jessie standing as witnesses.
He was only eighteen and she was twenty-one. I was born at home and arrived a little early at seven months.
Apparently I hadnít had time to get as pretty as my handsome parents, because my dad turned to my grandfather Shipp
(a Mormon Bishop) and said, ďisnít he ugly, he looks like a baby bird that fell out of a tree onto the sidewalkĒ.
My grandmother Martin and old Doctor McQuarrie made the delivery. I was so small at birth, they didnít have a
scale to weigh me so they wrapped me in cheesecloth and put me in a shoe box behind a wood stove, as an incubator.
They weighed me at six weeks and I weighed 2 1/2 pounds. At 6 months I was at normal weight. Ainít life amazing?
In 1935 this country was in the depths of the great depression caused by the collapse of the stock market in 1929.
On top of that, the center of our country, the Great Plains agricultural farmlands, where the soil was so rich it
produced bumper crops, but was farmed without any ecological awareness of the effects of mother natureís wrath.
Consequently due to several continuous years of drought, the wind and erosion combined to turn the rich farmland
into the Great Dust Bowl.
MY MOTHERS FAMILY - My motherís father, Earnest Alexander Shipp was born March 22, 1879
in Beaver, Utah. He died in Salt Lake City, Utah April 7, 1935 just two months after I was born as the result
of complications during gallbladder surgery. He was 56 when he died Her mother Irene Gale Shipp was born
December 7, 1882. She died February 11, 1927 after the birth of her 12th child Zoe, She was 45 when she died..
Earnest and Irene were married in 1902. They had eleven children, four boys and seven girls. There was Ozro,
Otto, Warren, Calvin, Bardella, Nola, Cinda, my mother, Geneva, Frankie and Zoe who died in her first year.
MY FATHERS FAMILY Unlike my motherís family history, I was able to dig up some interesting background
on my dadís family tree. There were eight children in my dadís family, five boys and three girls. There were my dad
(the oldest), Bill, Louise, Nina, Dan, Virginia, Ralph and Mitch. Big families were the norm out in the country.
You must remember, this is Utah weíre talking about. And on top of that, there was no TV. The Martin side descends
from my great-great-grandfather, Daniel Stiles Martin. Daniel Stiles was the second child of six born to
Irish-Catholic immigrant parents. His father, Edward, a tailor, and mother, Anne left Londonderry, Ireland, on
May 10, 1834, and arrived in St. Johns, New Brunswick, Canada, June 13, 1834. Their immigration papers revealed
that their hometown was Strabane, Tyrone County, Ireland. Their final destination was Newark, New Jersey where
other family members resided. We can only speculate that upon disembarking in St. Johns the young couple probably
engaged a small boat to the mainland and then procured a wagon for transportation as was the customary mode of travel
for these times. Daniel was born February 6, 1836, just a year shy of a century before my birth. The fate of the other
five children is unknown. Daniel was fifteen when he enlisted in the United States Army on the 6th of April 1858 in
New York City. His occupation list at the time of enlistment was farmer. His physical description was: hair brown,
eyes hazel, complexion fair, height 5 feet 5 Ĺ inches. He was assigned to the Company E, 2nd Dragoons. In 1857 when
James Buchanan became president there were charges by Federal officials that the only authority recognized in Utah
was the Mormon Church. They charged that the Mormon majority thwarted attempts by the Federal government to punish
polygamy and murder and failure to protect gentiles who were victims of illegal actions. In May, 1858, three
hundred new recruits, including Daniel Stiles Martin, arrived in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the major point of
concentration for supplies and men for the upcoming campaign against the Mormons. However, peace was negotiated
between the Mormons and the federal government. Indian problems in Utah and Oregon Territories, a civil war in
Mexico and the impending war between the states gave the young recruits much to think about. Nearly half the
dragoons deserted. We will never know what caused Daniel to desert on August 2, 1859 and eventually brought him
to Beaver, Utah, where he would meet his future wife, Elizabeth Ann Porter.
My great-great-grandmother Elizabeth Ann Porter was born December 11, 1847 in Hinton, NSW, Australia. She was
the second child of John and Mary Ann Bryant Porter. The curly red hair that she would eventually pass on to her
many descendants already crowned her head. Like her brother William, she was blessed in the Methodist church in
Hinton. By the time she reached her fifth birthday she had already been subjected to the escalating discord between
her father and mother. When her mother made the choice to join the members of the Mormon church who were immigrating
to America she also chose to leave her husband John behind. They boarded the barque ďJulia AnnĒ which sailed to
San Pedro, California, in 1854. All of the family ties with John Porter were severed. For three years they labored
with settlers in San Bernardino. In 1857 two events occurred that would ultimately unite Elizabeth Ann with her
future husband. First the family moved from San Bernardino to the Utah Territory and became a part of the first
pioneer group to settle in Beaver. We do not know the details, nor can we trace the steps that brought them
together in Beaver, where they were married April 11, 1863. He was 27 and she was 15. After their marriage
they made their home in Beaver. Daniel had several occupations, mostly he was a farmer but he also tried acting
and teaching at different times. What was remarkable was the size of their posterity. They had 14 children,
7 boys and 7 girls. Elizabeth Ann died April 4, 1892, she was 45. Daniel Stiles died July 1912 at the age of 76.
Daniel Stiles Martin with six of his seven sons
Standing: from left, James Leonard, Edgar Morin, Edward Morin, William Oscar
Seated: Daniel Oliver, Daniel Stiles, John Porter (missing, Porter Authell)
Their second child was Daniel Oliver Martin, seated on his fathers right, was born March 30, 1866, in Beaver.
He was a farmer in Greenville. He was my great-grandfather. On September 4, 1887 he married my great-grandmother
Sara Jane Edwards. Daniel Oliver died March 6, 1919 and Sara Jane died March 2, 1945.