David Ralph Martin

February 2, 1930 - December 3, 1969

 
 

David Ralph Martin was born on February 2, 1930, the fifth child of William Porter Martin and Wanda Aretta Easton Martin. He was born in Beaver City, Beaver County, Utah

There were eight children in my Mitchell's family, five boys and three girls. There were Porter Authel ( Thel - 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 we're 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 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.

Mitchell's 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 "Julia Ann" 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.

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