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MARTIN, JAMES FISHER (1808–1888). James Fisher Martin, doctor, sheriff, and rancher, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, in 1808. He was educated at Edinburgh, Scotland, and then practiced medicine in Liverpool, England. He immigrated to Anderson County, South Carolina, in 1830, moved to Texas during the Texas Revolution, and attended the wounded after the battle of San Jacinto. Subsequently he opened a drugstore and doctor's office in Matagorda. He also invested in cattle and land in the area. Martin, an Episcopalian, married Julia Ann Eberly on May 28, 1840, at Christ Church in Matagorda. They had five children. Between August 1848 and December 1851, Martin served as sheriff of Matagorda County. He resigned his post after killing a suspected rustler, Francis Waldeman; the incident was complicated by the fact that Waldeman was allegedly stealing Martin's cattle. At his trial in Brazoria County, Martin was acquitted. He and his family moved to a site in Karnes County near Helena in the early 1850s and lived on land owned by Julia Eberly Martin's family. In the 1890s the deeds were transferred to the Martin children and grandchildren. Martin died on April 21, 1888, and was buried at the Escondido Cemetery near Kenedy.


Hedwig Krell Didear, A History of Karnes County and Old Helena (Austin: San Felipe, 1969). Matagorda County Historical Commission, Historic Matagorda County (3 vols., 1986–88). Mrs. Harry Joseph Morris, comp. and ed., Citizens of the Republic of Texas (Dallas: Texas State Genealogical Society, 1977).

Grace Bauer


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Grace Bauer, "MARTIN, JAMES FISHER," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.