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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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MARTIN, Henry A.

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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

MARTIN, Henry A. (Natchitoches, LA, Sept. 5, 1874--Dubuque, IA, Oct. 29, 1951). Born the son of a former slave, Henry A. Martin learned to read at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen or seventeen, he went to work on a snag boat removing trees from the MISSISSIPPI RIVER to clear passages for barges. Injured on the boat while near Dubuque, he was treated in a local hospital. The leg injury, however, prevented him from returning to his former job. In 1901 he began working at a local barber shop. (1)

Encouraged to pursue the practice of podiatry by a Dr. Rose, a local podiatrist, Henry graduated in 1916 from the Illinois College of Chiropody and Orthopedics (later the Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine). He opened his practice in Dubuque. (2)

Henry and his wife had nine children who were all told,"Get an education; once you have it, it can't be taken away from you." Every child and one great-nephew graduated from DUBUQUE HIGH SCHOOL. (3)

In WORLD WAR II, two of Martin's sons served as officers. Henry, the oldest joined the Navy and became a lieutenant. Robert L. MARTIN became a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps and was a flier with the all-black 99th Fighter Squadron of the Tuskegee Airmen. Following the war, three of Martin's children became foot doctors, three became teachers, two became engineers and one earned an art major. Of the eighteen grandchildren, three became foot doctors. The other grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren all established professional careers. (4)

In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Martin was a member of ST. LUKE'S UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, William F. Powell consistory and Zeid Masonic Temple No. 90 of Des Moines. (5) He was elected to the position of worshipful grand master at the 46th annual convention in 1933. (6)

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Source:

1. Schmidt, Eileen Mozinski. "Descendants Return to Celebrate History," Telegraph Herald, June 9, 2013, p. 11

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid. p.12

5. "Dr. Martin Dies Monday," Telegraph Herald, October 29, 1951, p. 12

6. "Dr. Henry Martin Honored by Lodge," Telegraph-Herald and Times-Journal, July 16, 1933, p. 4