Ken Anderson, who has shared so much Dunwoody history with me through the years, told me the Martin family lived where Dunwoody High School is today. His recollection was from the 1940s and 1950s. I wanted to find out more about this family and their farm.
Census records show that Harvey Hill and Alma (Berta) Crawford Martin lived there along with their children Floyd, Wyatt and Ruth as early as 1920.
The home was a one-story farmhouse with a central hallway. The Martin’s farm extended from what is now Mount Vernon Road down to Womack Road.
Harvey Hill Martin was born in 1877 in Milton County, the part of Milton that is now Fulton County and the Sandy Springs corridor, between Dunwoody Club Drive and the Chattahoochee River. His father, Ambry Martin, owned 54 acres in Milton County during this time. Berta and Harvey were married in Milton County in 1901.
Jane Anderson Autry and Carolyn Anderson Parker recall going to school with the children of Floyd and Maggie Mae Martin; sons Herbert and Dorris, and daughter Ethel. The Anderson children’s father, Walter, Sr., was the pastor of Dunwoody Baptist Church at the time, so the Andersons often were invited for Sunday dinner at the Martin home. Mrs. Martin’s biscuits are still memorable to Jane Autry, while her sister Carolyn Anderson Parker remembers her delicious pies.
Carlton Renfroe, who still lives on Tilly Mill Road, also remembers the Martin family, their home and their barn. He recalls that the driveway entrance was along Vermack Road and the house was perched in the same spot as today’s high school. That part of the road was known by locals as Martin Road, according to Carolyn Parker.
The Martin grandson’s, Herbert and Dorris, both played on the Dunwoody baseball team in the 1940s. Dunwoody’s team played games against other community and business amateur teams. The field was located along what is now Dunwoody Village Parkway. Nearby Naval Air Station Atlanta and Lawson General Hospital also had teams.
As usual, the Martin family is tied to other early families of Dunwoody. Maggie Mae Eidson, who married Floyd Martin was born to Marcellus Eidson and Margaret Elizabeth Warnock Eidson. Maggie’s great uncle Zachariah Eidson donated the land for the first Dunwoody School, located where the Spruill Center for the Arts and Dunwoody Library are today. The Eidson home on Chamblee Dunwoody Road and the Warnock Cottage on Mount Vernon Road both still stand and are identified by Dunwoody Preservation Trust markers.
Berta Martin died in 1957, and Harvey Martin died in 1958. Both are buried at the historic New Hope cemetery, located along Chamblee Dunwoody Road behind the KinderCare Learning Center.
Thank you to Carlton Renfroe, Ken Anderson, Jane Autry and Carolyn Parker for sharing their memories of the Martin family and their farm.