by Ann Martin Tuttle  (1978)

Submitted by Marylee Knight

taken from History of Panola County

Daniel Martin, Sr. was born in 1781 in South Carolina.  When a young man, he enlisted with Andrew Jackson in the Creek War of 1813 - 1814 and served as a soldier through the campaign, along with David Crockett.

While in Florida, Martin met Eleanor Ayers, daughter of a wealthy sugar cane plantation owner.  The frontiersman, with a strong personality, won the heart of the young lady, but failed to win the approval of her parents.  The couple eloped on two fine saddle horses and went back to South Carolina, where their eight children were born.

In 1832, according to the US Census of 1850, Daniel, Eleanor and seven of their eight children packed their wagons (Jim, the eldest, remained in South Carolina) and began a journey that started out of Austin's Colony in Texas at Pecan Point.  The traveled over Trammel's Trace.  At this time there was no Panola County.  They found a deserted log cabin on a hillside with a spring nearby.  They never traveled any further.

Martin built a small fort and many exciting skirmishes with the Indians took place.  Martin made a living by hunting, trapping and trading with the Indians.  He built a still and had a "recipe" that the Indians took a "liking to".  The Martins were the first permanent Anglo-American settlers in this area.

Martin made a land claim and 4.428 acres of land, located in Rusk and Panola counties, were granted by the Board of Land Commissioners of Shelby County on April 23, 1838.

Children of Daniel and Eleanor were:  Jim, the eldest who remained in South Carolina.  Daniel, Jr. who married Cynthia Metcalf, Peter who married Suzanne Rhodes, John J. who married Nancy Pitts, James (no marriage shown), Rachael who married Joseph Williamson, Teresa who married Thomas Hough and Mary Jane who married Dan Reel.

The children born to Daniel Martin, Jr. and Cynthia Metcalf were Silas Jasper (Sid), Sarah Frances, Norris Rayburn, Mary E. "Mellie", Analizer Ann, Cynthia Jane and Daniel Edward "Dan".

Eleven children were born to Daniel E. "Dan" Martin and Sarah Williams:  Julius, Brady (died in infancy), Mary (died in infancy), Edward "Ed" who married Bonnie Truelock, Annie who married Oliver Williams (one son Hubert), Jack who married Nona Watson, Leland who married Ozelle Weaver (their children: Lois, Jetta, Betty, Phelix and Carolyn), Elbert who married Ona Lee Hill, Ada who married Audie Williams (one son, John Edward), Lavada who married Alfred Thornton and Beauford who married Beatrice Fitzgerald (one daughter, Elizabeth Ann).

The next generation includes the following:  Hubert Williams married Lou Con (children: Patricia, Dan and Kim), John Edward Williams (children: Travis Randal and Jonathan), Lois Martin who married Clois Walker, Jetta Martin who married Albert Taylor (children: Deborah and Brian), Betty martin who married Donald Weatherford (children: Carla, Lisa and Don), Phelix Martin, Carolyn Martin who married Conley Harmon, Elizabeth Ann Martin who married Robert C. "Bobby" Tuttle (children: Lacy and Robert Martin "Rob")

In 1970 area descendants marked the original home site and spring with signs which read, "Original Homesite of Daniel and Eleanor Martin 1833 - 1858".  The landmark was at that time in the midst of a beautiful forest, located between historic Harmony Hill and Martin cemeteries.  The area is now located in Martin Lake.  many acres where the lake is, still belonged to descendants of Daniel and Eleanor Martin at the time the lake was built.  Several descendants of the original family still live a short distance from the home site - the Martins, the Selmans and the Williamsons.

In the fall of 1972, 121 years after the death of Daniel Martin, descendants erected a historical marker to honor the memory of this courageous couple who blazed the trail along Rusk and Panola counties.  Little did they know that the path with they traveled, the Trammel's Trace, would be designated a Farm-to-Market road in 1978.