ROBERT DENNISON MARTIN
1854-

From: "Montreal, Pictorial and Biographical"
                Pub. by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Montreal, 1914


One of the best known men in the grain trade in Canada and one whose untimely death cut short a business career that had been highly successful and was full of greater possibilities for the future was Robert Dennison Martin, who was born at Selby, Ontario, October 18, 1854, a son of  William Martin and Elizabeth Thompson.  The father was a farmer and the boyhood of  Robert Dennison Martin was spent in the manner of a farmerís son of that locality and period.  His education, acquired at the place of his nativity, was somewhat limited.  He remained in the district in which he was born until after attaining his majority.  Hearing of the possibilities of the western country, he went to Manitoba and near Deloraine he secured a homestead which he developed and improved.  As he managed to gather together a little capital, he turned his attention to merchandising, becoming a member of  the hardware firm of  Faulkner & Martin at Deloraine, an association which continued for a number of years after his removal to Montreal.  It was at Deloraine that he first became connected with the grain business in which he was destined to win notable success.  In the buying of grain he became associated with Alfred P. Stuart under the firm name of  The R.D. Martin Company, a partnership that continued until the death of  Mr. Martin.

After a few years residence in Winnipeg Mr. Martin came to Montreal in 1899, and with the exception of a year spent in Napanee and a year in Kingston, Montreal was his place of residence throughout the remainder of his life.  The business of  The R.D. Martin Company enjoyed a stead and prosperous growth and to its development Mr. Martin devoted his entire attention and rare ability.  Since his demise the business has been continued under the name of the British Empire Grain Company, Limited.  Mr. Martin suffered from ill health for several years prior to his demise which occurred at his beautiful new home at No. 1 Murray avenue, Westmount, which was completed only a few weeks prior to his demise, which occurred on the 28th of June, 1905.

It was on the 18th of May, 1894, at Winnipeg, that Mr. Martin was united in marriage to Miss Helen Moncrieff  Morton, who was born in Perth, Scotland, a daughter of  Duncan Morton and Jessie Watson.  The father died when Mrs. Martin was but two year of age and her mother survived until a few years ago.  Mrs. Martin came to Canada in 1892 and resided at Winnipeg previous to her marriage, a brother having preceded her to that place.  She is one of five children born to her parents, four of whom survive, as follows: Jessie Morton, the wife of  George Banks of  Perth, Scotland; Duncan Morton, residing in Winnipeg;  Helen Moncrieff Morton, who is Mrs. R.D. Martin;  and Madeline Morton, the wife of Andrew C. Craig of Winnipeg.  

To Mr. and Mrs. Martin were born five children: Charles Stuart Martin, a student in McGill University; and  Helen Elizabeth Martin,   Edith Laura Martin,   Jessie Watson Martin  and  Robert Henry Martin, all at home.

Mr. Martin was quiet and domestic in his tastes and habits.  He held membership in only one club, the Canada Club, and did not enter actively into its affairs.  He was very fond of his family and found his chief delight in the home circle, being a loving and kind husband and father.  As a business man he was alert and energetic, ready for any emergency and he seemed to pass by no opportunity that pointed to honorable success.  Contemporaries and colleagues had the highest respect for him and more than that, he gained the warm friendship and esteem of a large majority of his acquaintances.  Although a later arrival in Montreal than many of his business associates, he gained prominence among them and attained an enviable position in the business world.  He was a member of the Board of Trade and his opinions carried weight among its representatives and in other connections which had to do with the cityís welfare.  He was truly Canadian in spirit and interests and his devotion to the public good was one of his notable traits of character.


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