started attending First Presbyterian Church with my parents when I
moved to Clarkston in the fall of 1943, but because of the uncertainty
in local employment, did not join until June 1949. Dr. David Brown was
pastor at the time. After he’d been here for probably 25 years, he
retired, and the Rev. George Hendrick followed. Brown had been
something of a mentor to Hendrick. Eileen Hendrick was a
helpmate, taking members to the doctor, visiting the sick and elderly.
During their service, the “Little White Church” which had been the
original church, was demolished and the present sanctuary built. Later,
Hendrick Hall and other rooms above it were added. During this time,
there was a huge increase in church membership. Members were active in
groups that catered to their interests and activities.
joining the church I have served in different capacities: as Elder (9
years), Deacon (3 years), Clerk of Session (1 year) and on several
major committees. I volunteered in the office for several years and
worked with the OWLS from their beginning until about five years ago.
At that time, the OWLS’ large membership was interested in numerous
activities. One of them was a tour group and I was active in planning
and directing several of our trips. We toured Canada and places of
interest in the U.S., including New Orleans and Branson,
church has served my family and me in many ways. One niece, two
great-nieces and three great-great nieces have been married in the
sanctuary. My retirement and 80th birthday parties were here in
Hendrick Hall. Through the years, my spiritual growth has been in and
through this church.
Both of my grandfathers were born in
Germany and my grandmothers were born in the U.S. of German immigrants.
My father’s parents settled in a German-speaking colony near Rochester,
Minnesota. My grandmother on my mother’s side came west from Iowa in
1873 to homestead in one of the classic American migrations. She was 12
at the time and drove one of the covered wagon mule teams. My mother’s
father joined the army shortly after arriving from Germany and he was
sent to western forts located in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and
California. He met my grandmother while he was stationed at Fort
Lapwai, and after a move to Fort Coeur d’Alene, my mother was born.
When grandfather was transferred from California to Texas, grandmother,
tired of moving the family from fort to fort, decided to homestead.
near her parents in the Genesee area.
My mother graduated from
high school in Genesee and worked as a school teacher and a telephone
operator there. She married Conrad Martin who had moved west from his
home in Minnesota in April, 1904. They first lived in Genesee where my
sister was born, and later, Nezperce, where I was born. My father
started his railroad career in St. Paul, Minnesota. When he moved to
Idaho, he first railroaded out of Pullman, Washington, and then
transferred to the private line between Craigmont and Nezperce. While
he was conductor on that line, he learned from a passenger of a farm
near Nyssa, Oregon that was for sale. He decided to buy it
sight-unseen. He put all our belongings and a cow in a railroad car and
we moved that way. The branch of the track where we unloaded ran to
about one and a half miles from our house. This was a new experience
for our family and especially through the depression years, everyone
worked hard to make a living. Our farm grew row crops, hay, alfalfa,
and wheat. I attended a Union Sunday School held in a school in Kingman
Kolony, Oregon. The United Presbyterians began a mission church in
nearby Adrian and I joined them. I graduated from Nyssa High
After graduating from Lewis Clark Normal (now LCSC) in
1932, my first employment was teaching social studies to 2nd through
8th grade children in Vale, Oregon. In 1934, I was paid $75 per month
for nine months, but the county was so poor that they paid me in
warrants. My board and room cost $25; fortunately, the landlord
accepted warrants. The school used the platoon system so I had an
incredible 300 students that year. I continued teaching in Oregon and
Idaho schools for eight years.
In 1943, my father sold the ranch after
25 years and moved to Clarkston for my mother’s health because doctors
thought the lower elevation would help her heart condition. I moved
here from Caldwell, Idaho about that time to help with her and to begin
a new career. I was employed as a Children’s Case Worker for the State
of Washington in Clarkston for 30 years, handling adoptions, neglected
children, and foster care placement, retiring in 1973.
retirement, I traveled extensively, crossing the Pacific and Atlantic
Oceans to visit many interesting countries. I also did some local
volunteer work. My family network in the area has been a great
blessing. At this time, my activities have slowed down a great deal,
but I am still able to attend church and OWLS Bible Study quite