Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Jan 13

Joshua Martin: Prominent Physician in Greene County

Posted on January 13, 2022 at 1:26 PM by Melissa Dalton

We have a volunteer indexing the fieldbooks of Washington Galloway. In one of Galloway’s fieldbooks, he noted the funeral of Dr. Joshua Martin, describing it as “the largest one ever was in Xenia” (Fig 1). From viewing this entry, it is clear that Dr. Martin was a well-liked man, and we wanted to take the opportunity to learn a bit more about him.

Fig 1. Excerpt from Galloway's Fieldbook No. 4 p 77 (JPG)

Fig 1. Excerpt from Galloway Fieldbook No. 4 p 77 (Greene County Archives)

Joshua Martin was born on March 23, 1791 to John and Lydia Martin in Loudoun County, Virginia. Martin grew up on the family farm, and his father was a well-known farmer in the area.

At a young age, Martin was profoundly interested in the study of medicine. He moved to Pennsylvania, to the small town of Waterford, and studied under a local doctor. Martin attended some lectures in Philadelphia, but completed his studies in the west.

After completing his studies, Martin emigrated to Ohio in 1813. Upon arrival to Ohio, Martin traveled the southern part of the state looking for a suitable location to open his practice. Ultimately, he settled in Xenia and opened his medical practice.

According to Robinson, there was an epidemic in the region and most physicians were unable to properly treat the disease. However, Dr. Martin, fresh from his studies, had found a successful treatment. As such, the new doctor gained great praise and people throughout the region sought out his services.

Martin briefly left the medical field to pursue a business venture with his brother in Indiana. The business proved unsuccessful, and Martin moved back to Xenia and reopened his practice (Fig 2). After returning to Ohio, Martin’s parents and sisters moved to Lebanon, Ohio.

Fig 2. Tax Assessment of Joshua Martin property, 1831 (JPG)

Fig 2. Tax Assessment of Joshua Martin property, 1831 (Greene County Archives)

On June 4, 1818, Martin wed Hester Whiteman, daughter of Benjamin and Catharine (Davis) Whiteman of Yellow Springs, Ohio. The couple had a daughter, Catherine, who died in infancy. In 1824, Martin’s father died, and his mother and four sisters moved to Xenia to live with Dr. Martin and his wife (Fig 3).

Fig 3. 1840 US Census with Martin family outlined (JPG)

Fig 3. 1840 US Census with Martin outlined (

In 1834, Hester died at the age of 31. On April 21, 1835, Martin married Sarah Poage (Fig 4). The couple had a daughter, Sarah, in 1841. Sadly, Martin’s second wife died shortly after the birth of their daughter, leaving him to raise their infant daughter.

Fig 4. Marriage Record of Joshua Martin and Sarah Poage, 1835 (JPG)

Fig 4. Marriage Record of Joshua Martin and Sarah Poage (Greene County Archives)

Martin would travel far and wide to tend to his patients, with little concern for the conditions of weather or roads. Martin was noted as a man with great intellect, intuition, and integrity, and was revered in the community (Fig 5).

Fig 5. Portrait of Joshua Martin (JPG)

Fig 5. Doctor Joshua Martin (

Joshua Martin died in Louisville, Kentucky on October 21, 1855. His body was returned to Xenia for burial in Woodland Cemetery. Martin was widely respected, and upon learning of his death, almost the entire community attended his funeral. Robinson spoke to Martin’s character the best: “Few men have left an impress of their own character on a community so distinctly marked as has Dr. Joshua Martin.”

Until Next Time.


Greene County Archives

Robinson, G. F. (1902). History of Greene County, Ohio. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company


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