Forrest Martin

My Dad's first cousin

Taken From: Dickens County – It’s Land and People, 1986, page 224

Forrest Martin and Iva Smith were married June 24, 1941, in Spur, Texas, in the home of the Methodist preacher, Hershel Thurston. Their attendants were Fred and Cleo Delisle, Betty Miller Lewhew and Mary Draper Saxon.

Clarence Forrest Martin, Jr. was born January 19, 1920 in the family home at West End. He was the fourth child and second son of Forrest and Mamie Garrett Martin. Attending were Mrs. J. I. Greer and Dr. Morris. He started to school at Highway in 1926 and in 1933 entered Spur High School. Early in the life Forrest’s Uncle Brokie Martin started calling him “June”, some of the family still call him that. He went through school and college as “Junior”. In high school his schoolmates called him “Fuzzy” and in college he was nicknamed “Pinto”. Forrest went through college on a football scholarship and farmed in the summer. He followed bug brother Harry to Altus Jr. College in Altus, Oklahoma and New Mexico A&M at Las Cruces, but then went with his Altus coach, W.W. Nicklous, to Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He received his B.S. degree from East Texas State Teachers College at Commerce in 1942 and his Masters from Texas Tech in 1955.

Iva Oleta Smith was born in a newly rebuilt five room house in Dry Lake Community on May 29, 1922 to Jeff and Mollie Smith. Attending were Mrs. Sims and Dr. Morris. The Smiths lived in this house until the children were all gone from home. Iva started to school at Dry Lake in 1928 to Miss Canna Stephens. When brother Benard and sister Lois finished school at dry Lake, Jeff bought a pinto pony from Tom McArthur named “ Denver” for Cleo and Iva to ride to school. School was about 2 ½ miles from home. The neighbors thought Denver was mean and would kill someone—he didn’t! Iva had to ride behind the saddle as she was younger. Cleo started to Spur High School in the 8 th grade and Iva had two more years at Dry Lake so she had Denver to ride alone.

Sandra Joyce was born May 14, 1942 at Commerce, Texas, just ten days before Forrest graduated from college. After coaching a year at Ralls, the Martins moved back to Dickens County and farmed. Sheila Juaquin was born November 8, 1943 at Ralls. Forrest entered the Navy in January, 1945. Shelley Joy was born at Spur on February 7, 1945. Iva and three girls joined Forrest in San Diego in March and lived in National City, California until his discharge in October. In January 1946, Forrest took a coaching job at Morton, Texas. In June 1948 they moved to Littlefield to coach. Littlefield is still home. All three girls attended Littlefield school for 12 years.

Forrest coached 5 years and then was principal of junior high, elementary II, and finally ended up in primary the last 10 years. He retired in 1979.

For 35 years Forrest has had a gunshop in the backyard for a hobby. After his school retirement he worked full time in it. We are proud of “Forrest’s Gunshop”.

Iva was Littlefield School Lunchroom Supervisor for 20 years. She retired in 1971. Now her free time is spent quilting.

Grandchildren: we have 8 wonderful ones. Summer and fall vacations are taken at an old adobe house ten miles west of Antonito, Colorado, just off the Conejos River.

By Iva Martin