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Arthur Powers Martin - A Short Bio



STORIES ARE COURTESY OF RICHARD MERCER:

A.P.'s life on the Wild Side as told to his daughter, DeLois (Martin) Patterson

A.P. worked with a traveling road show in Texas out west of Dallas. He was an actor in the skits and shows and a barker hawking Saltwater Taffy made by the road show. A.P.'s step mother, Cordilia (Evans) and father Annias Martin were living around Aubrey, Texas. Much of the Evanís and Martin families were living in that area. Cordilia was Bell Hatcher's aunt. While A.P. was visiting his folks he met the Evan's girls. Arizona died a few years later. A.P. gave Bell a box of candy and tickets to the show. While the girls were at the show, A.P. being a real performer, showed off for them by shinning up the tent pole. Being a little inebriated he fell into the girls laps. The local sheriff knew him and threw him in jail to sleep it off. The next morning he still had the bottle of corn whiskey in his pocket. He enjoyed telling his children he had a good ole bottle of corn whiskey in his coat. See Photos of A.P. with Arizona Evans, Bell's aunt. Bell always wanted to get rid of that picture. His daughter still (2009) has the original photo.

Bell's father was preaching in a little school house and Bell was there. A.P. was with a bunch of drinking buddies, riding horses and was dared to go see that girl of his. He rode his horse into the church and disrupted the service. Bell's dad took care of it in terms that would insure it never happened again. The Hatchers moved to Provence, Indian Territory. A.P. would find time to go to Provence to court Bell. Often he would show up "under the weather". Bell told A.P. if ever showed up like that again, she would throw dishwater on him. He showed up unannounced one day, cold sober. She was pouring out dishwater around the corner of the house and it got him. In spite of this little mix-up they were married by Rev. Lisenby in Provence February 23, 1899.

See "The Saga of A.P. and Lucy Bell" for how these two different beginnings can bring forth such a bountiful harvest.

A.P.'s life before Lucy Bell was very difficult, alone, often disappointing, frustrating and filled with debauchery. Lucifer had him by the collar.

Bell's life before A.P. was a very satisfying one in a very family oriented environment of a preacher's home. A.P. and Bell were married in Provence, Indian Territory on February 23, 1899 They were still living in Provence when Lee was born in March 30, 1900. Bell absolutely declared "I do not want a male doctor I'll just not have a doctor. The first woman doctor in Oklahoma had just come to Provence, delivered Lee.

Myrtle was born in Abury, TX in 1902. They were in Winniewood, OK by 1905, when Viola was born. About 1908 they were living on the Wintz farm and working as a day laborer for Mr. Wintz. Iva was born in Grandma Hatcher's Buggy Shed. In 1910 their 5th child Albert died during childbirth. In 1911 while Bell was pregnant with Lewis, Mrs. Wintz brought her some bananas and insisted she eat them for the child's sake. Bertha was born in 1914 in Grandma Hatcher's Buggy Shed.

Bell could never seem to get A.P. to go to church with her. He would sometimes tell her, "Yes, I'll go with you today if I can catch the mules." Then he would go run the mules off to the back of the pasture. But then in 1908, Bro. King, Britton and Short held a Campmeeting Tent Revival in the Park at Mt. Park OK. A.P. got saved and completely sold out to the Lord. Bell had no more trouble getting him to go to church with her. He began preaching in the area as he continued to support the family by working as a day laborer. Soon after that, Bell started preaching. They would take the whole family when they went somewhere to hold services. He provided fish and game and she raised a garden and chickens.

Their daughter, DeLois has A.P. and Bell's Local Preacher's License issued by The Fire Baptized Holiness Church dated September 23, 1910. That is the earliest records available to establish when they began their preaching. Common practice was to go to a community, determine local customs and hold Gospel Meetings. Sometimes in school houses, brush arbors, stores (always closed on Sunday) and just in the shade or under the stars. Sometimes a community would build a building specifically to form a church. Some communities would have A.P. and Bell would hold a 2 - 3 week revival and then establish a church for the converts. Some of the converts might become preacher's as a result of these meetings. That is the kind of Campmeeting at Mt. Park where A.P. was saved. He and Bell were assigned along with Bro. King and Britton and their wives to be Pastors at four churches in southwest OK. They also pioneered many other communities in SW OK. Records show they were licensed at many different levels by The Pentecostal Holiness Church, Apostolic Church of God and the Fire Baptized Holiness Church.

In 1917 A.P. moved the family to Roosevelt, OK. DeLois was born in Cold Springs, OK in March. The day DeLois was born Bell had gone to town and had to help push the car up a hill. Seems Bell pushed a lot that day.

After 1917 A.P. moved the family to many different farms and preaching in depending on work and church circumstances.

In 1921, A.P. moved the family to the Emory farm near Mt. Park. They were living here when Mildred was born in November 1921. DeLois had ordered Mildred from the Sear Roebuck catalog. They didn't get the bed that was shown in the catalog.

He loved his country and was proud of all his boys that served in uniform. Although he was exempt from the draft he was willing to serve if they would have him.

It was during the time between 1921 and 1940 that A.P. and Bell raised a very loving and caring family, pioneered many churches and preached the Gospel to thousands, one small gathering at a time. They supported all these efforts by being good stewards of God's creation by tilling the soil, fishing and hunting all to provide for his family.

In 1940, A.P. and Bell were assigned to the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Hooker, OK. While they were pastoring in Hooker, their daughter Mildred met Richard Guy Mercer. They were married in Jun 1941. Mildred the youngest child was the last to leave home. A.P. and Bell continued to love and care for their growing family of grandchildren and to preach the Gospel.

Arthur Powers Martin's Beginnings as told to his daughter Tiny DeLois (Martin) Patterson

One of the first memories was when he was very young; Nancy, his grandma, and her sisters would back up to the fireplace and lift their skirts. They saved all the ashes from the fireplace to make lye for lye soap. A.P.'s mother, Becky died in child birth. Soon after his father, Annias met Surrilda in a saloon. A.P. could remember going into a saloon when he was very young and eating pretzels. A.P.'s grandmother, Nancy ran Surrilda off because she was a "dance hall" girl. Surrilda died within 3 years. After A.P.'s step mother Surrilda died, his dad, Annais and his uncle, Jerry moved out in the woods to Jerry's place with A.P. When A.P. was about 5, Annais and Jerry decided to go to Texas for work. A.P. wanted to go with them. They told him they were leaving early and if he got up early enough he could go. When he woke very early, the were GONE. He wandered to some neighbors who took him to his grandparents. Annias, went to Texas and found work on the "Kings Ranch". He met and married Cordilia Evans. Uncle Tommy was born in Texas. They returned in about 1888 to Arkansas to lived on a cotton plantation. A.P. continued to stay with grandparents, Mordicai and Nancy. Grandpa Annias took A.P. hunting when he was about 5 years old. A.P. called him "Pap" They were down wind from the deer and laying in wait for him to get close enough, but being anxious he said "Shoot Pap, Shoot" That spooked the deer and A.P. learned a good hunting lesson. "Pap" was gentle and fun to be around. A.P. remembered his Uncle beating him when he was living with grandma, Nancy and her family. It was so severe that when A.P. left Nancy's home for Texas, he said "When I get grown I'm gonna go back and kill that man!" By this time the devil had A.P. by the shirt tail. While in Texas he joined a little traveling show. He was an actor in the side shows. DeLois recalled A.P. doing some of the skits he had done in the show. (See A.P. & Bell's Story) .

Owner/SourceRich Mercer
Linked toArthur Powers Martin

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