Littleton "Lit" Martin

(ca 1808 TN- 1854 KY)

Littleton "Lit" Martin, first showed in the 1829 Montgomery County, KY tax lists.  He would have turned 21 that year.  He also showed in the 1830 tax list, but not in the census; thus, I suspect he may have been living with his father, Luke Martin.  He was only mentioned in the tax lists because he was being taxed on a horse.  He first owned land in the 1833 Montgomery County tax list.  The 100 acres were listed on Hughes (or Hughs) Creek.  The same occurs for the 1834 tax list.  He owned 100 acres in 1840 on Red River.  I suspect that he did not move; rather, Hughes Creek was on Red River.  Luke Martin also owned 100 acres on Hughes Creek.

In the 1840 census, Littleton lived right next door to Luke Martin.  Littleton had 3 boys and 2 girls.  I do not know when he married; however, some of his descendants claim that he married a Lucinda Cross.  He continued showing land on Red River all the way up to the 1852 tax list of Powell County.  Starting in 1852, his 100 acres were on Morris Creek.  So, one could assume that he didn't move; rather, the county boundaries moved around him.  Littleton Martin last appeared in the 1853 tax list.  His widow (Lucinda Cross Martin) appeared in the 1854 tax list with 150 acres on Morris Creek and the 1855 tax list with 60 acres, also on Morris Creek.  I have yet to complete my tax list research; however, we do know that she eventually moved to Daviess County, IN.  But first, more about the death of Littleton Martin.

Littleton Martin was shot and killed by Henry Strode Benningfield, supposedly behind Henry's home.  There are only two know places where this information appears.  I first saw this story in a draft manuscript owned by an Emma Carpenter, of Powell County.  She descended from Henry Benningfield and was writing her Benningfield family history.  I don't know whether she ever completed the manuscript or not.  She allowed me to copy her draft manuscript, sometime in the 1970s.  Now, I knew absolutely nothing about Littleton (her manuscript called him "Lit").  I wanted a copy of her manuscript since I also descend from Henry Benningfield.  Over the decades, I eventually pieced together the Martin connections that you are reading today.  I won't go into a lot of details since all I have concerning those details is this draft manuscript.  However, Emma did quote from Order Book #1, of the Powell County court records.  She stated that Henry Benningfield stood trial for murder and was acquitted.  Order Book #1 no longer exists and was probably destroyed during the Civil War.  It seems that a Record Book probably mentions the Order Book reference to the trial.  I intend to search for that book in the next few weeks.

Now, Henry probably lived right next to Stanton, probably between the town and the south side of Red River.  So, he did not live far from where Morris Creek emptied into the Red River.  If you look on a modern map, Morris Creek basically parallels Hwy 213 until it goes over Morris Creek Mountain.  So Littleton lived on Morris Creek and Henry lived near Stanton.  At most, this was a few miles.  According to Emma, Lit Martin was buried at the foot of Morris Creek Mountain.  Since he was killed near Stanton, this implies that his home was at the foot of Morris Creek Mountain (somewhat close to the mouth of Morris Creek and the border with modern day Powell and Montgomery).  If this was indeed his homestead, then he only lived about a mile from the Elijah Martin farm on Spruce (on the other side of Morris Creek Mountain).

In Emma's manuscript (again, it must be made very clear that this was a draft copy), she stated that Lit Martin was a brother to Riley Martin, son of Elijah.  I know from my research that this is not true (age factors).  However, based on Emma's story, Riley thought ill of Minnie Benningfield (who later married Joseph Neal), because she was a Benningfield.  Minnie would "hang out" with Martha Long, daughter to Riley Martin.  Supposedly, Riley told a different story of "what happened."  I would expect this visitation took place around the turn of the century.  Minnie was still single and living at the home of her father, Henry Clay Benningfield, son of Henry Strode Benningfield.  Marth Martin had already married to Samuel Long.  Riley would have been in his 50s.  Regardless as to what happened, this implies a vested interest on the part of Riley.  One can quickly surmise from all this, that Lit and Riley were indeed closely related.

Finally, Emma claimed that the Martins on Cat Creek were related to the Martins on Morris Creek.  During the 1850s, Benjamin (and possibly John L.) lived on or near Cat Creek.  William, Littleton, and Luke all lived on Morris Creek.  This, though anecdotal, adds support to the claim that they are all related.

I do not know the reason why, but the widow Lucinda Martin and several of her children, along with some of William Martin's children, moved to Daviess County, IN.  It could possibly be due to jobs.  However, she had a farm and was surrounded by Martin relatives.  I suspect she didn't want to stay there any longer. 
Regardless, they all show in the 1860 Daviess County census...except for Lucinda.  I truly don't know what happened to her.  I only assumed that she was the "adult" member of the group who went to Daviess County; however, she could have died prior to the moved to Indiana.

Here is an interesting story concerning William Martin, son of Littleton Martin.  This William Martin married Mary Catherine Martin, daughter of Littleton's brother, William Martin.  The names make it confusing.  We know they are both Martins from several records.  First, Mary Catherine's younger sister, Ellen Martin, was one of the group that moved to Indiana.  Ellen and Mary Catherine were the two children who moved that were from the William Martin (elder) family.  Second, William and Mary married 20 Jan 1856 in Powell County.  Mary was listed as a Martin.  Finally, Mary, as a widow, filed for for William Martin's (the younger) Civil War pension.  Seemed he died 31 Mar 1866, Daviess Co, IN from illness generated from Civil War service.  In the pension papers, she says that her maiden name was Martin and that she was a cousin to her husband.  All this adds to the evidence that William and Littleton were brothers.

William and Mary Catherine's children were:  James Dudley, Leonard, Van, Mary Alice, and William.

I will add more as time permits.


 

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