North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Martin, John William (1861-1941)

Birthplace: Martin County, North Carolina, USA
Residences:
  • Martin County, North Carolina
  • Elizabeth City, North Carolina
  • Norfolk, Virginia
Trades:
  • Builder;
  • Contractor
NC Work Locations:
  • Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
  • Pasquotank
Building Types:
  • Residential
Styles & Forms:
  • Colonial Revival;
  • Queen Anne

Biography

John William Martin (1861-1941) was a building contractor active in Elizabeth City in the early 20th century. He was born in Martin County, the son of John Thomas and Sarah Martin. According to his obituary, he also worked in Martin and Tyrrell counties, but thus far no buildings have been attributed to him there.

In Elizabeth City, Martin built several large and impressive Queen Anne style houses, including the city's premier example of the style, the Dennis M. Jones House, which he executed from a Norfolk architect's designs. For the Southern Colonial style Dr. Isaiah Fearing House he worked from plans by the mail-order architect George F. Barber of Tennessee. In other cases, he may have developed the design himself, possibly from published examples. Typical of the turn of the century, many of his houses, such as the Martin-Williams House, which he built for himself and his family, blend Queen Anne style massing with classically derived "Colonial" detailing such as columns on the wraparound porch. In 1919, he moved to Norfolk, Virginia, where he continued his contracting business. He died in Norfolk and was buried in Elizabeth City's Hollywood Cemetery.

Author: Thomas R. Butchko.

Published 2009

Building List

Fred Davis House (Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County)

Pasquotank Elizabeth City

1902

Contributors:
Dates: 1902; 1930s [addition]
Location: Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
Street Address: 102 E. Burgess St., Elizabeth City, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Thomas R. Butchko, On the Shores of the Pasquotank: The Architectural Heritage of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County, North Carolina (1989).

Dr. Isaiah Fearing House (Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County)

Pasquotank Elizabeth City

1905

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1905
Location: Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
Street Address: 203 W. Main St., Elizabeth City, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Thomas R. Butchko, On the Shores of the Pasquotank: The Architectural Heritage of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County, North Carolina (1989).
Note:

The large frame house was built by Martin from a design by Barber. Displaying the popular "Southern Colonial" style, it is symmetrical in overall form and features a two-tier, pedimented entrance portico and flanking 1-story porches.

Dennis M. Jones House (Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County)

Pasquotank Elizabeth City

1902

Contributors:
Dates: 1902
Location: Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
Street Address: 312 W. Main St., Elizabeth City, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Thomas R. Butchko, On the Shores of the Pasquotank: The Architectural Heritage of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County, North Carolina (1989).
Note:

Elizabeth City's prime example of the Queen Anne style, the boldly asymmetrical house features the "Colonial" classical detailing that enriched many houses of Queen Anne massing at the turn of the century.

Martin-Bell House (Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County)

Pasquotank Elizabeth City

1911

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1911
Location: Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
Street Address: 203 E. Burgess St., Elizabeth City, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential

Martin-Williams House (Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County)

Pasquotank Elizabeth City

1912

Contributors:
Dates: 1912
Location: Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
Street Address: 201 E. Burgess St., Elizabeth City, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Thomas R. Butchko, On the Shores of the Pasquotank: The Architectural Heritage of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County, North Carolina (1989).

Joseph W. Pool House (Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County)

Pasquotank Elizabeth City

1901

Contributors:
Dates: 1901
Location: Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
Street Address: 813 W. Main St., Elizabeth City, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential

John William Martin's Work Locations

Bibliography

  • Charlotte Vestal Brown Papers, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Thomas R. Butchko, On the Shores of the Pasquotank: The Architectural Heritage of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County, North Carolina (1989).
  • Norfolk Ledger-Dispatch, Sept. 1, 1941.
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