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

Building Types:

Styles & Forms:

Colonial Revival; Queen Anne

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.

  • 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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  • Dennis M. Jones House

    Contributors:
    Arnold Eberhard, architect; John William Martin, builder
    Dates:

    1902

    Location:
    Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
    Street Address:

    312 W. Main St., Elizabeth City, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Images Puslished 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.


  • Dr. Isaiah Fearing House

    Contributors:
    George F. Barber, architect; Barber and Kluttz, architects; Thomas A. Kluttz, architect; John William Martin, builder
    Dates:

    Ca. 1905

    Location:
    Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
    Street Address:

    203 W. Main St., Elizabeth City, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Images Puslished 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.


  • Fred Davis House

    Contributors:
    Dates:

    1902; 1930s [addition]

    Location:
    Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
    Street Address:

    102 E. Burgess St., Elizabeth City, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Images Puslished 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

    Contributors:
    Dates:

    1901

    Location:
    Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
    Street Address:

    813 W. Main St., Elizabeth City, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential


  • Martin-Bell House

    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

    Contributors:
    Dates:

    1912

    Location:
    Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
    Street Address:

    201 E. Burgess St., Elizabeth City, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Images Puslished In:

    Thomas R. Butchko, On the Shores of the Pasquotank: The Architectural Heritage of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County, North Carolina (1989).


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