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Treasures of the Archives: Governor Clarence D. Martin’s House

Clarence D. Martin Alumni House, Eastern Washington University. The Real Property Record Cards Collection, bulk dates: 1940 through 2004. Washington State Archives, Digital Archives.

Clarence D. Martin Alumni House, Eastern Washington University. The Real Property Record Cards Collection, bulk dates: 1940 through 2004. Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Clarence D. Martin was one of Washington State’s most remarkable and influential governors. He was born in the small town of Cheney, Washington, and was serving as Mayor of Cheney when he won his bid to become Governor of the State, serving 1933 -1941. He continued to serve both as Mayor of Cheney and as the Governor from 1933 to 1936, commuting back to Cheney from Olympia at the end of each legislative session. After his time as Governor, Martin was appointed as a State Representative representing the 5th Legislative District in 1944, and later returning to the position of Cheney City Council Member, 1950-1952.

One aspect of studying Governor Martin is to look at the physical environment in which he was raised, and the Eastern Washington Branch of the Washington State Archives is proud to be able to assist with this research by making the Spokane County Assessor’s Property Record Cards available online through the Washington State Archives, Digital Archives. These records allow us to trace some of the history of his home, his neighborhood and even his whole town, providing photographs of buildings, assessed property values, the dates of some improvements to the properties, and even a “footprint” sketch which shows the boundaries of a lot and the way a building sits on its lot.

The home that Governor Martin lived in has since been donated to Eastern Washington University, and currently serves as the Alumni House for the University. Moreover, the flour mill which the Governor once owned has been sold to another company, but those concrete physical aspects of the Governor’s life and accomplishments still exist, and may be studied through the Property Record Cards.

All the Property Record Cards for the City of Cheney are complete and available online, and the project is now working on the North Central and Northwest Spokane City neighborhoods. More of these records are being added to the Digital Archives collection monthly.

Spokane County Assessor, Property Record Cards search:
http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/Collections/TitleInfo/1871

Clarence D. Martin Alumni House Property Record Card:
http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/Record/View/CE354DB2EEDA3720552E2D9271E8C32E

Washington Secretary of State, Legacy project file on Governor Martin:
http://sos.wa.gov/legacyproject/HistoryMakersDetail.aspx?Martin/Clarence/724