Canadian Poultry Magazine

Features 100th anniversary Notable People
John S. Martin – Fancier and Politician

July 1931


November 14, 2012
By An appreciation by the editor of “The Poultry World” London

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The Canadian poultry industry has suffered a great loss by the passing, at the early age of 54, of the Hon. J. S. Martin, late minister of agriculture for Ontario.  As a breeder and most successful exhibitor of White Wyandottes, Mr. Martin’s famous Dorcas strain held a worldwide reputation.

From time to time articles from the pen of this great breeder have appeared in the Poultry World.  In these articles the author told some of the secrets of his wonderful success.  They were not only interesting by reason of their literary character, but they were intensely practical, and no one could read them without gaining much knowledge of the breeding and showing of White Wyandottes.

Some years ago I had the privilege of visiting Mr. Martin at his beautiful home at Port Dover.  The memories of that day will long remain with me, as I am sure they will with Professor Graham, of the Guelph College.  Never had I seen such a collection of White Wyandottes as I saw that day, and their owner hid from us none of his methods.

Mr Martin had a most charming personality, he was not only respected, but deeply loved by those who came in contact with him as a member of parliament, a minister of that great Dominion, or as a fancier, of the three, I believe, he appreciated the most his position as one of the leader of the Fancy.

John S Martin was one of those men who give of their best in any work, which they undertake.  What he did for the farmers of Ontario in his position as minister of agriculture only those whom he worked with and for can tell.  At Guelph College he was beloved by the staff and pupils, among the farming community, even as among the Fancy, his friends were legion, drawn to him by his sincerity, his thoroughness, his generosity and his kindness of manner.  He was indeed full of the milk of human kindness.

One circumstance stands out in my recollections of his greatness.  No one knew much more about the value of the fruits of advertising than J. S. Martin.  At the World’s Poultry Confess in 1927, he read a paper on the subject.  I was among his critics.  In his reply, he acknowledged the justice of my criticism, and he emphasized the points which I raised.

It is now some years ago that he visited this country, and there are a number of our readers who will remember meeting him at the Royal Show during the visit, when he discussed with them the difference the English and the American and Canadian types.

To Mrs. Martin will go out in deepest sympathy the hearts of thousands of fanciers in this and other countries in which her husband was so well known.  It is doubtful if any breeder had such a worldwide reputation.  Her loss is great, but the knowledge that her grief is shared by many known, and unknown to herself will, I trust, in some measure assuage that of her own heart.


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