JOHN WELLBORN MARTIN, Florida’s 24th Governor, was born in Plainfield, Florida, on June 21, 1884. Martin passed the Florida bar in 1914 and established a law career in Jacksonville. He entered politics in 1917 as mayor of Jacksonville, a position he held for seven years. Martin won the 1924 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was elected Governor of Florida. During his tenure, tourism and land speculation purchases increased, road and highway developments were advanced, and an industrial plant for physically disabled prisoners was created. Martin also advocated for state-funded public schools and for granting free schoolbooks to all students through sixth grade. Before leaving office, Martin ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1928. He also ran unsuccessfully for the governor’s office in 1932. He served as a trustee and co-receiver for the Florida East Coast Railroad. Governor John W. Martin died on February 22, 1958, and he is buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida.
Florida State Archives holds the official papers of Governor John Wellborn Martin.
- S 613 State Governors correspondence, 1909-1925
- M86- 1 John Wellborn Martin, Correspondence; 1935-1937
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.