Stuart M. Martin, Sr.
Through the years from 1919, when he came to Ashland from Wooster College, till his death in 1962, there is probably no one person who had greater influence on the lives of boys and young men in Ashland than “Stu.”
The son of a college professor, Martin excelled in basketball and track, lettering at varsity in 1915-16-17. He captained the track team as a senior and held the school record in high and low hurdles and high jump for many years. He starred in the same sports at old Wooster Prep School for four years before entering college.
From 1917 to 1919 he served as recreational director at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and was a Certified Firearms Instructor and an accomplished gymnast when he came to the local Y.M.C.A. as Physical Director and Boys Work Secretary.
For the next forty years he taught basketball fundamentals to hundreds of boys and organized and directed church league and industrial league basketball at the “Y.” He also served as a referee in the old Ashland County League for several years.
Stu’s father taught him to swim as a boy back in Princeton, New Jersey, in a mill pond, which stood him in good stead later as he taught swimming, life saving, and water safety to over two thousand beginners. Besides the “Y” he taught in summers at Camp Nelson Dodd, old Brookside pond, and Brookside poll.
Martin started the “Y” Industrial Softball League in the 20’s, with games played on two diamonds at the “Y” field, where Faultless, Myers, Garber, Malleable, and other teams battled it out, the forerunners of our present fastpitch.
He was instrumental in getting three clay and one concrete tennis courts built at Myers Field where again he taught many youth to play. The courts were demolished when the present “Y” was constructed.
A certified Firearms Instructor, Stu taught Junior and Senior Firearms Safety to both sexes, started a “Y” Junior Rifle Club, a Rifle League competition between Mansfield, Galion, Wooster, and Ashland, whose members competed in state and national competition.
He taught volleyball in gym classes, single and four-wall handball and took on many younger players. A lover of nature and the out of doors, as a bird watcher he took part in Audubon bird count each year.
As his nominators so aptly recalled, “Stu” was a very (quote) “unusual, talented man, who was firm, fair, and dedicated in his work. The remarkable thing is that he accomplished all these things with only one eye. You see he lost the sight in one eye when he was only ten years old.”
Stu had two sons, Chalmers and Stuart, Jr.
Nominator: Willaim J. Ekey, Stu Martin, Jr., and Doug Denbow