Clarence D. Martin
Martin was born in Cheney 1886. Raised in the growing community, he attended Cheney Public Schools, graduated Cheney Normal School in 1903 and got his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington in 1906.
After completing his education Martin returned home to help his father in the founding of the F.M. Martin Milling & Grain Company. He married Margaret Mulligan of Spokane in 1907 and the couple had 3 sons. Martin would take over in the 1920s from his then ailing father, Frank M. Martin, as president of the Milling & Grain Company. Martin was groundbreaking as the first native born Washingtonian to serve as governor of the state and the only person who ever served simultaneously as mayor (of Cheney 1928-1936) and governor (of Washington 1932-1940.)
An economically minded man, he maintained his role as the president and general manager of the Milling & Grain Co whilst holding public office.
During his gubernatorial run his economic prowess led him to convince the state legislature to guarantee 10 million dollars in bonds in order to get the US Congress to authorize the Coulee Dam project. It was the most successful jobs project of the Great Depression.
A champion of education, he oversaw equalization funding to help rural schools and authorized colleges to offer teachers Bachelor degrees.
Called the people’s Governor, he was known for championing the common people.
Clarence Martin envisioned the new Cheney depot as a way to increase commerce. He saw the need and the resources for economic growth in his hometown. The depot was finished in 1929 just prior to economic collapse and the beginning of the great depression, but Martin’s vision wasn’t tarnished.
The mission of the Cheney Depot Society to bring another active commercial business through this historic site is a continuation of Martin‘s legacy and representative of the depot's historic value as a symbol of the vitality of our community.