George F. Martin, manager of the California Pine Box Company of Watsonville, is a native of the Pajaro valley and represents one of its pioneer families. He was born on the home ranch, January 20, 1872, and his parents were Adam and Ella (Cochran) Martin. His father was a native of Germany and followed the tide of immigration to the new world, settling in Santa Cruz county, California, early in the ’60s. He located in the Riverside Road district and was one of the first to glimpse the possibilities of this region as a fruit-growing center. He had two ranches in the valley, situated a mile apart, and one of the farms, which comprises an apple orchard of one hundred acres, is still in the possession of the family. He was a man of broad views and progressive spirit, and his work marked a distinct advance in horticultural methods in his locality. He had a family of eleven children, of whom seven survive: George F.; Adam, a fruit grower and shipper; Phillip R.; William P., the owner of a productive ranch; Mrs. Charles Redding, who resides in Marin county, California; and Emma and Catherine, who are unmarried.
Mr. Martin received his education in the public schools of his native county and also attended the Chestnutwood Business College at Santa Cruz, from which he was graduated in 1890. Two years later he accepted a clerkship in the store of the A. Lewis Company, Watsonville merchants, and subsequently he started out on his own initiative, opening a grocery in the city. In 1910 he turned his attention to the packing and shipping of green and dried fruits, also dealing in shook. In 1916 Mr. Martin became district manager of the California Pine Box Company, having charge of the business in Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito and San Luis Obispo counties. The Watsonville branch was started in the ’90s and was first operated by the White & De Hart Company. In 1904 the style was changed to that of the California Pine Box & Lumber Company and in 1918 the business was incorporated under the name of the California Pine Box Distributors. It is controlled by the following officers: Oliver Hasslett, president; C. R. Wisdom, vice president; H. W. Templeman, secretary and treasurer; and George F. Martin, local manager. The corporation has seven other branch plants in the state and takes the products of thirty-two mills- in California, Oregon and Arizona in pine boxes and crates for fruit packing. For their manufacture three hundred million feet of pine lumber or ten thousand carloads are required each year and the shook is assembled into boxes at the various plants. Six hundred carloads of shook are used in the Pajaro valley alone, and eight hundred and fifty carloads are needed annually for the operations of the company in this district. This is one of the largest industries of the kind in the country and Mr. Martin’s well directed efforts have constituted a vital element in its growth and expansion. He is also an independent packer and shipper of green and dried fruits and a business man of exceptional ability, sagacity and enterprise, meeting with poise, efficiency and promptness every emergency that arises in connection with his work.
On August 8, 1900, Mr. Martin married Miss Pearl McCabe, a native of Contra Costa county. Her parents were Mr. and Mrs. H. C. McCabe, the former of whom crossed the plains to California in pioneer times, and the latter died n 1920. Mr. and Mrs. Martin have three children: Henry Adam and Kenneth G., students at Stanford University; and Marion, a student at the University of California.
Mr. Martin is deeply interested in his business, finding little time for outside interests, and the local lodge of Elks is the only organization of a social or fraternal nature with which he is affiliated. He has never been remiss in the duties of citizenship, however, and lends the weight of his influence to every project destined to prove of benefit to his community, in which he is highly esteemed.
Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California’s history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925.