Thomas "Doc" Martin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Thomas Paul "Doc" Martin (October 30, 1864 - 1935) was an American physician. He was one of the first American residents of Taos County, New Mexico[1] and the first practicing physician in Taos.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Thomas Paul Martin was born in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania on October 30, 1864. His parents, Joab and Louie O. (Hostetter) Martin, were Pennsylvania natives. His father was a grain merchant.[1]

Martin attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Baltimore, Maryland, earning his M.D. in 1887. He interned at Baltimore City Hospital and Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[1]

Taos, New Mexico[edit]

Martin moved to Taos, New Mexico in January, 1890, where he opened a medical office and practiced medicine and surgery throughout Taos County. He was an early member of the New Mexico Medical Society.[1] He was physician for the local Pueblos[3] and also for the Penitentes.[4] He served eight years on the Territorial Board of Health and was a United States examining physician.[3]

Doc Martin's marker at Sierra Vista Cemetery in Taos.

Doc Martin was a major figure in the development of Taos. Blanche Grant wrote of him a year before his death, "(He) Has been prominent in all important matters pertaining to Taos ever since (he arrived in 1889)."[5] He was a Freemason and one of the first Shriners in New Mexico. He served as deputy for all Masonic bodies in northern New Mexico.[3] He was also a member of both the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He served as vice-president of the New Mexico chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.[1]

Martin's sister Rose married Taos artist Bert Geer Phillips in 1899.[6] The initial 1915 meeting of the Taos Society of Artists was held at Doc Martin's home.[7] After Martin's death in 1935, his widow Helen converted the house into Hotel Martin, which opened on June 7, 1936.[8]

Hotel Martin was renamed by subsequent owners, becoming the Taos Inn. The inn's restaurant, named Doc Martin's, is located in Martin's former offices.[9] The inn was added to the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties in 1981[10] and to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e Twitchell, Ralph Emerson. The Leading Facts of New Mexican History, vol. 4, p. 463. Torch Press, 1917.
  2. ^ Foster, Joseph. D. H. Lawrence in Taos, p. xvi. University of New Mexico Press, 1972.
  3. ^ a b c Anderson, George B. History of New Mexico: Its Resources and People, vol. 2, p. 600. Pacific States Pub. Co., 1907.
  4. ^ Luhan, Mabel Dodge. Edge of Taos Desert: An Escape to Reality, p. 136. University of New Mexico Press, 1987. ISBN 0-8263-0971-2
  5. ^ Grant, Blanche C., When Old Trails Were New, p 328. Glorieta, New Mexico: The Rio Grande Press, 1983. (Reprint of original 1934 edition)
  6. ^ Taos Unlimited. Taos as an Art Colony: From the Taos Society of Artists to the Present. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  7. ^ White, Robert Rankin. The Taos Society of Artists, p. 9. University of New Mexico Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8263-1946-7
  8. ^ Reily, Nancy Hopkins; Enix, Lucille. Joseph Imhof: Artist of the Pueblos, p. 397, n. 22. Sunstone Press, 1998. ISBN 0-86534-259-8
  9. ^ Vollersten, John. "Doc Martin's" in Santa Fean, February–March, 2008.
  10. ^ Registers of Cultural Properties, New Mexico Historic Preservation Division
  11. ^ National Register of Historical Places - NEW MEXICO (NM), Taos County