John and Thelma Martin Residence

John and Thelma Martin Residence

Built Circa 1884
314 Stewart Street
Lafayette Historic Register Number 109
Designated August 16, 2018

From at least 1880, the Martin family owned the property where this house sits. By the time John Martin, Sr. registered for the military during WWI in June of 1917, he was twenty-one years old and was listed as a “hatter and a barber” living on Martin family property on Stewart Street with his young wife, Yolande Roy Martin, and their newborn, Marjorie. The couple’s first and only son, John Martin, Jr., was born around 1920. He was educated at Saint Paul school by the Sisters of the Holy Family. It was the first Catholic high school for Blacks in Lafayette Parish, and the first to teach classical academics instead of the lower domestic skills that were traditionally offered to Black children during that time of serious racial intolerance and injustice. Years later, after serving in WWII, John, Jr. learned the hat trade from his father, and by 1946 he purchased half of the hat shop business. The Martin Hat Shop is featured on page 108 of this book. In 1952, John, Jr. and his wife, Thelma, also purchased this house from John Martin, Sr. The house remains in the Martin family to date.

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