Historical Society’s reception tonight to focus on Gov. Edward Martin
Historical Society event to focus on Gov. Edward Martin
Meet the Governor’s wife tonight at the Governor Edward Martin opening reception at Greene County Historical Society Museum on Rolling Meadows Road, Waynesburg. Museum director Eben Williams stands beside the portrait of Mary Charity Scott Martin, on loan from Waynesburg University and on display along with the rest of the exhibit now through October. Tonight’s reception is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
C.R. Nelson / For the Observer-Reporter
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When Edward Martin, who would one day be governor of Pennsylvania, met Mary Charity Scott at Waynesburg College, it was the beginning of a partnership that lasted a lifetime.
She was a dark-haired girl from Charleroi and he was a tall serious boy from the now forgotten town of Ten Mile, near the Washington County line. They met at Waynesburg College and by all accounts began their courtship over books.
“She helped him with his pre-law studies and then law school,” Greene County Historical Society Museum director Eben Williams said, gesturing to the portrait of the governor’s wife hanging in the main hall, amid hundreds of other mementos of the life and times of the Greene County boy who grew up to be a lawyer, a veteran of four wars and governor of Pennsylvania from 1943-1947.
The painting showed a grey-haired woman with upswept hair and a friendly smile.
Williams held up a smaller framed photo of Waynesburg College graduates of 1901 that captured her as a beautiful young woman and her husband-to-be standing ramrod straight in the row behind her.
“Edward Martin dropped out of college in 1898 to fight in the Spanish American War but he returned and graduated with Mary Charity.
They married in 1908 and she was involved in everything he did in his career, much more than a personal secretary. She really was the woman behind the man,” Williams said.
This portrait, on loan from Waynesburg University and other choice pieces of history from family mementos and the museum’s own extensive collection are waiting to be seen tonight at the Historical Society’s opening reception celebrating the 70th anniversary of Martin being elected governor.
“The reception is a chance for people to have refreshments, meet the board and see what we are doing and what we’re capable of at the museum,” Williams said. “We have wonderful artifacts and access to collections from other historic organizations that can be shared. As a regional museum it is our goal to be a showcase for the past that brings a real sense of pride to the community. The reception is free of charge but if you like what you see, your donations will be cheerfully accepted.”
The Governor Martin exhibit fills the downstairs main hall and will be on display through the month of October to coincide with the society’s 42nd annual Harvest Festival on Oct. 12 and 13.
“We wanted to make sure that the folks who come to the festival have a chance to meet Governor Martin. For this year’s Harvest Festival we’re working hard to bring more musical acts in, which is what the festivals in the 1970s did that made them such crowd pleasers,” Williams said. “We’re also looking for reenactors from Colonial times to set up camp and demonstrate day to day living when Greene County was the Western Frontier. But for sure we’ll have our 18th century tavern and there will be Civil War skirmishes both days.”
Tonight’s reception is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the museum on Rolling Meadows Road and light refreshments will be served.