Click here for the John Martin Family home page. 3rd Generation - Leone Martin 

Leone (Martin) Howard, was the 21st child of John Martin, Jr., and the first born to him by his third wife, Mary (Dobbs) (Howard) Martin.  (Mary had had six children with her previous husband, Samuel Howard.) Leone was born 2 August 1879 at Camargo, Douglas County, Illinois.  Her mother died when she was 3 years old, and her father when she was 16.

Leone married Delmer Bates Howard on 27 October 1902 in Los Angeles, CA.  I think it just coincidental that Leone married a man with the same surname as her mother’s first husband; I have found no relationship between Delmer Howard and Samuel Howard.  Delmer had been born in Douglas County, IL (like Leone), on 16 March 1876, the son of Joseph and Mary (Swan) Howard, and he had grown up there.

The 1900 census showed Leone and Delmer both still in Illinois, Leone living with her half-sister Hester Martin in Camargo, and Delmer working as an attendant at the Illinois Eastern Hospital for the Insane in Kankakee (about 75 miles north of Camargo).  Their marriage certificate filed in 1902 lists Leone as a resident of Camargo, IL, but shows Delmer to be residing in Long Beach, CA, at that time.  Hence, Delmer must have gone to California first and, once he was settled, written to Leone to come out and marry him there.

Leone’s full first name may have been Leonore.  That is the name shown on the marriage certificate and also in the 1940 census.  It’s not hard to see how Leone and all the other names shown for her in various documents might be derived from Leonore.  These include Leora (1880 and 1900 censuses), Lenore (1910 census), Lenora (California Death Index), and Leona (Long Beach city directories for 1917, 1919, and 1925).  Leone seems to be the form she used most commonly, as shown in the 1920 and 1930 censuses, at least 10 other Long Beach city directories, her Social Security application, her death notice in the Long Beach Independent, and, most notably, on her tombstone.  Also note, her year of birth is shown as 1880 on her tombstone and in most of her official records, but the fact that she was even recorded in the 1880 census, and her age was stated there as “10/12,” suggests that she was probably born in August of 1879 rather than 1880.

Delmer made his living as a musician, specifically as a trombonist, but apparently he also sang as a baritone.  As early as 1903, the Los Angeles Times listed him as a featured soloist with the Long Beach Marine Band, and he continued with that band and its successor, the Long Beach Municipal Band, for 23 years.  In 1927, he was performing  with the Huntington Beach Municipal Band (Santa Ana Register, 18 Aug., 1927).

Photo of the Long Beach Municipal Band.

Long Beach Municipal Band, ca. 1910.  I don't know if Delmer Howard is shown here, but if he is, he would be one of the three trombonists at far right (or he could be the fourth trombonist completely hidden behind one of the trumpeters).  Photo from Long Beach Public Library.

Census records from 1910 through 1940 show Delmer and Leone living in Long Beach.  The 1910 and 1920 censuses also include in the household their one and only child:

  • Velma Collice Howard, 1907–2006 (married (1) James Rodney Schilling and (2) Charles Wesley Belt).

The 1910 and 1920 censuses take note of Delmer’s occupation as a musician, but in 1930 (the first year of the Great Depression), he and Leone are both shown as unemployed.  In 1940 Delmer is, once again, unemployed, but Leone’s occupation is shown as “Municipal Court juror.”  (I didn’t think that could be any more than a short-term assignment, but maybe Leone had found some way to make a career out of it?)

Delmer and Leone apparently remained in Long Beach the rest of their days.  Delmer passed away 22 December 1948, and Leone lived on until 24 January 1965.  Both are buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Long Beach).

If you can suggest any corrections to the information above or provide any further details about the lives of Leone, Delmer, and their descendants, please contact me at the address shown in the image below:

Pete at John Martin Family dot org

     —Pete Martin

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