Martin – Frazenbach


Jeanne’s grandparents on her father’s side. Otto Rudolph Martin from Saxony (Germany) and Agnes Franzenbach also from Germany. They were married on June 18th 1891 in Walla Walla, Washington, U.S.A.

Agnes Martin

Agnes Franzenbach was born on April 4, 1865 in Cöln, Germany. She came to the U.S. through New York on October 25,1889 with her first husband John Michels aboard the Belgenland. On the back of the photo she wrote: “This was taken, made in Pendleton Oregon. I don’t remember when. Long time ago.”

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Otto Rudolph Martin, he went by Rudolph, was born in Oederan – Kingdom of Saxony (now part of Germany) – on July 19, 1853. He demonstrated, though various documents he ever faced filling out, that he claimed Saxony as his origin, not Germany. Rudolph immigrated to the U.S. in 1881, coming through Baltimore aboard the ship Hohenzollern on August 4th, 1881.

The caption for the above photo reads “Dad Martin his delivery wagon. The building being built is Dad’s State Hotel” Further research needs to be done to know the exact location of  the State Hotel. Businesses in the background include one W.G. Hansford & Company – Stoves. Also a banner reading The Fair. Under it US Boys Club. I can also make out “Hair, Shoes, Trunks.”

Census records through the decades indicate Rudolph’s Bakery and Grocery occupation or business in  both Pendleton and Portland, Oregon. The 1900 Census lists Railroad Street. 1910 Census showing Mississippi Avenue in Portland. But through the years, according to Bette’s memoirs, Rudolph owned many properties and could be possibly described as a compulsive Lessor (landlord).

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Agnes Franzenbach Martin, 1895, Pendleton, Oregon. The 1900 Census lists her as a Saleswoman in Pendleton. “Chew Horse Shoe Plug Tobacco.” Shall we assume this was a product in her sales portfolio?

William Franzenback

Agnes had a brother, William Frazenbach. His history however is tragic. On the back of this portrait Agnes wrote: “I am Agnes Martin. This is my brother William Frazenbach. Somebody killed him in Medford for his money. He was a fine man.”

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A note on the back, perhaps written by Carola, reads “The Pendleton House where all of us were born”

Carola, Frances, Otto

Carola, Frances, Otto (Val).

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Otto (Val).




Martin family, 1907 at their home on Kerby and Graham Avenue, Portland Oregon. A caption reads “We are all here. Otto (upper left), Frances (lower left), Dad and Lewis (lower steps), Mama (upper steps), and Carola (upper right). The house no longer stands. A concrete parking structure is there now as part of a hospital complex.

Dad and LewisMomFrancesVal_Carola

Rudolph Martin and Lewis “Bob”  Agnes “Mama,” “Mutti”    Frances                            Otto (Val),  Jeanne’s Dad                               Carola


Yet another Martin Frazenbach property. On the back it reads “The house Dad built in Oak Grove about 1907 or 1908 possibly a little later.”

Bette recalls in her memoirs her grandparent’s home life “Mutti (Agnes Martin) and Dad (Rudolph Martin) were from Germany and spoke a lot of German, or English, with an accent, and I grew up hearing it. I recognized a lot of German words, but I didn’t really speak a lot of it. I picked up more of the accent and ways of pronouncing certain words that I relearned quickly when I started school.”


Relentless home buyer and Landlord Rudolph Martin, early 1920’s.

It was reported by Agnes Martin that Otto Rudolph Martin, born in the Republic of Saxony on July 15, 1853, son of Wilhelm Martin  and Mollie Spindle, passed away on May 3, 1939 in Long Beach, WA. He is buried in Portland Cemetery. Agnes passed away in 1952, and is also buried in Portland Cemetery.

Frances Martin_Cousin Bette1

Jeanne’s aunt Frances and Cousin Betty (Bette).  Bette explained in her memoirs She was “Betty” until she was 15 years old. “One day I got a letter… addressed to BETTE BAKER. I was enchanted! Bette Davis was the leading actress in the movies in those days, so I thought it sounded so glamorous. From that day on, I was BETTE.”

Betty Jane2 Betty Jane1

Bette remembers, “My very earliest memories are going to Mutti and Dad’s beach house in Long Beach, Washington for three months every summer.

“I went every summer until I got married in 1940. The old house was several blocks from the beach, but I remember walking down there with Mutti and Dad to pick up driftwood to burn in the wood stove. Dad would tie it up and drag it along behind him back to the house.”

More of Bette’s Story

Also visit Family of Otto Rudolph Martin and Agnes Frazenback



I am Dan Soderberg, award winning documentary film maker and phototgrapher specializing in architecture, historic preservation and nature.

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