Barbara Lynn Martindale Sears – A True Texas Pioneering Story


Just as the San Marcos and Guadalupe Rivers flow and converge, so does the Emshoff-Martindale family tree!
One of the last living “Martindales” from a legacy of “Martindales” from Caldwell County passed away on Jan. 31, 2017, at 82 years of age.
Barbara Lynn Martindale Sears is the daughter of Owen Dewitt Martindale (born in Lockhart, Texas) and Henrietta Emshoff (bor

n in Washington on the Brazos). Owen was the son of John Thomas “J.T.” Martindale (born in Tuppa County, Miss.) and Cara Estes Martindale (born in Prairie Lea, Texas). Owen had three siblings: Roswell “Uncle Toots” Martindale, Bernice Martindale and Merle Martindale Berkley (Dripping Springs, Texas). Henrietta Emshoff Martindale’s sister, Johanna, was married to Godfrey Lassig, of Gonzales, Texas (one of 10 siblings).
I remember as a small child traveling to Gonzales and Lockhart visiting family along with my uncle “Toots” and aunt Merle and my grandmother, Henrietta Emshoff Martindale telling me how she was one of the oldest in her family and had to look out for the younger siblings as they traveled across Texas in a wagon!  My mother, Barbara Lynn Martindale Sears would tell me of her favorite cousin, Billy Wayne Lassig.
Owen’s mother, Cara was one of the first state appointed Extension Agents, classified as a “Home Demonstration Agent“ teaching people how to can foods and various other home economic activities, and served Caldwell county from 1912-1920.  According to the Lockhart Post-Register dated Oct. 27, 1955, listed in Cara’s obituary, “Her contribution to the county cannot be measured.” Cara was a member of the Lockhart Methodist Church and Woodman Circle for 50 years.
J.T. and Cara Martindale had a ranch south of town and were very active in the community. John Thomas was the son of William Alexander (W.A.) Martindale and Sarah Shinn, from Panola County, Miss. Mississippi is where the original settlers of Martindale, Texas, originated from and J.T. was one of the oldest settlers of Caldwell County.
J.T. had two brothers, W.A. and James D. Martindale, with W.A. also moving to Caldwell County and James remaining in Mississippi. However, James did visit and reunite with his brothers some 55 years later.
Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Martindale lost their son, Robert at age 32 due to Ptomaine poisoning. (other siblings were Hugh W. Martindale, Mrs. J.B. Fox, Bessie and Wesley Martindale, Mrs. R.W. Monroe, J. Henry Martindale and Albert M. Martindale). Robert served in the U.S. Marines serving in several major battles and wounded by gunfire.  Robert received by the French government, the Croix de Guerre award; the second highest medal given by the French and he was given a full military funeral at the Clark Chapel Cemetery, Lockhart, Texas.
Martindale relatives are buried in the Martindale City Cemetery in Martindale, Texas, the Lockhart City Cemetery in Lockhart, Texas and the Clark Chapel Cemetery (Historic Texas Cemetery), just outside of Lockhart, Texas.
It is so amazing that I get to travel the same roads as my ancestors did so many years ago.  While the scenery has changed some, the roads still remain. In one of the Lockhart Post-Register’s newspaper articles, I found where my great-grandmother, Cara Martindale talked about hearing of Sand Hill Road and had to visit a customer on that road, but had heard how bad the road was, especially when it rained. Well, she was right and I travel Sand Hill Road every time I go to Lockhart.
Barbara is the granddaughter of Johannes (pronounced Yohannes) Theodor Wilhelm “William” Emshoff and Sophie Auguste (Johanna) Wittee Emshoff.  William and Johanna originally from William Penn, Texas (Washington County) and early Texas settlers and moved to Robstown in 1912.  Their children were: Henrietta Emshoff Martindale (Barbara’s mother), Zelma Emshoff Klosterman, Fred Emshoff, Ernest Emshoff, Minnie Emshoff Eikelburg, Rosalie Emshoff Schubert, Edna Emshoff Beyer, Lillian Emshoff Smith Swanberg, Johanna Emshoff Lassig and Walter Emshoff.  Most of the Emshoff family were farmers in Nueces County for many years.  Barbara’s parents, Owen and Henrietta Martindale are buried in the City Cemetery in Robstown, Texas, along with many of the Emshoff family.  The Emshoff family was a big part of early Robstown, Texas and helped develop the then newly organized St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Barbara Lynn Martindale Sears was in the care of her daughter, Candice Witzkoske. Barbara’s other children are sons, Bill and Terry Sears (both deceased), and daughter, Handa Davis (married to son of Dub and Louise Davis, of Luling, Texas). Barbara had two sisters, Patsy Martindale (died as an infant) and Cara-Jo Martindale Upchurch (deceased). Barbara’s only two grandchildren, Cody and Angela Witzkoske and great-grandchildren, Lainey and Coby Witzkoske are from Gonzales, Texas.
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