Skip to main content

Portrait and Biographical Record of Portland and Vicinity, Oregon, Chicago: Chapman Publishing Co., 1903, page 646.

That Col. Martin L. Pratt is a man standing high in the esteem of the members of the Grand Army of the Republic in Oregon, and the citizens of Portland is a well known fact. Entering the services of his country when but sixteen years of age, as one of the brave boys in blue who fought so nobly to defend the Union flag, his record as a valiant soldier is one that has gained for him the admiration and honor of his comrades and the gratitude of the nation. As an able educator, also, he has attained prominence. Ohio claims him as a native son, his birth having occurred in Peru, Huron county, November 11, 1847. His father, Franklin Pratt, was born in East Hartford, Conn., and was a descendant of Lieutenant Pratt, of the English navy, who came to Connecticut in 1632. The colonel is a brother of Prof. Irving W. Pratt, whose biography appears on another page in this volume. The early days of his boyhood were passed upon a farm in Huron county, Ohio. His father was a captain of one of the first passenger packets on the Erie canal. In 1856 he removed with his family to Lenawee county, Mich., settling in Fairfield township, and in the public schools of that locality Colonel Pratt received his preliminary education. His spirit of patriotism was roused by the conflict between the north and south for the preservation of the union, and in the fall of 1863 he became a member of the One Hundred and Thirtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, enlisting in Company B. He was mustered in at Toledo, Ohio, and with his command was sent south to join the Army of the James River. He took part in many important battles of the war, including the siege of Petersburg and Five Forks, which was practically a siege of the surrounding country, lasting for one year, until the fall of Petersburg. After the surrender of General Lee he took part in the grand review at Washington, D. C., one of the greatest military pageants in the history of our country. He had served his country faithfully and well, displaying the valor and bravery of a man of twice his years. He was mustered out in July, 1865, at Toledo, and returned to the home of his brother in Ohio, being still under eighteen years of age. After his return he taught school for some years in his home township, later became principal of the school in Fairfield, Mich. He was elected county superintendent of schools of Lenawee county, occupying this position for two years. He then took a normal course at Adrian, Mich., graduating in 1868. In 1882 he located in Portland, Ore., and here becoming superintendent of a district containing three schools, Holladay, Multnomah and Williams Avenue and continued to have charge of the same until Albina was incorporated into a city. Later he became principal of the Cedar street school, at Astoria, Ore., which position he occupied for three years, at the end of which time he resigned to accept the position of principal of the Williams Avenue school of Portland, situated on the corner of Williams avenue and Russell street. Colonel Pratt is remarkably well fitted to fill the important positions in educational institutions which have been tendered him, being able to impart clearly and concisely to others the knowledge which he has himself acquired, and to bring out the latent talent and develop the minds of his pupils. In fall of 1902 Colonel Pratt, with others, organized the International Mining and Milling Company with offices and plant located in Portland, Ore., to manufacture and install improved mining machinery. He was elected treasurer of the company.

In Portland, Ore. occurred the marriage [ Jan 5, 1887 ] of Col. M. L. Pratt and Miss May Loller, a native of Philadelphia. The colonel is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Washington Lodge No. 46, A. F. & A. M., in which he served as secretary. He attained the degree of Royal Arch Mason in Washington Chapter. He is past commander of Sumner Post No. 12. G. A. R., and in June, 1902, in Astoria, Ore., at the state encampment of that organization, he was elected department commander of Oregon, with the rank of general. During 1901 and 1902 he was inspector general under the national commander. His relations with his army associates are of the most pleasant nature, and he has the regard and esteem of all. Politically he has ever been a staunch Republican.

Oregonian, 28 Aug 1923, page 8

Find A Grave

Prof. Martin Luther Pratt passed many useful and devoted years in the public schools of Portland. Many hundreds, aye thousands, of pupils, now grown to manhood or womanhood, remember him with affection and respect. He had a fine war record, too, in his service for the union in the civil war. He was altogether an exemplary citizen, who served his day and generation and then joined his comrades on the other shore.

Oregonian, 23 Oct 1934, page 5

Mrs. May L. Pratt, a resident of Oregon since 1873, died Saturday at the Portland sanitarium. She was an aunt of Sheriff Martin T. Pratt. Funeral services will be held today at 1:30 P. M. at Finley's chapel.

Mrs. Pratt, who was the daughter of the late Alexander and Eliza Loller, was born in Harrisburg, Pa., in August, 1854. After coming to Portland with her parents in 1873, she attended the old Portland high school, graduating in 1882. She taught in the old Holladay school for several years until her marriage in 1887 to Martin L. Pratt who for many years was principal of the old Williams-avenue school and later patriotic instructor of the public shools of the city.

Mrs. Pratt was a charter member of the Progress club, a study club, and served several terms as president. At the time of her death she was vice-president of that organization.

Mrs. Pratt was an accomplished musician, and for many years devoted her time to teaching music. In late years she occupied herself with tutoring and preparatory work for college.

She is survived by her brother Frank of Tualatin and several nieces, nephews and cousins here and in Harrisburg, Pa.