North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame Inductee

Charles Franklin Martell

2019 Inductee Pre- 1940’s Ranching

Acceptance comments at Induction ceremony June 15,  2019

by Mary Patricia Martell Jones,  NDCHF trustee and granddaughter of C. F. Martell

Good afternoon everyone,

The Martell family is so happy to be here. We are proud to celebrate the history and legacies of those who came before us, and grateful that C. F. Martell’s contributions are being recognized.

What C. F. and those like him accomplished is truly extraordinary.

Thank you to the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame directors for nominating C. F. Martell and to all the trustees who thoughtfully voted.  Your faith in his worthiness is truly appreciated.

A big thank you to Dora, my aunt Janie. Without her we would not be here today. She learned of the Hall of Fame many years ago. She joined the hall, did volunteer work, became a trustee and then inspired me to get involved. It was Dora who first introduced C. F. Martell to the directors and members of the Hall. It was her work and initiative that got us all on the road to where we are today.

I also give a big thank you to all the California family members who are here today to celebrate this occasion. It’s not an easy weekend trip to get here, but this organization, North Dakota’s history, C. F. Martell and his legacy, mean that much to us. Their support and appreciation is invaluable. Not all our family is related by blood, there are many here today who knew CF and have been loyal, loving and unsurpassed friends. Friend is a totally inadequate word for these relationships, they are a second family and unceasingly by our side.

C. F. Martell truly deserves this honor. I only personally knew him as a child. I heard stories from others who knew him when I was young and researched his life as an adult. While I don’t think he was the kind of man that would have sought this, I do think he would of been proud to receive this honor. I know he was interested in preserving our knowledge of the past and what those who pioneered North Dakota accomplished one of the great missions of this organization.

I only knew my father C F Jr. a few years longer than my grandfather because he died fifty years ago just three years after his dad,  in 1969, but I was old enough to know how much he loved North Dakota and his heritage, which  he passed on to me. I know how happy he was to have it worked out to move his family back here and continue the work of the Martell ranch. My father achieved his dream; he just never was able to live it. I know he would be tickled and so proud of the recognition his father is getting here today.

I love history, but not just the facts and years of events, I love thinking about the times and what it would have been like for the real people, like you and me, living in those times.  Our ancestors were brave, full of initiative and determination, they were innovative and resilient – they could not survived and built this country if they weren’t. If one really, really, thinks about what they did, how they did it, what they had to work with, and the obstacles they overcame, you cannot help but be in awe.

There is so much C F accomplished, not just for himself, but for his community, there is not enough time here today to go over it. The ranch he worked so hard to build is no longer in the family, the town he helped develop is but a ghost town but the end results of his endeavors live on in the infrastructure and history of McKenzie and Williams County. His passion for education lives on in the C. F. Martell Foundation and his appreciation of history lives on in the C. F. Martell Endowment at the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Center. His legacy lives on in his family and now here at the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.

For information on Charles Franklin Martell  see:


Tales of the Ranch


Induction June 19, 2019

Friday June 18, 2019 Pre Induction Dinner

The old Martell Place and Charbonneau today

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