Clarence Martin was born and raised in Cheney, where the Eastern Regional Branch Archives and Digital Archives offices are now located. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1906 and joined his father in running the Cheney Grain and Milling Company.
From 1928 to 1933 Martin was the mayor of Cheney. While still in office, he was elected governor in 1932. He was known as the “people’s governor” for his strict frugality in government spending and oversaw large economic projects such as the Grand Coulee Dam to put people to work during the Great Depression.
At his inauguration, Governor Martin was presented the “World’s Largest Inaugural Cake” by the Olympia Chamber of Commerce. It was designed and decorated by G.W. Fulton of Chehalis. The masterpiece features amazing detail, including landscape scenery, two busts of George Washington, multiple swans, and two Statues of Liberty. View the full-size photo to check out the details.