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Martha Culver was born in North Haven on July 26, 1864, the youngest child of Ammi and Delia Culver. Ammi was a brickyard owner, and built the home, in which Martha would live for most of her life, out of local bricks manufactured somewhere along the Muddy River in North Haven.
Shortly after Martha was born, her father died. Delia sold the brickyard but kept her home, which she continued to live in with Martha, her older brother Benjamin and Sam Sackett, her second husband. Martha seemed to have a fairly typical upbringing and eventually married Frank Smith, a farm laborer in town. But Martha did not remain married long – she divorced Frank (shocking for the time) and traveled the country, ministering to those in need. She even spent some time volunteering in a prison. She returned to the family home in North Haven, where she lived until her death in 1926.
Martha Culver never had children, nor did her older brother Benjamin. Martha was the last surviving member of the Culver family, so she left the family home and the land it sits on to the town of North Haven. In her will, she stipulated that the house and property be used as a library and recreational space.