F. O. (Frederick Oskar) Martin was born in Mittweida, Germany in 1871. He came to the United States in 1891 after spending several years at sea. Upon his arrival in the US, he worked as a mining engineer and geologist in the mines of Alaska, California, Idaho, and Montana. He studied at George Washington University from 1900-02, worked for the US Departments of Agriculture (1901-05) and Interior (1909-19), and also spent a year working on the Panama Canal. He married his wife, Agnes Elisabeth Riese, in Missoula, Montana, in 1908. They had three daughters, Anna Elisabeth, Fritzi, and Margaret (who married Charles Calvin Hamer).
After leaving the Department of the Interior, Martin worked for Union Oil of California as a geologist. His work for Union Oil included exploring the company's holdings in Colombia and Panama. In 1927, Martin was involved with the founding of the German American Savings Bank of Los Angeles. In 1930, he went into private practice in Pasadena, and from 1932-33, Martin served as the Austrian Honorary Consul at Los Angeles for California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. In 1933, he again entered the service of the Department of the Interior as a mining engineer. He retired in 1941 and became a private consultant in South Pasadena. Martin passed away in Pasadena, California, in 1951.