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The name Martin Amorous is not one that most Atlantans associate with the development of the City of Atlanta but that doesn’t diminish his contribution to the well-being of our city, not in the least.

Martin Amorous was born in Savannah, in 1858. His father , Mathias Amorous, was a proud Spaniard from Barcelona who captained a merchantman sailing vessel and he made frequent trips to the Americas. On one such trip, Mathias Amorous landed at the port of Savannah where he met and married Miss Sawney McDonald, a direct descendant of the famous Irish clan McDonald about whom there are many stories.

Mathias Amorous died when Martin was only 4-years old and Martin came under the mentorship of J.H. Grimsley, a lumberman from Eastman, Georgia who taught Amorous the business of lumber. Martin Amorous was a quick study and an industrious individual who soon made a name for himself among the lumber community.

He moved to Atlanta at the age of 21 and eventually became the owner of several lumber yards. Martin Amorous also gets the credit for being the person who conceived the idea of exporting Yellow Pine to the west, an idea which eventually made Martin Amorous a wealthy man.

Success in the lumber industry enabled Martin Amorous to become involved in several business around Atlanta and, more importantly, it enabled him to elevate his social status within the city. Martin Amorous was a founding member of several social clubs and organizations around Atlanta and he even served a few terms as an Atlanta City councilman. It was in his capacity as a councilman that Martin Amorous was able to make a lasting impression on the City of Atlanta and that is the reason we chose him as this week’s Stories of Atlanta.

Lance Russell is an Atlanta-based filmmaker and media communicator who, for over three decades, has been entrusted by clients to tell their stories. A seasoned producer with an innate ability to cut to...

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