William Clarence and Martha B. Branaman Fund
Both Martha and Clarence Branaman were natives of Washington County. Clarence was born in Jefferson Township, the son of W. Floyd Branaman and Alice Stewart Branaman. He was a 1920 graduate of Salem High School. He attended Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, and graduated with a degree in agriculture in 1924. In 1925, he became a teacher of agriculture and Future Farmers of America sponsor at Salem High School. He was a pioneer in introducing scientific agriculture to Washington County, and he very successfully farmed a large acreage of land north, northeast, and west of Salem.
Martha Smith Branaman was born in Salem, Indiana in 1910. She was the daughter of the late Ford A. Smith and Florence Blanche Munkelt Smith. Her father, Ford Smith, was the founder of Smith Cabinet Manufacturing Company. Martha graduated from Salem High School in 1928. She met Clarence Branaman while at Salem High School, and they were married in December 1928. They had two children - David Branaman (1932) of Louisville, KY and the former President of Salem’s Child Craft Industries, Inc. and Martha Ann Branaman Gran (1937) of Indianapolis, IN.
Both Martha and Clarence were community-minded people who contributed their time and money to helping others. They were active in their church and in various community organizations. Martha was a former director of Smith Cabinet Manufacturing Company and an active member of Tri-Kappa, Study Club, and Fortnightly Club. She was President of Christian Women’s Fellowship and served on the Board of Directors of the First Christian Church of Salem. Clarence was an active member of Fortnightly Club and SAR. He was President of Lion’s Club and Master of the Masonic Club. He was also active in the church, serving as a Deacon and on the Church Board.
The Washington County Community Foundation supports Martha and Clarence’s charitable interests, including the Salem Library, the Stevens Memorial Museum, and the Salem Education Foundation. The Christian Church Foundation supports their local First Christian Church of Salem, the church’s historical society, theology students training for ministry, and older people in need.