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May 29, 2017

Kin Hubbard and Abe Martin of Brown County

A portrait of Kin Hubbard.

Kin Hubbard and Abe Martin of Brown County

By: Justin Davis, Indiana Room Digital Assistant

Way before Jim Davis found success in the funny papers with everyone’s favorite tabby cat, Garfield, there was another Hoosier humorist whose characters were read by Americans in newspapers all around the country. His name was Kin Hubbard, and his most famous creation was undoubtedly Abe Martin of Brown County.

Abe Martin, like his titled suggested, lived in the hills of Brown County, Indiana, and made readers from 1904 to 1930 laugh with his popular catch phrases and shenanigans. Published by the Indianapolis News, the character lived a simple life in rural Indiana, along with an eclectic crew of friends and neighbors, and portrayed daily life with a good-natured sense of humor and acerbic wit.

Today, the legacy of Kin Hubbard and Abe Martin live on not only with its influence on modern day humorists, but also on much of the artwork and architecture of Brown County, Indiana. If you pay close attention while visiting Nashville, Indiana, you’ll notice Abe Martin scribbled on street signs and welcome boards, and if you decide to rest overnight at the lodge in the middle of the State Park, you might realize that it’s named after its most famous fictional resident.

However, one thing you’ll notice immediately upon picking up a collection of Abe Martin comics is just how timeless they are. They may be over a hundred years old, but the lessons they teach as well as the situations the character finds himself in could very well have happened yesterday or today.

You can learn all about this yourself, because we have a lot of these books in the Indiana Collection that you can read! Come visit us in Noblesville and read books like” The best of Kin Hubbard : Abe Martin’s sayings and wisecracks, Abe’s neighbors, his almanack, comic drawings”, “The life and times of Kin Hubbard, creator of Abe Martin”, and “Abe Martin’s almanac”.