By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald
Daviess County Treasurer Martin Mumaw III died Wednesday of cancer. He was 63.
Besides being treasurer for the county, Mumaw held a lot of roles and was a part of many people’s lives. He was, most notably, chairman for the Republican Party in Daviess County. He had also served Daviess County as the Recorder.
Many who spoke of Mumaw on Thursday said he was a man that loved public service and loved working for the people of the county.
Daviess County Commissioner Tony Wichman said Thursday his passing will be “a loss to all residents of Daviess County.”
“I have been acquainted with Martin for the past 16 years and he was always knowledgeable in his position,” Wichman said. “I will miss working with him.”
Washington Mayor Joe Wellman said Mumaw “was a big help to me and my wife to be involved in politics.”
“I would consider Martin a good friend and he did a lot for the party,” Wellman said. “As a community we are going to miss him.”
Prosecutor Dan Murrie had the pleasure of working with Mumaw in his office and as part of the annual GOP Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner. Some of Murrie’s jokes were at Mumaw’s expense, but he was always a good sport about it.
“Martin loved Daviess County,” Murrie said. “He loved working for the public. He was a great leader in the party and he will be sorely missed.”
One of Mumaw’s closest friends was Daviess County Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit. Harbstreit said he was “the brother he never had.”
“Martin helped me grow and to be good about what I do,” Harbstreit said. “As he shaped his mission in life, his personality, his sense of trust and his sense of humor, it was not hard to know what Martin believed. He always seemed to understand the worth of persons around him.”
Harbstreit went on to say that Mumaw was a “great man who lived a life with strengths worth emulating.”
“Our world is desperately in need of models worth following. Martin was one deserving of our time and attention.”
Another man who worked closely with Mumaw was Daviess County Councilman and GOP Vice-chairman Mike Myers.
“The thing that stands out the most in my mind about Martin was his integrity, both as a person and as a public servant,” Myers said. “He was both my friend and mentor, and I, along with all of Daviess County, will miss him very much.”
Harbstreit, in his comments, said Mumaw handled politics with “invincible confidence.” Former state representative and Democrat stalwart Dave Crooks was on the other end of some of those political battles. But through it all, Mumaw was the consummate gentleman.
“Shelly and I mourn with the community of Martin’s passing,” Crooks said. “While we had our differences with our politics, we are proud to say he was a friend and a gentleman to the end. He will be missed.”
His loss was also felt in the statehouse Thursday. State Rep. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, said Mumaw was “a great personal friend of his,” and enjoyed being around the man.
“He was a great leader for the county and the state of Indiana,” Messmer said. “His leadership was invaluable to many people. He was a man of integrity and he will be missed.”
Eighth District U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon took to the floor of the House of Representatives Tuesday in honor of Mumaw.
“(He was) a man with a strong desire to help others and a man who has been a tremendous asset to the people of the Eighth District of Indiana,” Bucshon said. “His public service and civic engagement have been a means by which Martin has improved the lives of those around him.”
But while Mumaw was prominent politically, there was more to him. One example, he served for many years on the board of the Carnegie Public Library.
“Martin was a model public servant, a huge supporter of the community and a true friend and advocate for the public library,” Library Director Teresa Heidenreich said in a Facebook post. “He will be greatly missed.”
Mumaw was also very involved with the Washington Conservation Club and was a great lover of the outdoors. He taught classes on hunter education and gun safety for many years.
Also, he was a large part of the Civil War Roundtable, Rotary, Kiwanis, Senior and Family Services and other organizations. Among the many awards for his public service, in 1988, he was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash award from then- Ind. Gov. Robert Orr.
Services are set for 2 p.m. Saturday at First Christian Church.