Biography - William V. Carr

WlLLLAM V. CARR, who has been appointed by Uncle Sam to take charge of the postal service at Stewardson, Ills., was born in what is now Dry Point Township, Shelby County, October 9, 1844. He is a son of Elias and Nancy (Siler) Carr, natives of North Carolina and Tennessee respectively. The father of our subject was born in 1804. His father having died in Tennessee, his mother, with a family of four children, three of whom were girls, came to Illinois in 1816. The family first lived one year on Sand Creek, Shelby County, they then settled in Dry Point, and were thus the first settlers in that part of the country, and in fact, as early as any who located in the country.

Here the father of our subject grew to manhood pursuing farming for a living. He passed his remaining years in Dry Point Township and died in the year 1848. He was a prominent member of the Methodist Church, being a Class Leader at the time of his death. The mother of our subject came with her parents to the State of Illinois and the family settled in Cumberland, where her father, Benjamin Siler, passed his remaining years. While a young woman she married Mr. Carr, whose death she did not long survive, following him in a few months, her decease taking place in 1849.

The original of our sketch is one of nine children, five of whom are still living, all being residents of Shelby County. Martha is the wife of the Rev. Mr. Middlesworth. Mary married George Huffer. Jefferson W.; John and our subject. William V. was only four years of age when he was left an orphan and his young life was spent with various persons. His sister, Mrs. Huffer, was a foster mother to him for six years which he spent in her household.

Educational advantages in those early days were limited and our subject was enabled to attain only the common branches. When there was school, held in a log house, after he had attained the age of nine years, he was obliged to walk three miles in order to reach it. While a mere lad he was obliged to work his own way, doing whatever he found to do in order to get a living. In these days when children are so tenderly cared for and enjoy the comforts, even among the poorer class, that were considered the most refined luxuries at the time our subject was a boy, it makes one sad to think how little youth he had.

The three brothers in our subject's family, all enlisted and each served faithfully during the Civil War. William V. Carr enlisted in 1868 as a private of Company A., Fifty-fourth Illinois Infantry. He served until the close of the war, being mustered out November 16, 1865. He was a participant in the battles that occurred at the siege of Vicksburg, was with the Red River expedition, and was at the capture of Little Rock, Ark. While near that place, in August, 1864, he was taken prisoner at Batesville, where he remained until January, 1865. He then joined his command at Hickory Station, Ark., where he remained until he was mustered out at Ft. Scott. After the war our subject resumed farming in Prairie Township and continued this occupation until 1888, when he removed to Stewardson, and in April, 1889, was appointed Postmaster.

In 1867, the original of our sketch was united in marriage to Miss Deborah Blue, a daughter of Erasmus Blue, she was born in Fairfield County, Ohio. By this wife our subject is the father of one daughter, Drotha, who is bright, intelligent and winsome. Politically Mr. Carr is a Republican in party preference, using his influence and vote in its favor and having all confidence in its platform. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and finds much pleasure in recounting with an old comrade, common experiences incident to the war. He still owns his farm of sixty acres upon which is a good tenant, he also has a handsome property in Stewardson.

John Carr, a brother of our subject was born in Shelby County in 1842. He enlisted in 1861, in the Thirty-fifth Illinois Infantry, in which he served until 1866, having re-enlisted in the regular army. During his military experience he was never either wounded or taken prisoner. After the war he returned to Shelby County and has since been engaged in farming in Ridge Township, where he owns two hundred acres of land in a fine state of cultivation. He invited Caroline Downs to be his life partner, sharing with him its pleasures and burdens. They are the parents of eight children.

Extracted 11 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 329-330.

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