Caleb W. Carson, a prominent business man of Ashland and one of the best known citizens of Clark county, Kansas, when a young man left his native county in Illinois, one of the most opulent of that great commonwealth, and came to Kansas to seek the greater opportunities of the newer state. A residence of twenty-five years in this state, attended by a very successful business career, has verified his fatih[sic] in the future of Kansas and proved him a man of exceptional acumen and energy, for it is one thing to see opportunity and another to seize it.
Mr. Carson was born on a farm in Champaign county, Illinois, Dec. 18, 1859, son of William G. Carson, a native of Vermilion county, Indiana, born June 29, 1829. William G. Carson, whose father was a native of Tennessee, devoted his entire active career to agricultural pursuits in Illinois and died in Champaign county Nov. 10, 1906. His widow, who still survives, bore the maiden name of Martha Jane Bales. She was born in Virginia and is a daughter of Caleb Bales, a soldier of the war of 1812. To the marriage of Willam[sic] G. Carson and Martha Jane Bales were born ten children, four of whom died in infancy. Concerning the six children who survive the following data are consistently incorporated in this record touching the family history: Emily Josephine Carson, born Nov. 10, 1857, is the widow of Eugene A. Ford, a well known lawyer of Garnett, Kan., who died in 1895, survived by his wife and four children; Caleb W. is next in order of birth; Ellen A. Carson, born Aug. 11, 1864, married John I. Lee, of Ashland, Kan., in 1890. Mr. Lee, who is now a successful lumber merchant at Cordell, Okla., was formerly a well known citizen of Clark county, where he was editor of the "Clark County Clipper" ten years and clerk of the Clark county district court four years; he also served as register of the United States land office at Dodge City, Kan., four years, from 1894 to 1898. Mr. and Mrs. Lee had one son who died in infancy; Marcia Carson, born Aug. 9, 1866, is the wife of D. P. Sims, a dentist at Lancaster, Pa.; Miss Villa Carson, born Feb. 23, 1869, resides with her aged mother in Champaign, Ill.; William F. Carson, born June 23, 1873, is a salesman at Woodward, Okla.
Mr. Carson received his education in the public schools of Champaign county, Illinois, which training was supplemented by a business course at Lawrence, Kan., in 1885. In July, 1885, he located in Clark county, Kansas, and there engaged in the real estate and loan business, a line of endeavor that since has engaged his attention more or less. In 1887 he was appointed postmaster at Ashland by President Cleveland and was reappointed to that office in 1894, serving in all eight years. For five years he conducted a general merchandise store in Ashland, but continued his real estate business at the same time. Today he is the largest individual land owner in Clark county and the largest taxpayer as well. He is a business man of fine judgment and great enterprise, vigorous and alert, which qualities, together with conscientious dealing and honorable methods, have won him an enviable success. Not only through his identification with commercial interests in Ashland, but also through a close and deep interest in public affairs, has Mr. Carson gained for himself a name as a progressive, public spirited citizen. He has been a member of the Ashland board of education five years, and in 1909 and 1910 served as mayor of Ashland.
On March 11, 1886, Mr. Carson married Miss Mattie Congleton, of Champaign, Ill. She is a daughter of Columbus W. Congleton and wife, well known and respected farmer residents of Champaign county, Illinois, both of whom were born in Kentucky. Mr. and Mrs. Carson have five childrenfour sons and one daughterall of whom have, by diligently seeking intellectual attainments, evinced an ambition to be identified with the most progressive and useful branch of society. The eldest son, Paul Congleton Carson, born March 28, 1887, graduated at the University of Kansas with the class of 1911 and is now preparing for the profession of medicine. William G. Carson, the second son, born Jan. 13, 1888, is a graduate of Ashland High School and took a special course at Southwestern College, Winfield, Kan. Frank Lee Carson, born June 23, 1890, is a graduate of the Ashland High School and is now a student at the University of Kansas. Caleb W. Carson, Jr., the youngest son, born Nov. 19, 1891, is a graduate of the Ashland High School and won honor both for himself and his county as one of three representatives of his high school in the state high school debate at Lawrence in 1911. The immigration question was the subject of the debate and the opposing contestants were from Montgomery county, the second county in the state in point of population. The Ashland boys' victory, the trophies of which were a beautiful loving cup and a banner, was state-wide, as the contest in its course before the final meeting had embraced all the high schools of the state. Hazel Ellen Carson, the only daughter, born June 29, 1893, is also a graduate of the Ashland High School, class of 1912. The family enjoys one of the most beautiful and modern homes in Clark county, erected at a cost of approximately $20,000. Mr. Carson is prominently affiliated with the Masonic order, being a Knight Templar and a Thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason.Pages 1152-1153 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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