William Carroll

WILLIAM CARROLL. One of the most popular members of the county government of Woodson County is William Carroll, who has recently finished his second term as sheriff. Mr. Carroll has spent all his life since infancy in this section of Kansas, belongs to a family of pioneers of Woodson County, and his own career has been one of hard work and exceptional fidelity to every interest committed to his care.

He was born in Kane County, Illinois, November 2, 1868, but was brought to Kansas when about two years of age. His father, Michael Carroll, was born in Southern Ireland in 1829, and as a youth came to the United States in 1845. He lived in Kane County, Illinois, for a number of years, followed railroading and also spent several winters in the South working on the levees. In 1870 he brought his family out to Woodson County, Kansas, and homesteaded eighty acres four miles north of Yates Center. There he and his family endured those ups and downs which were part of the fortune of every Kansas household in the early days, but altogether he prospered, did a good part by his family, and was able to retire about a year before his death. He died on the old home farm in 1910. He was a loyal democrat, and a member of the Catholic Church. Michael Carroll married Miss Johanna Terrell, who was born in Ireland in 1835 and died on the farm in Woodson County in 1901. They had a large family of children: James, who died in Woodson County in 1891; Mary, wife of M. F. Moore, who served as under sheriff with Mr. Carroll; Pierce, who died at the age of eight years on the home farm in Woodson County; William C.; Dennis, who died in childhood in Woodson County; Frank; who also died young; John, a farmer in Woodson County; Mrs. Kate Kelley, whose husband is foreman in the cement plant at Iola, Kansas; Josie, wife of Martin Deviny, a carpenter at Neodesha, Kansas; and Edward, who died in infancy.

William Carroll grew up in Woodson County, attended the rural schools for his education, and up to the age of fifteen remained at home and assumed such burdens and responsibilities as were proportionate to his strength. He began life as a farmer and continued along those lines for 16 1/2 years. The greater part of the time he spent with W. M. Cooper, one of the leading cattle men of this section. On leaving the service of Mr. Cooper he spent two years on the home farm, then for two years was with F. H. Conger, another cattleman, and for 8 1/2 years was with Mr. Bedford, a liveryman at Yates Center.

Mr. Carroll was elected sheriff of Woodson County in 1912, but in 1914 was re-elected. It was a splendid tribute to his personal popularity and his qualifications for the office that he was chosen on the democratic ticket in a county which is normally republican by fully 900 majority. Mr. Carroll had 367 votes more than his republican opponent. His present term of office expires in January, 1916.

Mr. Carroll is a member of Oak Hill Lodge No. 71, Knights of Pythias, of Yates Center, of which he is past chancellor commander, and is also a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He is unmarried.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by Angela Low and Rebecca Ransome, students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, September7, 1999.

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