THAD C. CARVER. For years the people of Pratt have looked upon Thad C. Carver as one of their most trusted and substantial citizens and a man whose leadership could always be depended upon in times of crises. He came to Pratt more than thirty years ago, a young man with comparatively meager resources, and on the strength of his own ability and character has achieved his present position as one of the leading bankers in Kansas.
Mr. Carver was born in Vinalhaven, Maine, August 1, 1865. This branch of the Carver family goes back to colonial times in New England. He is descended from Robert Carver, who was a nephew of the famous John Carver, first governor of Massachusetts. Robert was a grandson of James Carver, of Boston, Lincolnshire, England. He was born in Boston, England, in 1594, and was an early settler at Marshfield, then known as Green Harbor, Massachusetts. He died in April, 1680, at the age of eighty-six years.
Reuben Carver, grandfather of the Pratt banker, was born at Vinalhaven, Maine, in 1795, and spent his life there as a leading citizen, shipbuilder, merchant and land owner. He died at Vinalhaven in 1889.
The father of Thad C. Carver was George S. Carver, who was born at Vinalhaven, June 28, 1841. He was reared and married there and at the age of thirteen went to sea, at first in a fishing vessel, and afterwards was captain of a boat, and followed the sea until about thirty-one years of age. He then went west to Chicago where he was in the produce business until the fire of 1871 destroyed his property. In 1875 he moved to Osceola, Iowa, and was a hotel proprietor and business man for several years. In September, 1879, he went back to Vinalhaven, Maine, and employed his last days in looking after his father's property. He died at Vinalhaven March 21, 1911. He had a military record, having served three years in the Union army during the Civil war. He was in the first battle of Bull Run, also at Shiloh, Lookout Mountain, Chickamauga and in other historic engagements. His regiment was the Fourth Maine Infantry. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and a republican in politics.
George S. Carver married Elmira Tolman, who was born on the Island of Matinicus, Maine, September 20, 1841, and is still living at Vinalhaven. She was the mother of two sons, Thad C. and Horace M., the latter dying at the age of seventeen.
Thad C. Carver began his education in the schools of Vinalhaven and Osceola, Iowa, and was fourteen years old when his father returned to Maine. He finished his education at Vinalhaven and in the Academy at Corinna, Maine. At the age of sixteen he started out to make his own way in the world, having all the independent enterprise characteristic of his ancestry. For a time he was in a wholesale and retail store at Marysville, Ohio, and on September 11, 1884, arrived at Pratt, Kansas, then practically a frontier community. For the first eleven months he worked in a general store, and in 1885 entered the Farmers and Merchants Bank as bookkeeper. Experience and hard work gave him his knowledge of the banking business. For three years he was assistant cashier of the bank, and in October, 1889, he went to the People's State Bank as bookkeeper, and it is with that institution that he has been so closely identified now for nearly thirty years. He became assistant cashier, later cashier, and since 1898 has been president of the bank, which is one of the strongest in that section of Western Kansas, having a capital of $50,000 and surplus of $25,000. As cashier and president he has had the main responsibilities of its management and has carried it safely through good times and bad, and the success of the institution can properly be credited to him. The bank was established in 1887, with a state charter, by Clarkson Toms and Harry L. Fell, both now deceased. The other executive officer besides Mr. Carver is E. F. Tolman, cashier.
Mr. Carver is also president of the Iuka State Bank, vice president of the Sawyer State Bank and is a director of the Bank Savings Life Insurance Company of Topeka. He is a member of the Executive Council of the American Bankers' Association and a member of the Kansas Bankers' Association.
For many years Mr. Carver has also been deeply interested in politics and in local and state affairs, and has always used his influence toward selecting and electing the best men to administer the affairs of the state. He is a republican, and for the past twenty-five years has been city treasurer of Pratt. He was elected and served four years as a member of the State Senate during Governor Stubb's and Governor Hoch's administration. He represented the Thirty-sixth District, comprising Reno, Kingman and Pratt counties. He was chairman of the committee on charitable institutions and a member of the banks and banking and penal institutions committees, and faithfully looked after the interests of his constituents throughout his term.
Mr. Carver is a member of the Presbyterian Church, is affiliated with Pratt Lodge of Masons, Pratt Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, Kingman Commandery, Knights Templar, Pratt Council, Royal and Select Masters, Wichita Consistory No. 2 of the Scottish Rite, and Isis Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Salina, being a life member of the latter. He also belongs to Pratt Lodge of Odd Fellows.
Actuated by pride in his local community and by patriotic duty Mr. Carver never lost an opportunity to keep his community in the front in all war activities. He was chairman of the Council of Defense of Pratt County, also chairman of the War Savings Committee of the county, and was chairman of the! Liberty Loan Committee of the Tenth District, comprising Pratt, Kiowa, Comanche, Barber, Mend and Seward counties. Incidentally it should be noted that Pratt County stands first among the counties of this state in War Savings Stamps averages, having over $30 per capita to its credit. The county went ever the top in every loan offered.
In June, 1887, at Marysville, Ohio, Mr. Carver married Miss Minnie A. Starr, daughter of John W. and Eliza (Ogden) Starr. Her parents reside at Pratt. Mr. and Mrs. Carver have three children. Josephine is a graduate of the National Park Seminary at Forest Glen, Maryland, and is now the wife of J. C. Lemon. They live in Newberg, Oregon. Margaret S. completed her education in the same institution as her sister and is at home. Horace N., the only son, was born March 3, 1904.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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