Probably no man is better known in the vicinity of Jamestown than James Carter, the gentleman whose name introduces this sketch. He emigrated to Kansas with the Ansdell brothers and landed in Grant township June 7, 1870, where the homestead of uncultivated prairie has become one of the most valuable estates in the beautiful Buffalo creek valley, and where Mr. Carter has become identified as one of those citizens largely interested in the development of the county. He was a single man and "bached" for several months in a small log hut, and during this period in the newly settled country in all probability he looked into the future and saw a comfortable home but did not foresee the beautiful country place that is nos his.
Mr. Carter has been an extensive contributor to the best interests of the community and the work he has accomplished toward the improvement and cultivation of his fine farm is a most important one. The land he entered from the government has been added to until he now owns five hundred acres which is one of the best improved and most desirable farms in Cloud county. His residence, consisting of nine rooms, its modern conveniences, extensive and well-kept lawn, is one of the most imposing in the locality of Jamestown. Mr. Carter's prosperity has certainly been well merited, for he accomplished these magnificent results from no other resources than industry and good judgment. These sterling qualities along with determination have placed him in the front ranks of the substantial farmers and he is hereby recorded as part and progress of the history of Cloud county. At the date of his settlement in Grant township there were no actual settlers, as all who secured "claims" had deserted them, and the vast territory, where now lie some of the finest farms on the continent, was covered with a sea of waving prairie grass.
Mr. Carter's birthplace is the Dominion of Canada, born in 1849. In 1885, he settled in Wisconsin, and though but a youth responded to the call for volunteers and enlisted in Company B, Thirty-sixth Wisconsin. After serving one and one-half years he was discharged on account of disability. Recuperating his health, he re-enlisted three months later in Company D, Fiftieth Wisconsin, and served one year. While with the Thirty-sixth he was in active service and participated in the battles of Petersburg and Cold Harbor. During the last enlistment his regiment was sent to Dakota territory, where they witnessed some Indian warfare and took part in two lively skirmishes with the redskins.
Mr. Carter's parents were George and Mary (Ried) Carter. His father was a Canadian by birth but emigrated to Wisconsin among the early settlers of that state. Mr. Carter is of Irish origin, his paternal and maternal ancestors having come originally from the Emerald Isle. His father resides in Richland county, Wisconsin. His mother died when our subject was eighteen years of age. Mr. Carter was married, in 1877, to Emma, a daughter of the late John U. Hodgson, one of the first postmasters in the vicinity of Jamestown, and when the nearest postoffice on the east was Concordia. It bore the name of Alva, given by William J. Ion, who was reading "Oscar of Alva," one of Byron's poems.
"How sweetly shines through azure skies,
The lamp of heaven on Lora's shore;
Where Alva's hoary turrets rise,
And hear the din of arms no more."
The name Alva, appealed to Mr. Ion as being appropriate for the new postoffice and at his suggestion it was adopted. When Mr. Hodgson received the appointment of postmaster his form was straight and full of vigor, his eyes bright and lighted with expression, but twenty-two years prior to his demise he had the misfortune to lose his sight and was totally blind. Mr. Hodgson was a native of Yorkshire, England, born in 1818. He emigrated to America in 1841 and settled in the province of Oxford, Canada, spending part of his time in Toronto and Tobico. He removed to Illinois in 1862, where he farmed until coming to Kansas. Mrs. Carter's mother before her marriage, was Elizabeth Taylor, of Canadian birth. She survives her husband, lives on the old homestead and owns other land adjoining. She has three sons, E.L., B.F., and W.M, who are interested with her in farming.
To Mr. and Mrs. Carter five children have been born, who give promise of becoming like their parents, useful citizens. Harry Fred, the eldest son, is aged twenty-four; John George, aged nineteen; Mary Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, is a young woman of eighteen years and a student in the last year of the high school course in Jamestown; Dot Lucile, aged fifteen, has just entered upon the first years course in the high school; James Eugene, the youngest child, was nicknamed "Tim" when an infant and is scarcely known by any other name.
When Mr. Carter came to Kansas his capital was twenty-five dollars, a yoke of oxen and a well worn wagon. He has gained his competency by raising wheat, cattle and hogs. Prior to a half dozen years ago he raised corn. In the year 1902, he had three hundred and twenty acres of wheat which yielded only eight and ten bushels per acre. The same acreage the previous year produced seven thousand bushels. Aside from their handsome dwelling, the improvements consist of a fine barn, sheds, outbuildings and a well bearing orchard of six acres. Mrs. Carter is an amiable woman and has done her part toward gaining their pleasant home and through her refined tastes its appointments are far above the average. Mr. Carter is a Republican from start to finish and takes an intelligent interest in public affairs.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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