JOHN C. CARPENTER GRAVESTONE PHOTO
The Chanute Daily Tribune, May 23, 1921
PHOTO LATER IN LIFE
C. CARPENTER DEAD
Services at First Methodist Church at 3 o’clock
HELPED FOUND THIS CITY,
He came to Kansas First in
1857, Settling After
War in this County.
Revenue Collector of Kansas and Indian
for Ten Years.
Col. J. C. Carpenter, one of the founders of Chanute, also of Erie, the county
seat of this county, Civil war veteran, Kansas pioneer, prominent for many years
in state and national affairs, and a successful business man, died at 10:45
o’clock Saturday evening after having been ill for two months.
The funeral services will be held in the Methodist church at 3 o’clock
tomorrow afternoon. They will be conducted by the pastor, Dr. W. A. Keve.
The body will lie in state in the church from 1 to 3 o’clock in the
afternoon during which time his friends may look for the last time upon the face
of the man who had been associated with Chanute since the very time of its
beginning. The Ladies of the Grand
Army of the Republic will place upon the Colonel’s breast a small flag to be
taken with him to his final resting place.
To Kansas in 1857.
Colonel Carpenter was 83 years old, having been born in Indiana, the
county seat of Indiana county, Pennsylvania, February 5, 1838. He was educated in the public schools and graduated from the academy
there, then attended Kenyon College at Gambier, Knox county, Ohio, whence he
came in the spring of 1857 to Kansas.
He settled first in Allen county, where he joined an elder brother, A.
G. Carpenter, who was engaged in surveying townsites and locating settlers.
Carpenter took a claim near old Geneva where he remained for two years.
Lieutenant to Colonel.
In the meantime his mother died and at the request of his father he
returned to Pennsylvania, entered an attorney’s office and began reading law.
The opening of the Civil War found him thus engaged.
In response to the call for
volunteers he laid aside his books and enlisted in 1861 in Company E of the Sixty
Seventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry being elected lieutenant of his company.
He went from Pennsylvania to Annapolis, Md., and from there to the
Shenandoah valley where in the battle of Winchester on June 15, 1863, Lieutenant
Carpenter was taken prisoner.
In Death Ballot.
He was sent to Richmond, where he remained until March of 1864.
In the meantime his commission as captain had been signed. During his stay in Richmond, among seventy-one captains, of whom he was
one, a ballot was taken to see which two should be executed in retaliation for
the executions of Captains Corbett and McGraw of the Confederate forces who had
been put to death by order of General Burnsides on Johnson’s Island after
having been caught recruiting within the Union lines in Kentucky. The captains selected were Sawyer from a New Jersey regiment and Flynn
from an Indiana regiment, but they were not put to death.
In March of 1864 Colonel
Carpenter returned to Annapolis, Md., then went to Washington with forty
officers from Libby prison and reported to the commissary general of prisons,
General Hoffman. He returned to his
regiment and took part in a number of hotly contested engagements, winning
promotion, by his fidelity and gallantry, to the rank of colonel of the
regiment, which position he held to the close of the war and at the time he was
mustered out of service July 21, 1865.
His Return to Kansas.
Returning to his old home in Pennsylvania Colonel Carpenter finished
reading law. He was admitted to the
bar April 6, 1866, and the next day started for Kansas.
He had prospected considerably
over the Neosho country during his previous residence in this vicinity, and it
was hither that he directed his steps in search of a permanent location, Labette
and Neosho counties were then one and the population was confined principally to
settlements along the Neosho river, there being no town within the limits of
either county except the straggling village of perhaps a dozen houses which
sprung up around Osage Mission, now St. Paul, this county.
Helped Found Erie.
Erie at that time consisted of a store and a dwelling house, the store being
conducted by J. L. Denison and A. H. Roe in the log house above which was held
the first term of court ever conducted in the county.
Colonel Carpenter attended this
term of court, but in the absence of business before it of his own to attend to
be interested himself in a townsite movement and in company with others founded
the present town of Erie, to which the old town moved and which at once became
the chief seat of population in that part of the county and subsequently the
A Forefather of Chanute.
Carpenter remained at Erie until the summer of 1870 when with others he laid out
the town of New Chicago at the crossing of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas and
the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston railroads, the latter now being part
of the Santa Fe’s Southern Kansas division, New Chicago is now part of
In 1868, Colonel Carpenter was
elected to the Kansas senate from the Sixteenth district, which comprised the
counties of Neosho, Allen, Labette, Wilson, Woodson and Montgomery. He was re-elected in 1876 and again in 1892 and 1900.
Internal Revenue Collector
was appointed internal revenue collector for Kansas and the Indian Territory in
February, 1878, and held this position ten years, when he returned to Chanute
and resumed the practice of law here, continuing until 1901, when he retired.
He received thirty-five votes for nomination as the candidate for
lieutenant governor in the Republican state convention in 1870; thirty-eight
votes of the gubernatorial nomination in the Republican state convention in
1872; and two votes in the house and one in the senate for election as United
States senator for Kansas in January of 1874.
He was a delegate to the national
Republican convention in June of 1872, and was temporary chairman of the
Republican state convention in Topeka in 1874.
Declined Two Appointments.
June 29, 1874, he was appointed registrar of the United States land
office at Hays, Kan. an appointment which he declined to accept. In March of 1902, he was tendered by President McKinley the office of
United States Commissioner of Pensions. He
declined and the position went to Eugene F. Ware of Fort Scott.
He served as chairman of the Kansas board of the St. Louis Worlds Fair
commission in 1901.
He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the Loyal
Legion, composed of men who served as commissioned officers in the Union army,
and was a past commander of Neosho Post No. 129 of the Grand Army.
He was the last to die of
eleven brothers, all of whom fought in the Civil war, one after having served in
the Mexican War.