Carr - William Cass - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Carr - William Cass


Source: Portrait & Biographical Record of Montgomery, Parke & Fountain counties, Indiana. Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1893, pp 133-134

HON. WILLIAM CASS CARR, ex-Mayor of the city of Crawfordsville, Ind., is a wide-awake, conservative business man, and one of the best executive officers that the city has ever had. His election dates from the year 1890, and already he has shown great ability. The subject of this sketch was born in Lawrence County, Ind., September 8, 1848, being a son of George W. and Elizabeth (Brown) Carr. The former was born in 1807, at Charlestown, Ind., and his father, Thomas Carr, was one of those who came from Kentucky with the first band of settlers to this place in 1804, and later settled at the old trading-post of Vallonia. He was among the first pioneers of Carr Township, Jackson County, where he resided until his death. This old homestead he entered, and the parchment deeds thereof were signed by James Monroe. Our subject's father lived there and carried on the farm until about one year ago, when be sold the place, this being the only transfer which had been made since the land was taken up. In 1851, George W. Carr was made Receiver of Public Money at Jeffersonville, and remained in that office until it was discontinued, about the year 1855, when he returned to his agricultural pursuits. At Madison he organized the old Ninety-third Indiana Regiment, and was made its Lieutenant-Colonel, until he was obliged to resign on account of ill-health, just previous to the surrender of Vicksburg. His life was very active, and his ability and intelligence were recognized by his fellow-citizens, as in the year 1842 he was elected on the Democratic ticket to the Legislature, being returned for nine years, and in 1850 was one of the Constitutional Committee who made the present Constitution. He stumped the State for Stephen A. Douglas, but after that campaign took no such active part in political canvasses. Our subject's father was twice married, his first union being celebrated December 14, 1828, with Miss Elizabeth Brown, who was born in Tennessee, though her parents were from Maryland. Her father, James Brown, was an early settler of Indiana, in which State Mrs. Carr grew to womanhood. By her marriage she became the mother of six children. Sarah became the wife of James Brown, and died in 1891; Jane Ann is Mrs. Uriah M. Coulson, and resides at Sullivan, Ind.; Matilda is Mrs. Simeon Smith, of Newberry, Ind.; Mary, who resides in Erie, of this State, is the wife of William Speer; George, who died March 16, 1893, was one of the Reviewing Commissioners of the Pension Department appointed by President Garfield; and the last of the family is our subject. George W. Carr, the father of this family, died May 27, 1892.

William Carr was reared on the old homestead in Jackson County, attended the High School of Woodville, and took a commercial course at Indianapolis in 1870. There he learned telegraphy, and spent two or three years as an operator. Having a natural turn of mind for mechanics, he then entered the employ of the Vandalia Railroad, and was with them for about two years as bridge-builder. For a like period of time he was Superintendent of the telegraph line, with headquarters at Crawfordsville. Leaving the railroad company in 1876, he became connected with the planing-mill belonging to R. M. & W. C. Lockhart. After a few years, in company with H. T. Craig, he engaged in contracting and building until 1880, when he took charge of a lumber-yard. When the Marks and Cohoon Planing Mill Company was organized, our subject became the Superintendent, erected their mill, and ran it until 1886, when they made an assignment to Mr. Carr, who continued to run the mill until 1890, when he was elected Mayor, after which time he attended to the people's interests rather than to his own up to 1892. In the Mayoralty contest Mr. Carr's opponent was Sidney Speed, a son of ex-Mayor John Speed. During the administration of our subject, an electric-light plant was erected by the city at a cost of $55,000. It was at Crawfordsville that the question was settled whether a city had the right to operate a light plant supplying stores and private houses with the illuminating power. October 27, the Supreme Court of the State handed down an elaborate decision, reversing the decision of the lower court and settling the question in the affirmative. This was of interest and a matter of concern to all the inhabitants. Mayor Carr deserving much credit for the position he took and the persistency with which he contested the case. Mayor Carr is a man of liberal mind, and is one who recognizes in every transaction the people's rights. The Council passed an appropriation for $25,000, when some of the members commenced opposing the measure. Our subject and three of the Council, however, carried the day, and now that the heat of discussion is over Mayor Carr is more popular than ever. Every department of the city government had his personal attention. The electric fire-alarm system has been adopted, and the fire department greatly increased in capacity and efficiency. It is now well equipped with modern apparatus, and has an enthusiastic force of twelve men, thoroughly taught in every manoeuvre. The marriage of William Carr took place on November 26, 1873, with Agnes E., daughter of Harvey Prewitt, deceased, a former well-known farmer and stock-man. This union has been blessed with one child, a son, Lucien W., aged sixteen years. The pleasant home of the family is situated on Maine Street. Mr. Carr is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has passed all the chairs. He also belongs to the Order of Red Men.
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