Sherwood E. Carter


Carroll County Biography



Some very interesting events have been crowded into the career of this gentleman, now a resident of Freedom Township, this county, but who was born in Schoharie County, N. Y., Jan. 15, 1836. His opening years were spent amid the peaceful pursuits of farm life, and he came to Illinois with his father about 1853, settling in Jo Daviess County, and remaining with him until the removal of the family to Viroqua, Wis. There he started out for himself, and worked by the month at Ward’s Grove probably three years. We next find him in Shannon, this county, where he was employed two years as a farm-laborer, then went into Scott County, and worked one year.

This brings our subject up to the fall of 1861, after the outbreak of the Civil War. He watched the conflict a few months, and then decided to lay aside his personal plans and interests, and give his service to his country until her enemies were subdued. In the month of October he enlisted in Company A, 46th Illinois Infantry, soon marched with his comrades to the front, and afterward took part in some of the most important engagements of the war. At the siege of Vicksburg he was captured by the rebels, held three days, then paroled, but joined his regiment, and prepared himself for further duty. He was also in the battles at Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, Hatchie River, Corinth, Holly Springs, and Jackson, Miss., besides minor engagements and skirmishes. In February, 1865, he received his honorable discharge, and, returning to this county, settled in Freedom Township, and resumed the peaceful pursuits of agriculture. His father and two brothers also served in the war, in a Wisconsin regiment.

Mr. Carter now purchased eighty acres of land on section 10 in Freedom Township, of which he took possession, and where he has since remained. He was prospered in his labors, and gradually added to his real-estate, at the same time carrying on the improvement of his property, and later giving his attention largely to stock-raising. This industry has proved quite remunerative, and our subject takes pride in his accomplishments in this respect. He was first wedded, July 3, 1863, to Miss Mary A. Collins, at the bride’s home in Freedom Township. This lady was born in Lancashire, England, and by her union with our subject became the mother of six children. Their eldest, a daughter, Laura, is now the wife of Frank Steck, of this township; Charles S. married Miss Emily Miller, and lives in Freedom Township; Eleanor and Cora are at home; Willie died in early childhood, and the next son, Wallace, is at home. Mrs. Mary A. Carter died at her home in Freedom Township, July 3, 1886.

Our subject contracted a second marriage, at Lanark, Ill., Dec. 24, 1888, with Mrs. Anna (Patton) Giddings, widow of Smith Giddings, who died in Stephenson County, Ill., Jan. 27, 1871. Mr. Giddings accidentally shot himself while taking a load of wood to Shannon. Mrs. Anna Carter was born in County Down, Ireland, Nov. 13, 1849, and is the daughter of William and Agnes (Berry) Patton, who were natives of Ireland. The father died in Stephenson County, but the mother is still living. She is the mother of one son by her first marriage – Smith Giddings, Jr.

Mr. Carter, politically, is a decided Republican, and has been a School Director in his district. Socially, he belongs to Shiloh Post No. 85, G. A. R., at Lanark. In religious matters he is associated with the Church of God. The father of our subject, William Nelson Carter, was born in Durham County, N. Y., and married Miss Mary McFarland, a native of Greene County, that State. After marriage they settled in the latter County, where the father carried on farming, but about 1854 came to Jo Daviess County, this State, settling at Ward’s Grove, where he lived until his removal to Wisconsin. He and his estimable wife spent their last days at Viroqua, that State. Their family consisted of seven children, of whom Sherwood E. was the second born.

Mrs. Carter’s first husband, Smith Giddings, was a member of Company B, 46th Illinois Infantry, and served four years, and was discharged at Springfield at the close of the war.

Transcribed & Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portraits and Biographical Album Jo Daviess & Carroll Counties, IL (1889) p. 915

Back home