David Carr

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 446-447, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  David Carr was born on a farm in township 18, range 10, Cass county, Illinois, February 21, 1842. As one of the prominent and highly esteemed citizens of this county, and as the son of an early pioneer, biographical mention of him is appropriate on the pages of this volume. We accordingly present the following facts in regard to his life and ancestry:
  John Carr, grandfather of David Carr, was born (tradition says) in Ireland, his parents having come from Ireland to America and located in Philadelphia, where they died soon afterward. Thus, left an orphan at an early age, he was reared by strangers. He located in Ohio, and resided there till 1825. In that State his son, David Carr, father of the subject of our sketch was born. In 1825 the Carr family started for the far West. It is said Mr. Carr's destination was the Platt Purchase. He was accompanied not only by his wife and seven children, but also by his son Elisha's wife and two children, and Peter's child, its mother having died in Ohio. They took passage on a keel boat down the Ohio river to Shawneetown, and from there wended their way northward with teams. They struck the Sangamon river bottom in the locality known as Bluff Springs. Attracted by the natural beauty of the country, they concluded not to go further; selected a site about six miles up the river, and made permanent settlement. At that time there were very few families residing in the present bounds of Cass County, Indians being much more numerous than whites, and all the land was owned by the Government. Mr. Carr at once made claim to a tract of Government land on section 6, township 18, range 10. It is said that the family had but seventy-five cents in cash among them on their arrival here. The first thing he did was to build a log house. No nails whatever or sawed lumber were used in its construction. He rived boards to cover the roof, and they were held in place by poles where were laid lengthwise of the cabin. He made a puncheon floor, and built his chimney of earth and sticks on a rock foundation. For some time there were no flouring mills nearer than St. Louis. Mr. Carr took a section of a log, hollowed out the top, and in that pounded his corn, using the finer part for bread and the coarser for mush. Cornmeal, wild game and fish constituted their chief living. As there was no improved land here and no market for grain even if they had it to sell, the question was how to raise the money to pay for the land, even at $1.25 per acre. The lead mines of the vicinity of Galena were then attracting attention, and in the fall of the year some of the male members of the family walked to Galena, and worked in the mines through the winter. In the spring they returned and continued the improvements they had commenced on the land, afterward working several seasons at Galena. In this way the father and sons earned money with which they acquired large tracts of land in the Sangamon river bottoms. The grandfather resided here until the time of his death. The maiden name of his wife was Sarah Wolliver. She was born in Pennsylvania, of German ancestry, and died on the home farm. She reared seven children: Elisha, Peter, William, James, Benjamin, David, and Jemima.
  David, the youngest son, came with them to Illinois in 1825, and resided in the parental home until the time of his marriage, when he located on the place where his son David was born and now resides. Here he passed the rest of his life. His wife was before her marriage Julia A. Wells. She was born in Wheeling, Virginia, and died on the home farm.
  David Carr, the subject of our sketch, received his education in the pioneer log school houses, the schools being taught on the subscription plan, each family paying according to the number of pupils sent. When a mere lad he commenced to assist in the farm work, and was actively engaged in agricultural pursuits till the breaking out of the war. At the first call for troops he enlisted in the State militia, served one month, and then enlisted in Company A, Fourteenth Illinois Volunteer infantry, serving until June 24, 1864. During his time of service he was in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. He took part in nineteen different engagements, the most important of which were the battle of Shiloh and the siege and capture of Vicksburg. He was honorably discharged June 24, 1864, his term of enlistment having expired, and returned home. After his return he located on that part of the homestead which he now owns and occupies. He has bought other land and is now the owner of 305 acres, the home buildings being located on section 8, township 18, range 10.
  December 11, 1867, Mr. Carr married Maggie McNeill. She was born in Cass County, Illinois, daughter of Lachlan McNeill; their union resulted in the birth of six children: Florence N., Julia, William D., Lizzie J., Carrie E. and Chalmer M. Mrs. Carr died May 25, 1890.
  Mr. Carr is independent in his political views. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, of which he has been Ruling Elder for a number of years.

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