David H. Carter


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A modest and unassuming man--one unambitious of popularity and display--is Mr. Carter, with one exception the oldest settler now living in the southeastern part of the county. He has grown wealthy by his own plodding industry, and occupies a fine brick residence on a farm of 220 acres in extent, located on sections 18 and 19 in Iowa Township. A view of his home is an interesting feature of this volume. He has large, commodious barns for the shelter of stock and the storage of grain, fruit and shade trees in abundance, running water, all the necessary machinery for the successful prosecution of agriculture, and the other appliances of the progressive, modern farmer. Such has been his course in life that he is surrounded by hosts of friends, who render him the confidence and esteem which he has justly earned by his upright manner of living, and his straightforward methods of doing business.

A native of the Empire State, our subject was born in Wayne County, Dec. 14, 1816, and is consequently approaching the seventy-third year of his age. His father, Levi Carter, a native of New York and a miller by trade, met his death while in the pursuance of his duties in the mill when his son David was four years of age. The mother in her girlhood was Miss Mary Paddock, and the parental family consisted of three children, of whom our subject is the only survivor. After the death of her husband Mrs. Carter was married to Orlando Seymour, and became the mother of four daughters, three of whom are living, namely: Roxie, Ann E. and Catherine. They are located in New York.
Mrs. Seymour is deceased, and was the first person buried in Mt. Carroll cemetery, in Carroll County, Ill. Young Carter was reared to farm pursuits, and received his education in the district schools of his native township. When a young man twenty years of age he began to look longingly toward the great West; and in the spring of 1836 he started out on his own account toward Northern Illinois, halting at the Yankee settlement thirty miles south of Chicago, where for a few months he engaged in farming. He next migrated to Stephenson County, Ill., and from there, in June, 1837, crossed the Mississippi to this county, and looking the country over finally decided to settle in Iowa Township. He returned, however, to Illinois, in order to settle up some of his affairs, but in July came back, and for three or four years thereafter resided in and near Sabula.

At the expiration of this time Mr. Carter secured the 200 acres of land on section 21 in Iowa Township, forty acres of which was broken and fenced, and upon it a log house had been erected. He made some other improvements upon this, and was then seized with the California gold fever. He started across the plains in the spring of 1850, driving a horse team from Sabula to beyond Salt Lake. At this point the provender for their animals gave out, and one horse fell exhausted. They were then obliged to leave their wagons and walk most of the way to Georgetown, the remaining horse carrying their personal effects. After a four months' journey they reached Georgetown, when Mr. Carter at once entered the mines, and for one and one-half years was engaged in successfully searching for gold. On the 15th day of March, 1852, he started homeward, making the journey via the Panama route, and in March, 1853, settled on his present farm, where he has since lived.

The Carter homestead embraces 220 acres of thoroughly cultivated land, finely adapted to the growing of wheat and other grains, and also to the breeding of fine stock, in which Mr. Carter is quite extensively engaged, making a specialty of Clydesdale horses, graded Short-horn cattle and Poland-China swine. There has traveled by the side of our subject for the last thirty-nine years the lady who in her girlhood was Miss Rebecca Killinger, and who became his bride March 17, 1850. Mrs. Carter was born in Ohio, and came to this county in 1847. The father engaged in farming, and the parents spent the remainder of their lives in Iowa Township.
To Mr. and Mrs. Carter there were born eight children, seven of whom are living, namely: Levi, Mary, William, Frank, George, Maurice and Charlie. Levi is married, is the father of a daughter, and lives in Kansas; George married Miss Nellie Swaney, has one child, a daughter, and makes his home in Nebraska. Mr. Carter, politically, is a thorough Republican. Aside from officiating as School Trustee and Director, also at times acting as Road Overseer, he has had little to do with the public offices. His estimable wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Sterling. They have one of the most pleasant and hospitable homes in all Jackson County, and number their friends by the score.

SOURCE: Portrait and biographical album of Jackson County, Iowa : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of the state, and of the presidents of the United States.
Chicago: Chapman Bros., 1889, Pgs. 455-456