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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory

Hon. Edward Michael Carr





         Hon. Edward Michael Carr, of Manchester, is prominent in the state and has been influential in many lines of human endeavor. He is a well known lawyer, a leader of his party in the state, a director of the First National Bank of  Manchester, chairman of the general managing board of the Manchester & Oneida Railway and president of the Dairy City Creamery Company.  In addition to his other activities he supervises the operation of his fine farm, "Goodland." Hon. Edward M. Carr was born in Cattaraugus county, New York, on the 28th of June, 1850, a son of John and Anna (Keane) Carr. The father was born in County Cavan, Ireland, on the 25th of November, 1821, and in 1835, when a youth of fourteen years, came to America with his parents, who located neat Kingston, Canada. He became a seaman, and when the Mexican was broke out, as the family had in the meantime removed to New Your, he enlisted in the United States navy and served for a time upon the frigate "Savannah" but was later transferred to the sloop-of-war- "Warren."  At the close of the conflict he returned home and in December, 1847, was married. He resided on a farm in New York until 1856, at which time he removed to Lamont, Iowa, and lived there until his death, which occurred August 10, 1887. His wife was born in Athlone, Ireland, in 1826, a daughter of Joseph Keane, and English army officer. She was highly educated, attending an excellent Irish school for eleven years. Of the children born to her marriage seven survive, namely: Edward Michael, of this review; Peter; Margaret, the wife of Henry Thompson; Joseph; John F. James; and Ellen, the wife of D. J. Kenna.

          Edward M. Carr was taken by his parents to Buchanan county, Iowa, in 1856, when a lad of six years. He was reared to young manhood upon a farm in that county and received his primary education at home and in the district schools of the neighborhood, later becoming a student in the high school at Independence. His attendance at these schools was only during the winter months as each year as soon as the field work commenced he left school and helped his father on the farm. But while working on the homestead he did not wholly discontinue his studies and with the assistance of his mother managed to keep up with his classes, and before he was seventeen years of age he began teaching. In this way he earned nearly enough to pay his way through the law department of the Iowa State University, from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1872, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Laws.

         Mr. Carr was admitted to the bar in that year and immediately located for practice at Manchester, forming a partnership with the late Ray B. Griffin. The association continued for three years, after which Mr. Carr practiced alone for some time, but in 1884 he became a member of the firm of Bronson, Carr & LeRoy. When the First National Bank of Manchester was organized in 1890 Mr. LeRoy retired from the law firm to become president of that institution and the firm became Bronson & Carr. After a few years, Henry Bronson and Hubert Carr sons of the original partners, became members of the firm under the name of Bronson, Carr & Sons, which continued until the death of the senior partner, Mr. Bronson, in 1908. Mr. Carr is now the senior partner of Carr & Carr, his son being the other member of the firm. He has gained unusual success in his chosen profession, his learning, his experience and his keen mentality enabling him to win prominence in a profession where only a high order of intellect can win distinction. Mr. Carr has not only acted as counsel in many important cases in the course of his private practices, but he has also represented the city of Manchester as its attorney for three terms, proving aggressive and thoroughly competent in the discharge of his duties in that capacity. In 1882 a republican judge appointed him a commissioner of insanity, although he is a prominent democrat, and he has held that office by successive appointments until the present time. For many years he has been a member of the Iowa State Bar Association and in 1903 he was one of three delegates elected to represent that body at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association, of which he has since been an active member. At a meeting of the latter association, held at Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1910, he was greatly honored by election as a member of the general council for the state of Iowa, which position he still holds. This recognition by his colleagues is unmistakable evidence of the high esteem in which they hold him.

          During his entire life Mr. Carr has been a tireless worker and thus has accomplished a great deal in several lines outside of the practice of law. In 1875 he used his first earnings as an attorney to purchase an interest in the Manchester Democrat and after about two years he and the late C. E. Bronson became equal and sole owners thereof, publishing the paper for about thirty years. The partnership terminated only by Mr. Bronson's death and Mr. Carr still has a large interest in the Democrat and has found time to furnish nearly all of the copy for its editorial page for many years. For more than twenty-four years, or ever since its organization, he has been a director of the First National Bank of Manchester, considered one of the best banks of the county. For three years he was president of the Manchester & Oneida Railway Company and during that time the road was built and successfully operated, Mr. Carr being largely responsible for placing it upon a solid foundation. Although he is not now the president, he is still connected with the company and for the past several years has been chairman of its general managing board. His constructive thought and power initiative, was well demonstrated when, in 1906, for the purpose of increasing the business of this railroad, he helped in the organization of the Dairy City Creamery, of which he has served as president since.

         Although his connection with these various concerns is a heavy tax upon Mr. Carr's time and thought, the greater part of the work which he has done outside of his practice  of law has been in connection with his farm interests. He was reared upon a farm and has never lost his love for agriculture and has found perhaps his greatest pleasure in developing his fine farm, which is known as "Goodland." He applies the same business principles to its operation that he uses in his connection with the various companies previously mentioned and in all that concerns the purely agricultural work of farming seeks to apply the latest scientific methods and in so doing aids much in the development of the county along that line. His farm is situated near Manchester and is known as one of the best in this part of Iowa.

         In October, 1873, Mr. Carr was united in marriage to Miss Emma Preussner, who was born in 1853 and was a daughter of a farmer who lived near Mr. Carr's boyhood home.  Two sons, Edward and Hubert, were born to this marriage, the eldest dying before he reached years of manhood, while the latter is his father's partner in the law firm of Carr & Carr. The wife and mother died in 1903, and in 1906 Mr. Carr married Miss Katherine N. Cotter, who previous to her marriage was a teacher in the Manchester schools.

          When a young man Mr. Carr served for three years as captain of Company C, Iowa National Guard, and during the four years in which John H. Gear was governor of the state he served as judge advocate of the Iowa National Guard with the rank of major. Ever since finishing his schooling he has taken an active part in politics and for nearly a quarter of a century of the democratic party and for nearly two score years has attended as a delegate practically all of the democratic state conventions held in Iowa. In 1896 he was permanent chairman of the memorable democratic state convention held in Dubuque, at which time Governor Boies was a candidate for the presidency, and during the campaign which followed Mr. Bryan's first presidential nomination Mr. Carr was secretary and acting chairman of the democratic state committee. On several occasions he has been sent to the democratic national convention, and in 1904 he was first delegate at large and chairman of the Iowa delegation to the national convention held at St. Louis. In 1906 he was one of the democratic nominees for the office of judge of the supreme court of the state, and he is at present his party's nominee for the office of attorney general of the state, being the only candidate  on the democratic state ticket who was nominated without opposition. He has achieved success along many lines but he values most of all the sincere respect and good-will which those who know him best give him in willing tribute to the integrity and uprightness of his life.       



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 47-49. Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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