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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory

Samuel P. Carter

Farmer & Lawyer




       Samuel P. Carter of Hopkinton is the owner of a farm in this county and land in Minnesota, is financially interested in the Delaware County Telephone Company and was connected with the Farmers Supply Company, although he has now disposed of his stock therein.
       He was born at Hopkinton, October 6, 1855, a son of H. A. and Mary Jackson (Nash) Carter. The former was born in Massachusetts in 1806, and in 1833 was married at North Reading, Massachusetts, to Miss Susan Holt, who died on the 21st of December, 1850, when forty one years of age. On the 15th of December, 1853,
       Mr. Carter was again married, Miss Mary Jackson Nash becoming his wife. She was born in Maine on the 9th of March, 1822. To the first marriage were born eight children, namely: Jane M., whose birth occurred in North
Reading, Massachusetts, October 31, 1834; Susan H., born in North Reading, May 16, 1836; Henry W., a native of St. Louis, Missouri, born September 27, 1838; Sarah B., born in Hopkinton, October 18, 1842; Joseph E., a native of Hopkinton, born August 1, 1845; Mary E., likewise born here, her natal day being March 19, 1847; Lyman E., born in Hopkinton, March 6, 1849; and M. Miranda, born here December 19, 1850. Jane M., a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Sarah B., living in Los Angeles, California, are the only ones of this family now living. To the second marriage were born five children: Samuel P., the subject of this review; William N., born September 17, 1857; H. Emeline, September 18, 1860; Henry E., November 13, 1864; and Herbert S., June 11, 1866. All of the children of the second marriage were born in Hopkinton. The only ones surviving are Samuel P., of this review, and William N., who resides in Portland, Oregon, where he is engaged in the real estate business.
      H. A. Carter came west in 1836, settling at St. Louis, where he remained for about two years. In 1838 he came up the Mississippi as far as Dubuque and lived there for three years, after which he came to Delaware county. He prospected the county before determining where he wished to locate permanently, but eventually decided in favor of the present site of the town of Hopkinton. In partnership with Leroy Jackson he purchased a claim, on which he finally laid out the present town. He turned his attention to farming and was successful in that occupation, but in 1850 he removed to Cedar Rapids, where he engaged in the mercantile business for about three years. He then returned to Hopkinton and opened the first store in the town. As new settlers located here, his business increased and he had at one time quite a flourishing trade. He built the first sawmill in the locality and also the first bridge across the Maquoketa river. In his early days while living in the east lie was engaged in raising hops and after coming to this county he continued to raise them for several years. They were something of a novelty in this county and he shipped the first bale of hops from the state of Iowa. He was always much interested in the cause of public education and was the first to propose the idea of having a college at Hopkinton. His political allegiance was given to the republican party, but he never desired to hold office. On the 31st of March, 1883, he passed away and on the 22d of December, 1885, his devoted wife was called to her reward.
     Samuel P. Carter received a good common school education and subsequently entered Lenox College, where he remained for three years. As he was the eldest of the children born of his father's second marriage, it was necessary for him to spend much of his time in assisting in the work of the homestead. At the age of twenty three years, how ever, he entered the office of J. B. Young, an attorney of Marion, Iowa, and there read law for two years. In 1880 he was admitted to the bar and then returned to Hopkinton. He opened an office with an idea of practicing his profession but most of his time was required looking after his father's interests. After a couple of years he closed his office and devoted all his time to other pursuits.
     On the 11th of December, 1901, Mr. Carter was married to Miss Louise E. Schmidt, a daughter of Ernest and Catherine (Buehler) Schmidt, residents of Dubuque. Her parents were both born in Germany. To Mr. and Mrs. Carter have been born two children: Samuel Smith, whose birth occurred January 13, 1903; and Mary Catherine, born May 26, 1905.
     The family are members of the First Presbyterian church, in which Mr. Carter has served as deacon and elder. Fraternally he is identified with Rising Sun Lodge, No. 187, A. F. & A. M., of Hopkinton, and at two different times has been master. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and he has always been stanch in his support of that organization. Although not an office seeker, he has been honored by election to many positions of trust. For the greater part of twenty five years he has been either mayor or councilman and has at all times sought to advance the best interests of the municipality. For six years he served as county commissioner and supervisor and his record in that connection is one which is a source of pride to him, as he demonstrated that he was willing to place the public good above his personal interests. During his term of service as county commissioner the question came up of building a bridge at the cost of twelve thousand dollars and, as the law provides that no bridge costing more than five thousand dollars shall be built unless the proposition is carried by a general vote of the taxpayers, he was determined to have the matter submitted to a popular vote. The ruling faction in the board objected to this and, as Mr. Carter was firm in his fight for the observance of the law, they combined and secured his defeat at the next election, although he received the nomination of his party.
     Until a short time ago Mr. Carter owned two hundred and eighty five acres of land in this county, but as he recently sold two hundred and five acres he retains but eighty acres. He also holds title to one hundred and sixty acres near Staples, Cass county, Minnesota, and a number of city lots in Hopkinton. He likewise owns stock in the Delaware County Telephone Company.
     He was formerly a director in the Farmers Supply Company, but lately sold his interest in that concern. Although he makes his home in Hopkinton, he supervises the operation of his farm and does a part of the actual work. He is approachable and pleasant in manner and unusually well read upon all the questions of the times. His unimpeachable integrity and his public spirit are among his salient characteristics and his many admirable qualities make him one of the most valued citizens of Hopkinton.



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 419-420.  Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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