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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891


~Page 382~


James Carnall

James Carnall, who resides on section 30, Fairfield Township, is a retired farmer and well known citizen of Fayette County. He was born December 23, 1824, in Lincolnshire, England at Swernshead, and is one of six children born unto John and Ann (Sumpter) Carnall. The former was born in the same parish as our subject, and grew up on his father's farm. The grandfather was a wealthy man, being worth about $75,000 and according to the English law of primogeniture his estate fell to his eldest son, while John, the younger son received only a small farm of forty acres, upon which he lived and died. There were also three daughters in the family. John Carnall died about 1864, at the age of seventy-two, and his wife, who survived him ten years, was eighty-three years of age at her death. Only two of their children are now living, and but two came to America. The eldest daughter now lives in Yorkshire, England, at the town of Whitby.


Our subject was the thirteenth child, and in the usual manner of farmer lads the days of his boyhood and youth were spent. At the age of twenty he left home and went to Liverpool, where he drove a cab for two years, being in the employ of his brothers who kept a stable in that city. In 1846 he went to London and entered the employ of a railroad company as porter. His residence in the world's metropolis covered the years between 1846 and January, 1849, and during that period he was married to Caroline Nicholson, the wedding ceremony being performed in St. Andrew Church on South Conduit Street, on the 15th of July, 1849. Mrs. Carnall was born in the suburbs of London at Chapel Hill. During her childhood she lost her mother, and her father coming to America, she was left with relatives who reared her.


On the 2d of February, 1851, Mr. and Mrs. Carnall boarded an ocean vessel at Liverpool, and at length landed at New York City, whence they proceeded to St. Thomas, Upper Canada, where he bought one hundred acres of land in good farming country. Five children were born unto them while residing there, and the family circle was increased by the birth of three children after their removal to this county in 1861. Mr. Carnall purchased his present homestead, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres of farm land and twenty of timber for $1,100. At that time the land was partly improved but it has been brought to its present state of perfection through the untiring industry and energy of the owner. A comfortable residence is surrounded by fine shade and ornamental trees of his own planting, and in this farm we see one of the best homes in the county. Mr. Carnall is now living a retired life, his youngest son operating the farm. He came to this country a poor man, but by economy, industry and good business management, and the assistance of his worthy wife, he has gained a comfortable competence which enables him to lay aside all care and spend his remaining years in the enjoyment of the fruits of former toil. Besides his farm property he built and is the owner of a fine brick store in Brush Creek.


The children of Mr. and Mrs. Carnall are Drusilla, wife of J. A. Thompson, a leading merchant of Brush Creek; John, who married Flora Hartman, and is now a farmer in Winnebago County, Iowa; Salome, wife of Neal McEwen, of Bright, Hancock County; James, who married Agnes Manson, of Brush Creek, and is now engaged in farming in Hopper County, Kan.; Frank, who resides in Kingman County, Kan., and there married Alice Hawley; Caroline, who was born in the schoolhouse near the homestead, where the family resided six weeks on their arrival in this county, is now the wife of Alfred Amos, of Custer County, Neb.; Thomas N. married Alice Duffy, of Waucoma, and is now agent for the railroad at Newhall, Benton County, Iowa; and Charles who manages the home farm. He married Mattie Derflinger, of Scott Township. Two other children died in infancy. Those who grew to mature years were liberally educated, having attended the public schools, and the Upper Iowa University of Fayette. Mr. Carnall is a well-informed man, who by reading and observation keeps himself posted on all the questions of the day. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the township for three years, and is a Republican in politics, but when he knows the candidates personally, uses his judgment in voting for the parties. While in England he was a member of the Ancient Order of Foresters, but is now connected with no civic society. His wife and five children are members of the Christian Church of Brush Creek, which he also attends, giving liberally to its support. No family in Fayette County is held in higher esteem than that of Mr. Carnall, who is regarded by his fellow townsmen as a man of sterling worth.




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