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Ringgold County Biographical Sketches

Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Decatur Counties, Iowa
Lewis Publishing Company, 1887. pp. 261-62:

J. D. CARTER

Civil War Flags.jpg     “ J[ohn] D[avis] CARTER, proprietor of Platte Valley stock farm, resides on section 27, Benton Township. Perhaps no name among the pioneers of Ringgold County is more familiar to the early settlers than is that of Mr. Carter, who has been identified with its interests for more than thirty years. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, December 21, 1824. His father, Thomas Carter, was a native of Loudoun County, Virginia, and his mother, Harriet (Davis) Carter, was a native of Ohio. They were married in Ohio, and reared a family of eight children, five sons and three daughters. Our subject was the second child. When he was five years old his parents removed to Tippecanoe County, Indiana. He was reared on a farm, and educated in the common schools. In 1843 the family removed to the then Territory of Iowa, locating in Jefferson County, where they resided about two years, and in 1845 removed to Wapello County and settled upon land known as the Black Hawk Purchase. In 1843-‘4, Mr. Carter assisted on the Government farm at Des Moines, under John S. Scott, Government contractor, and helped to break the land and raise corn where East Des Moines now stands. After this he took a claim in Wapello County, which he improved and cultivated. June 3, 1845, he was united in marriage with Miss Priscilla Clinton, a native of Carroll County, Ohio, and daughter of John and Sarah Clinton, who came to Iowa in 1843. Mr. Carter resided in Wapello County and attended to his farm duties until the first news of gold being found in California was received, when he joined the first company that started for that golden shore, leaving a wife and two children at home to await his return. They started in April 1849, with ox teams, arriving in September of the same year. He at once engaged in mining, meeting with good success in gathering the golden ore, and a year later he returned to his home in Fairfield. He was the first Californian to return. In 1855 he removed to Ringgold County, entering a portion of his land in June of that same year, and settled upon it in the fall. His first dwelling was a long cabin, 16 x 18 feet, and it constituted kitchen, dining room, parlor and sleeping rooms. In the fall of 1859 he was elected sheriff, and took the oath of office January 1, 1866. He served creditably for two years. At the breaking out of the civil war he was one to go forth in defense of union and liberty. He enlisted August 9, 1862, in Company G, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. He participated in the engagement at Helena, Arkansas, and was with General Steele’s division in the Red River expedition; was at the battle of Saline, where his horse was shot from under him; was at the taking of Mobile, Blakeley, and the Spanish Forts, where the regiment lost heavily; was at Whistler, the last engagement of the war. His regiment was in twenty-nine hard-fought battles. He was honorably discharged in August, 1865, and returned to his home to resume his duties upon his farm. Platte Valley farm contains 400 acres of as rich land as can be found in the county. Mr. Carter is making a specialty of the fine stock, and owns, in company with three others, one of the best registered Norman horses in Southern Iowa; also some thorough-bred short horns. On this farm can be seen some of the best horses and cattle in Ringgold County. His residence is a fine two-story building, modern style and well furnished, and buildings for stock, orchard, etc. Politically Mr. Carter is a Republican, and has always been one of the “wheel-horses” ever since coming to the county. He served as a member of the Board of Supervisors four years, and justice of the peace eight or ten years. Mr. and Mrs. Carter are the parents of six children – John T., Day, Harriet Ellen, Mary L., Eliza and Priscilla. Jane and Sarah are deceased. Mrs. Carter died in 1882, and in January, 1883, he was married to Mrs. Phebe Martin, a sister of his former wife. Mr. Carter has won many friends, and no man in the county stands higher politically or socially.”

Submitted to the Ringgold County IAGenWeb Project by Christy Jay, email: Jaygenie@aol.com

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