Absalom L. Carter

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 247-248
Brooke County

ABSALOM L. CARTER. Prominent among the representa-
tives of the agricultural industry of Brooke County is
Absalom L. Carter, a member of an old and honored family,
who now resides two miles from Follansbee, on the Elders-
ville Road. Mr. Carter has followed farming and stock
breeding all his life, at various times has been identified
with other lines of endeavor, and his career has been a
successful and gratifying one, both from the viewpoint of
material gain and from that of securing the good will and
esteem of those with whom he has been associated.

Mr. Carter was born on the old Carter homestead, the
present home of his brother, E. C. Carter, about two miles
east of his present home, November 8, 1857, a son of
Samuel and Michal (Wells) Carter. Michal Wells was
born June 1, 1816, and died in January, 1892. She was
a daughter of Absalom Wells, a son of Charles Wells, who
ia said to have had twenty children, the twentieth having
been named Twenty. Twenty Wells died at the age of
sixteen years and was buried at Sistersville, West Vir-
ginia. The life of Absalom Wells was spent mainly in
Brooke County. His wife was Helen Owings, of Ellicott’s
Mills, near Baltimore, Maryland, where she was born in
1771 and married in 1798. She was so delicate that her
physician said she could not live to reach the “Far West,”
but she not only did that but lived to rear a large family
and to attain the remarkable age of ninety-seven years.

Samuel Carter was born August 8, 1817, in Brooke
County, West Virginia. He died October 26, 1898, and
was buried in St. Johns Cemetery. He was a son of
Joseph Carter, who lived on Pot Rock Run, Brooke County,
a native of Winchester, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. He
was a plasterer by vocation, reached old age, and was buried
at Franklin, Brooke County. His father, also named
Joseph, was buried at Cadich Chapel, while his mother was
laid to rest at West Liberty. The children of the younger
Joseph Carter were: Lewis, a farmer and plasterer and a
great worker in the Baptist Church, in which he was a
deacon, who lived on a nearby farm and reached the age
of seventy-five years; Joseph, who went to Kansas City,
Missouri, and there died; Samuel; John, who went to La-
Orange, Indiana, and there spent the remainder of his
life; and Hilary and Cephas, twins, the former of whom
went to Montezuma, Iowa, and there died, while the latter
lived on a farm near Fowlerstown, West Virginia.

The Carter family was founded in America prior to the
Revolutionary war by two English brothers of the name,
who settled in the Colony of Virginia, where the old Carter
house is still standing. Colonel Carter, an officer of Gen-
eral Washington’s army, was home on a furlough, so runs
the story, when an English officer, with a detachment of
men, learning of his presence, decided to capture him. In
the meantime word had been taken to General Washington
of his officer’s predicament, and he hurriedly sent a squad
of patriot soldiers. Colonel Carter, defending himself and
his home from the enemy, fought a duel with the British
officer on the stairway, on the bannisters of which can
still be found the hacking of the swords. It is related that
the timely arrival of the patriot troops turned the tables
and that the English officer and his men had to submit to
capture. After his marriage to Michal Wells, January
21, 1844, the most of Samuel Carter’s life was spent on
the old home farm, and he accumulated some 190 acres,
including the present farm of E. C. Carter. He belonged
at Cross Creek to the United Presbyterian Church, or
“tent,” the latter name being used because the early serv-
ices were held under a canvas cover. Mrs. Carter, like all
the members of her family, was a Primitive Baptist, and
attended the old Cross Creek Baptist Church at Hunter’s
Mill. They were the parents of four children to grow to
maturity: Pauline, who passed her life as a maiden with
her parents and died August 18, 1872; Mary, who also
remained unmarried and died at the home of her parents
December 4, 1879; Eli C., who is carrying on operations
on the old home farm; and Absalom L.

Absalom L. Carter passed his boyhood amid agricultural
surroundings on the old home place, obtaining his educa-
tion in the common schools. On October 4, 1884, he was
united in marriage with Miss Jane R. Walker, a sister of
James M. Walker, mentioned elsewhere in this work. Mrs.
Carter was born on the old Walker homestead, adjoining
the old Carter place, October 26, 1859, and resided on
that property until the time of her marriage. Mr. and Mrs.
Carter commenced housekeeping on their present property
December 23, 1884. This is the old Elson farm, patented
in 1785 by one Rich Elson, the grandfather of the last
Elson owner, Mitchell Elson, who sold the place to Samuel
Carter in 1877. Absalom L. Carter has since reduced the
property, which now contains sixty-five acres, a large part
of which was given over to the raising of sheep as long
as that industry was profitable. His coal he sold some
years ago, before the high prices had set in. Mr. Carter
has modern improvements on his property, and his com-
fortable home was erected in 1900.

Mr. and Mrs. Carter are members of the First United
Presbyterian Church at Steubenville, Ohio, located 4 1/2 miles
distant from their home. Mr. Carter is a democrat, and
the Carters .have always been a democratic family. He
has not sought office, but has served as a member of the
board of reviews since the organization of that body. He
served as vice president of the Brooke County Farm Bu-
reau, and was a charter member thereof, and has been a
director in the Pan Handle Mutual Insurance Company,
of which he is now vice president. He was a director
and vice president of the Pan Handle Agricultural Club
of Brooke and Ohio counties, one of the earliest clubs
formed.

Mrs. Carter’s mother was Hannah R. McConnell, daugh-
ter of Robert and Jane (Hawke) McConnell, natives of
Ireland who on their arrival in the United States settled
in Jefferson County, Ohio, just outside the City of Steu-
benville. They were charter members of the First United
Presbyterian Church at Steubenville. as were Mrs. Jane R.
Carter and Mrs. Hannah Walker. The last-named was one
of the first subscribers for the United Presbyterian paper
published at Pittsburgh and continued as such throughout
her life. On the occasion of her fiftieth anniversary her
picture wag published in this publication. Mr. and Mrs.
Carter have no children.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook
Date: September 19, 1999