William and Lydia Ellen Welch Carr Family

William, Jr. and Lydia Ellen Welch Carr

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Lydia Ellen Welch was the fifth child and second daughter of Harvey & Rachel Woodward Welch of Indiana and Illinois. She was granddaughter of John & Rachel Williams Woodward of North Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana, and great granddaughter of Abraham & Hannah Thornbrough Woodward, the subjects of this site.

William Carr, Jr. was the son of William & Elizabeth Carr of England. William, Sr. and children came to America between 1840 and 1842 and settled in Mercer County, Illinois. William Jr.'s brother Stephen Carr was married to Ellen's sister, Sarah Jane Welch.

  Lydia Ellen Welch
born 2/16/1842 Wayne County, In
died 6/15/1918 Clay Co, Minn
burial: Barnesville, Minn
William Carr, Jr.
born 11/22/1835 Carlisle, Cumberland Co, England
died 6/30/1910 Clay Co, Minn
burial: Barnesville, Minnesota
  Married: 4/6/1861 New Boston, Mercer County, Illinois, by J. P. Woods, JP (certificate included in William Carr, Jr.'s Civil War pension papers)

Sanford Carr born 5/13/1861 Mercer County, Illinois; died 10/22/1880 Mercer County, Ill, burial Shields Cemetery
William R. Carr born 6/15/1862 Mercer County, Illinois; married (1)Lovesta May Coomer (2) Emma Palmer
Katie Carr born 2/24/1864 Mercer County, Illinois; married Fayette Coomer
Rhoda Carr born 4/16/1866 Mercer County, Illinois; married Preston Riley
Harvey Carr born 11/8/1867 Mercer County, Illinois
Agnes Carr born 12/19/1869 Mercer County, Illinois; married David Cannam
Evaline Carr born 11/18/1871, Kansas, died 12/17/1886 Hardin County, Iowa, burial Cottage Cemetery
Stephen A. Carr born 6/21/1878 Mercer County, Illinois; married Annie B. Wood
Grace Carr born 11/18/1883 Hardin County, Iowa; married Charles Stewart
(photo of William & Ellen Carr with daughters Grace (right) & Agnes (left).)

1860 Census in Mercer County, Illinois

In the 1860 Mercer County, Illinois, census Ellen Welch is enumerated at home on the family farm and also as a domestic in the household of William Carr, Sr., father of her future husband. Her brother, William Welch was also working for William Carr. William Carr, Jr. was already living on his own farm in 1860.

William Carr, Jr.'s Civil War Service

William, Jr. & Ellen Welch Carr had two children born in Mercer County, Sanford and William R.Carr, and then on August 11, 1862 William Carr enlisted in Company K, 102nd Illinois Infantry. He was mustered in on September 2, 1862. By October 1 the regiment had moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and was assigned to Ward's Brigade, Dumont's Division. They continued marching south and arrived at Gallatin, Tennessee, on November 16, 1862, where they were stationed until June 1, 1863. The only action they saw there was a guerrilla attack on a train on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad which was quickly dispersed.

William & Ellen's daughter Katie was born February 24, 1864, and must have been conceived during the time William was at Gallatin. His Civil War records indicate no absence during this time period so it is likely that Ellen went to Gallatin. It was not uncommon for wives to visit soldiers when the opportunity arose, wives from the 102nd going as far as Tennessee to visit their soldiers.

On June 1, 1863, the Brigade was ordered to Lavergne, Tennessee, for the purpose of guarding the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad. In August the companies of the 102nd were mounted and given Spencer repeating rifles. They became notorious, even among the rebels, as the most effective fighting regiment in that branch of the army. They broke winter quarters at Lavergne February 25, 1864, and moved on to Wauhatchie Valley, Tennessee. They were reassigned to First Brigade, Third Division, Twentieth Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland. The mounted regiments had to give up their horses but retained their Spencer rifles. William Carr was assigned as Division teamster from March 25 to April 30, 1864. The Regiment engaged in various campaigns and arrived in Atlanta on September 16, 1864. They marched on to Savannah on November 15, 1864, entering that city on December 21. They were again engaged in various campaigns in the area and moved on to Raleigh, North Carolina, in April 1865, where they remained until Johnson's surrender. They marched to Washington, D. C., were mustered out on June 6, 1865, and arrived in Chicago, Illinois, on June 9. On June 14 they received their final payment and discharge. According to The Patriotism of Illinois the Sanitary Fair held in Chicago in 1865 was used as a reception for returning soldiers. Major-General Sherman and Lt. General Grant were present and received the soldiers at Union Hall. The 102nd was the first regiment so greeted. Although William Carr was never wounded he had lifelong health problems from his service, as did most returning soldiers (more on his health and his pension on the Mercer County Carr page). Pension papers attached to this page: Marriage certificate, death of William, death of Lydia; William's declaration of children's names and birthdates; William's declaration of his birth and where the family lived.

The Move to Kansas and Return

William & Ellen Carr remained in Mercer County through 1869. Three more children were born: Rhoda, Harvey, and Agnes Carr. After the birth of Agnes they went to Osage Mission, Kansas, and remained there until 1873. Their daughter Evaline, named for Ellen's sister Amanda Evaline Welch, was born there. Ellen & William Carr returned to Mercer County, Illinois, as they are found there in the 1880 census with eight children living at home. Son Stephen Carr had been added to the family.

The Move to Iowa

There is conflicting information in William's pension papers about when they went Iowa, but we do know it was after Sanford Carr's death in October, 1880 as he is buried in Mercer County.

Sometime before November 1883, the family moved to Ellis Township, Hardin County, Iowa, near Iowa Falls, where their daughter Grace Carr was born. Rachel Woodward Welch went to live with her daughter Ellen Welch Carr in Hardin County, Iowa, in about 1889. She died at Ellen's home in August 1892 and is buried in Cottage Cemetery, although the grave location is not now marked or recorded. Some of the family felt that Rachel should have been returned to Mercer County to be buried beside Harvey Welch, but money was scarce and it could not be done.

On July 14, 1890, William Carr applied for an invalid's pension which was granted at $5 per month, which increased to $12 per month by 1907. An increase was granted again in 1907 and he received $15 a month until his death in 1910.

The Move to Minnesota

William & Ellen Carr moved to Barnesville, Minnesota in 1902. Lydia E. Carr applied for a widow's pension in 1910. She applied for an increase in 1916 as allowed by law and received $25 a month until her death in 1918. She signed her applications "Lydia E. Carr" but went by the name of Ellen throughout her life.

Ellen's granddaughter Daisy Chamberlain,
95 years old in 1996 (and still selfsufficient), wrote, "Grandma Ellen was a wonderful person. She was so good to us kids and we loved her. Every evening she would sit in her arm chair and tell us stories, some funny and some scary."

More on the Children of William and Ellen Welch Carr

Knowing that the Carrs were in Barnesville well into the 1900s we found a Richard Carr in the phone directory in Barnesville and wrote him a letter for information about the family. As it turned out he was not a relative, but he knew relatives of our Carrs still living there, and passed on the letter to them. Thanks to this gentlemen's kindness we have been in touch with many of William and Ellen's descendants and have much more information on the family. We are deeply indebted to descendants, particularly Daisy Chamberlain, for information on the family. Daisy was 99 and still well and happy in 2001 but has since passed away. In January 2005 we heard from a descendant of Stephen Carr who furnished us with information on the Carr family in church records in England. In 1996 we were kindly sent information on some of the William Carr family by Kenneth and Margaret Carr of Minnesota.

Stephen and Annie Woods Carr: A letter from son Stephen Carr in 1937 told of the status of the family:
"Detroit Lakes
February 27, 1937
Dear Cousin I received your card and was sure suprised it found me in Detroit Lakes. We are runing a restrent here, our folks are prety well scatred. Grace is maried and lives in Canada her name is Mrs. Chas Stewert of Sanda. Sask. Canada. Aggie lives in Iowa falls her name is Canam. Roda lives in Iowa falls her name is Mrs. Preston Riley. Harvey is in Warsinton (Washington?). Bill lives at Barnsvill Minn. We have 8 children living and 3 dead. We have 2 at home the rest are maried and gon sume Origon some in Utah some here in Minesota. it is very cold here and lots of snow. this will be all for this time write again. your Cousin,
Steve Carr
Detroit Lakes, Minn." (photo of Stephen A. Carr).

Son Stephen Carr [author of the letter above] married Annie B. Wood, daughter of John and Anna Wood of Norway, December 13, 1899 in Hardin County, Iowa. Annie was born 1880 in Hardin County and died 1970 in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Stephen died 1945 in Bend, Oregon. Stephen and Annie had children: Lula Bess, born about 1900; Daisy Dell, born 1/1/1902; Vernie, born 1905; Hazel, born 1910; David[Jack], born 1912; Elsie Ellen [may have died young], born 1913; Donald Douglas, born 1916; Millard, born 1917; Margaret, born 1917 [may have died young]; Dorothy Irene, born 1919; Stephen, Jr., born about 1921, died about 1923. The birth records indicate the family moved from Iowa to Minnesota between about 1905 and 1910.

William R. Carr: Son William R. Carr married (1)Lovesta May Coomer, daughter of John and Matilda Follett Coomer, April 10, 1887 in Iowa Falls, Iowa. Matilda Clarissa Follett Coomer was born May 6, 1832 and was daughter of Harry Follett (1795-1875) and Clarissa Pond Follett. Harry and Clarissa married in 1819 at Berkshire, Vt. Matilda Follett was born May 6, 1832 and married John Coomer. Daughter Lovesta May Coomer was born March 19, 1864, and died October 26, 1899 in Ellis Township, Hardin County, Iowa. William and Lovesta had children: Hartwell Harvey, born 2/10/1889; Carl Coomer, born 5/28/1890; James Evans, born 10/13/1891; Effie Grace, born 6/20/1894; Elma Matilda, born November 23,1895; Infant son born and died January 1897; and Arna, born May 31, 1898. (photo of Lovesta, Hartwell and Carl)

In the 1900 census we find William and children with servant Eva [Emma] Palmer, born 1868, Iowa, and her daughter Pearl, born January 1896, in Tipton Township in Hardin County. William Carr married Emma Palmer about 1901 and they had children: Cecil; Lela, and Kenneth. (Photo of William and Emma with the family, including Pearl Palmer: Back Row - Pearl, Effie, Carl, Jim, Hartwell; Front Row - Cecil, William, Lela, Arne, Kenny, Emma, Alma)

Katie Carr Coomer: Daughter Katie Carr married Fayette Coomer January 1, 1884 in Hardin County, Iowa. He was brother of Lovesta Coomer Carr and was born September 29, 1859. Fayette and Katie had children: Hobert, Ruth, John, Lillie, William, and Elsie. Daughter Lillie married in Barnesville, so evidently this family also went to Minnesota.

Rhoda Carr Riley: Daughter Rhoda Ellen Carr married Preston Riley,son of John and Chredima Riley,on 3/22/1887. Preston Riley was born 10/23/1857 in Lafayette, Wisconsin. Harold Riley is a descendant of a brother of Preston and furnished a photo of Preston Riley. He has much information on the Riley family. At the bottom of the page is an excerpt he sent us from a book "Hardin County, Iowa" which he found in the basement of the Hardin County Courthouse in Iowa. There is information on both Preston Riley and William Carr in the excerpt. Rhoda and Preston lived in Hardin County, Iowa, and had children: Glen, born 6/24/1889; Albert, born 10/6/1890; Flossie Ellen, born 9/23/1895; and Floyd, born 4/5/1902. This family apparently did not go to Minnesota.

Agnes Carr Cannam: Daughter Agnes Carr married David Cannam, son of George and Susan Cannam of England, about 1891 in Hardin County. We do not believe they had any descendants.

Grace Carr Stewart: Daughter Grace Carr married Charles Stewart, had two daughters and moved to Canada. A descendant tells us "I barely remember Aunt Grace. The last time I saw her, she and her family were moving to Canada, they had visited Mom and Dad [ Steve and Annie] at their farm and stopped by Detroit Lakes where I was working at the time." The name Charles Stewart is too common for us to trace them in Canada.

Excerpt from book "Hardin County,Iowa", page 581-583 sent to us by Harold Riley.

The name of Preston W. Riley is too well known in the northern part of Hardin County, in fact throughout this locality, to need an introduction here, for he has long been regarded as one of the leading farmers and one of the influential citizens of Ellis township and his life has been such in every respect as to commend him most highly.
Mr. Riley is a native of the Badger state, his birth having occurred in Lafayette County, Wisconsin, October 23, 1857. He is the son of John Riley and wife, a complete sketch of whom will be found on another page of this work. Preston W. Riley was educated in the common schools of Ellis township, Hardin County, Iowa, whither he had come with his parents when a child, and he remained with them until he was 27 years of age. But before that time he had purchased eighty acres in section 21, Ellis Township. He was married on March 22, 1887 to Rhoda E. Carr, who was born in Mercer County, Illinois, the daughter of William Carr, who was born in November 1835, in Yorkshire, England. He was the son of William and Elizabeth Carr; the latter died in England and the former came to America in 1841 and located in Mercer County, Illinois, where he lived until his death. Five children came to America with him, but all are now deceased. William Carr had little chance to attend school. He lived with his father until he was married, on April 13, 1861 to Lydia Ellen Welsh of Wayne County, Indiana, the daughter of Henry and Rebecca (Woodward) Welsh, the father a native of South Carolina and the mother of Tennessee [note from above that this is not correct!]. They went to Indiana as children, grew up and married there. He was a farmer and a mason by trade. They located in Mercer County, Illinois, about 1855, and there his death occurred, and her death occurred in Hardin County, Iowa. They were the parents of 12 children. Those living are: Wiley, who lives in Kansas, James, in Illinois, Amanda, in Oklahoma, Lydia Ellen, wife of William Carr, and living in Barnesville, Minnesota.
In the fall of 1862 William Carr enlisted in Company K, One Hundred and Second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, at New Boston, Illinois, and was with the Army of the Cumberland, serving gallantly until the close of the war. After the close of the struggle he returned to Illinois and lived five years in Mercer County, then went to Neosho County, Kansas, and later returned to Mercer County, Illinois. There they spent five yars, after which he brought his family to Hardin County, Iowa, and located on four hundred acres of land in Ellis township, which he improved and became one of the leading farmers of this part of the county. He went to Barnesville, Minnesota, where he purchased six hundred forty acres, which he later sold and for many years he lived retired during the latter part of his life, his death occurring on June 30, 1910, at an advanced age. He had been very successful in a financial way and was a good and useful man, whom everybody held in high esteem. He was a Republican and he and his wife belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church. His widow is still living in Minnesota. They were the parents of nine children, seven of whom are living, namely William is a farmer and hotel keeper at Baker, Minnesota; Kate lives with her mother; Rhoda E., wife of Mr. Riley, of this review; Harvey is farming at Baker, Minnesota. Aggie is the wife of David Canham, of Iowa Falls; Stephen is also farming at Baker, Minnesota; Grace married Charles Stewart, of Zelanda, Canada; Sanford and Eva are deceased.
Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Riley, namely: Glen W., born June 24, 1889; Albert L., born October 6, 1890; Flossie E. born September 23, 1896; Floyd R. born April 5, 1903.
After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Riley located on their present farm. He first got eighty acres in Section 26, in 1898, then added another eighty and in 1909 he bought his father's old home place of one hundred and sixty acres, being now the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of valuable and well improved land as the county can boast, it being in a high state of cultivation. Mr. Riley has proven himself a scientific and modern agriculturist and an excellent judge of live stock. The place was not much improved when he took possession, but he went to work with a will and succeeded by persistent application, good management and honest dealings with his fellow men. He built his home in 1901 and his barn in 1899. He has a beautiful residence and substantial outbuildings, and everything about his place denotes his thrift, good taste and the exercise of good judgment. Mr. and Mrs. Riley spent one season at Scotts Mills, Oregon. He makes a specialty of short horn cattle, also raises Norman grade horses and Chester White hogs. He has devoted his active life to farming and has succeeded above the average tiller of the soil.
Mr. Riley has served several years as school director. He votes the Prohibition ticket. His wife is a member of the Methodist church in Ellis township, and Mr. Riley is a member of the Friends church. They are well known and highly respected throughout the county.