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Carnes, Samuel Edward
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Carnes, Samuel Edward
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 584-591


The student of history can not carry his investigations far into the records of Pike county without learning of the close and helpful connection of the Carnes family with matters of public interest and benefit. Samuel Edward Carnes is to-day a worthy citizen, who is carefully and, successfully conducting farming interests owning three hundred acres of valuable land in New Salem township. He was born in Pike county, Illinois, November 30, 1865, his parents being Richard and Guldy E. (Moore) Carnes. His father's birth occurred in Harrison county, Ohio, near Cadizville, June 23, 1832, and he was quite a young lad when the family home was established in Illinois. The great-grandparents of Samuel E. Carnes were Thomas and Elizabeth (Dunham) Carnes, natives of Maryland, in which state they spent their youth. Following their marriage they removed to Harrison county, Ohio, and established their home in the midst of a district that was then wild and unimproved, but as the years passed by time and man wrought many changes and the evidences of frontier life were replaced by the improvements of an advanced civilization. Both Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Carnes reached a venerable age and were long numbered among the valued citizens of the locality where they made their home. The principles of Christianity found exemplification in their lives and they were numbered among the faithful members of the United Brethren church. Thomas Carnes espoused his country's cause in the second war with England, serving as a private.

John Carnes, son of Thomas Carnes, was born in Harrison county, Ohio, in 1812, and, having arrived at years of maturity, was married to Miss Eliza Nelson, whose birth also occurred in that county, although her parents were natives of Maryland and it is believed were of Scotch descent. Mr. and Mrs. John Carnes began their domestic life upon a farm in Ohio, remaining residents of Harrison county until 1834 - the year of their arrival in Pike county, Illinois. Here they took up their abode upon a tract of land in Griggsville township but partially improved and although their financial resources were then limited their economy, perseverance and prudence in the management of business affairs supplementing their unremitting diligence won for them success as the years passed by and eventually their property holdings in Pike county were large and valuable. Mr. Carnes voted the whig ticket and both he and his wife were active in the work of the United Brethren church and contributed liberally to its support. The death of John Carnes occurred in New Salem township in 1870 and his wife had passed away some years before.

Richard Carnes, father of our subject, was in his youth deprived of educational privileges, but in the school of experience learned many valuable lessons. Practical work soon acquainted him with the duties of the farm and he brought to his business such knowledge and skill that as the years passed a high measure of prosperity rewarded his efforts. There was nothing sordid or grasping in his nature and though he became one of the wealthy agriculturists he was very liberal with his means, giving freely to church and charitable interests and to many movements for the public good. His hand was ever down-reaching to assist those less fortunate than himself and he never judged his friends by their possessions, but gave his regard in recognition to character. He was anxious, too that his children should have good educational privileges and did much to provide them with a knowledge that would prove of benefit in life's practical and responsible affairs. He was married to Miss Guldy E. Moore, whose birth occurred in Maryland, May 5, 1834, her parents being John and Sarah (Simpson) Moore, who in her infancy removed from Maryland to Harrison county, Ohio. On coming to Illinois they settled first in Adams county, but eventually took up their abode in Pike county, where the father died at the age of seventy-five years, while the mother passed away at the age of eighty-three. In business affairs Mr. Moore had prospered and, moreover, he had gained the respect and good will of his fellow men, who found him reliable in all his methods and trustworthy in all life's relations. Mrs. Carnes received careful training from her parents in the duties of the household and remained at home until her marriage, when well equipped to take care of a home of her own, she assumed the duties and responsibilities of her household. Mr. Carnes, carrying on agricultural pursuits, met with prosperity and made judicious investment in real estate until he was the owner of about eighteen hundred acres of valuable Illinois land and his possessions were estimated at about two hundred thousand dollars. He voted with the republican party and was a member of the United Brethren church, as was his wife. Their family numbered nine children.

Samuel Edward Carnes, having acquired his elementary education in the public schools, afterward spent four years in Westfield College and was also a student in Gem City Business College at Quincy, Illinois. He became acquainted with the best methods of conducting farming interests in his youth, receiving his business training under his father, who was widely recognized as a most capable business man. He lived at home until his marriage and since that time has lived upon one of his father's farms.

It was on the 21st of October, 1891, that he wedded Miss Birdella May Stone, who was born January 9, 1871, at La Prairie, Adams county, Illinois, her parents being J. R. and Nancy C. (Ellison) Stone, the former born in Pennsylvania, September 12, 1830, and the latter on June 6, 1831, near Millport, Pennsylvania. They were married January 11, 1870, at Versailles, Illinois. The father died in 1889 and the mother's death occurred at Quincy, Illinois, in 1900. Her mother was left a widow with a family of small children, of whom Mrs. Stone was the youngest. She married again, her second husband having several young children, and in a short time he insisted that she find homes elsewhere for her own children and her own little girl Nancy was taken by a family by the name of Ellison living just across the Cowanesque river which flowed past her home. The Ellison family had but one child, a son, and they wished to adopt Nancy, but the mother refused to give her up. One morning, however, when the mother arose and looked across the river to the house in which her child lived she noticed that no smoke curled above the little cabin and when hour by hour went by and she saw no trace of life there she became alarmed. On investigation she found that the family had disappeared in the night, taking the little daughter with them. Of her journey from the old place Mrs. Stone remembered nothing, though she did remember their final settlement in Steuben county, New York, their removal to Pittsburg and then their journey to the west. After a short residence in Keokuk, Iowa, which at that time contained only one house, they settled in Pike county, Missouri. The Ellison family told the little girl that she had been "bound" to them but at last they received a letter from the mother of the child who had, despite all their wanderings, gained trace of the family and begged them if Nancy still lived to let her know something of her child. The letter was never answered but the little girl overheard the letter read and remembering something of her mother, whom she had seen last at the age of five years, stored the facts away in her memory. She was not treated kindly by the Ellison family and when fourteen years of age she left them and went out to fight life's battles. At the age of eighteen she married and later with the aid of her husband tried to learn something of her people. At last she secured her mother's address and in 1847 received a letter from her. Several other letters followed and then came one from a half-sister saying that the mother was dead. Mrs. Stone, however, could never overcome her desire to see her relatives and the home of her childhood and though nearly sixty years had passed since she left the east she determined in 1894 to visit those who still remained there. She was accompanied by her son, Professor J. H. Crafton, of the Gem City Business College, a son of her first marriage. She found that she had not been forgotten by her relatives in Pennsylvania and her visit was a very pleasant one. She and her son visited a number of important points in the east and altogether the trip was one of great interest. Mr. Stone had come to the west when a young man and finally settled in northeast township, Adams county, Illinois, where he was living at the time of the birth of Mrs. Samuel E. Carnes. He afterward removed to Tazewell county, where he lived for two and a half years, and then took up his abode in Topeka, Mason county, Illinois, where he lived for twelve years, eventually locating in Quincy, Illinois, where his death occurred soon afterward. He was a blacksmith and followed the trade throughout his entire life. Mrs. Stone was twice married, Mr. Stone rearing her children of her first union, and Mrs. Carnes has three half-brothers: William M. Crafton, who is living in New Berlin, Illinois; Charles, of Springfield, Illinois; and J. H. Crafton, of Quincy, Illinois.

Mrs. Carnes pursued her education in the public and high schools of Mason county, Illinois, and for a short time attended Chaddock College in Quincy but impaired eyesight caused her to abandon her school work.

Mr. Carnes possesses the business instinct, keen discrimination and unfaltering diligence which have ever been characteristic of the family and is now the owner of three hundred and eighty acres of fine land in New Salem township, four miles north of Pittsfield and equally distant from Maysville and New Salem. Here he has a beautiful home with fine building's and all modern improvements. His farm is under a high state of cultivation, being one of the best properties of New Salem township. He is well known as a stockman, he and his brother George being very extensive stock dealers, making shipments from Maysville and other neighboring points and handling over one hundred thousand dollars' worth of stock each year. Mr. Carnes is likewise a stockholder in Illinois Valley Bank at Griggsville and the Pike County Telephone Company. His interests are concentrated, however, upon his farm and live stock and he carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes, having the quality of perseverance that enables him to overcome all difficulties and obstacles that may arise. Both Mr. and Mrs. Carnes are active members of the United Brethren church, in which he is serving as a trustee and he is likewise one of the trustees of Westfield College. They occupy a prominent position in public regard and are worthy representatives of one of the leading families of this part of the state, the name of Carnes being inseparably associated with the history of Pike county.

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Submitted: 07/02/09

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