Biography of Henry Clay Carter

Born and reared far away in the Southland, and when the dread cloud of civil war overspread the country following his convictions through the terrible struggle, facing death on many a hard-fought field and enduring untold hardships and privations in camp and on the march, Henry C. Carter, of Garfield county, this state, one of the prosperous and progressive ranch and cattle men in the neighborhood of Newcastle, knows much of our great country’s history from actual experience and observation under circumstances most likely to make lasting impressions and heighten the pleasures of peaceful enjoyment of its boundless opportunities and the products of its prolific soil. He first saw the light of this world in Chesterfield county, South Carolina, on April 6, 1844, and is the son of Simon and Margaret (Seals) Carter, the former born in South Carolina and the latter in North Carolina. They passed their lives in the Carolinas, where they were engaged in farming, raising corn and cotton, and enjoying a modest prosperity until the war came. The father was an ardent devotee of the section in which he lived and heartily supported the Democratic party in politics. There were seven children born in the household, of whom three are living, Henry C., of this sketch, Robert, a resident of South Carolina, and Simon, living in the vicinity of Newcastle. The deceased children are Alexander, who died in 1854, George, who was wounded in the battle of Shiloh and died in Duke’s Hospital in Mississippi, and Gilbert and Debbie. Henry was educated at the district schools of his home neighborhood, remaining with his parents until he reached the age of twenty-one except during the period of the Civil war. When that broke out he enlisted in Company F, First Infantry of the Confederate army, and his service to the cause did not cease until the lst flag of the Confederacy went down in everlasting defeat. He was taken prisoner at Smith’s plantation in 1865 and paroled at Heart’s Island in New York state in June of the same year. He then returned to northern Alabama, and in the ensuing fall moved to Arkansas. There he worked on farms for wages three years, in 1868 going to Lawrence county, Missouri, where he remained until 1870. At that time he began to learn the carpenter trade, which he followed at various places for a number of years, working at it in Erath county, Texas, a year, then at Fort Griffin, where he was also a post trader and contractor. In 1872 he was at Dallas for a time, and in November, 1873, came to Colorado. In 1875 he helped to build the Malta Smelter Company’s plant at Leadville, and after wandering about two years, working at his trade, returned there in 1877, at which time there were but three white women in the camp. Remaining there until 1881, he took up ranch work for Mr. Hayden, mined and prospected and worked at his trade, there, in South Park and elsewhere, until the winter of 1883-4, when he came to his present location in Garfield county. On June 12, 1884, he took his present ranch, a pre-emption claim of one hundred and sixty acres, which was full of wild sage brush at the time. He has improved the place and brought a considerable portion of it to advanced cultivation, fourteen acres being set out in choice fruit which is considered the best in the county, including apples, peaches, pears, plums, grapes and small fruits. He also raises good crops of hay and grain. The ranch is three miles west of Newcastle and is well supplied with water.

On November 26, 1904, Mr. Carter was united in marriage with Miss Dora Priddy, a native of DeKalb county, Missouri, daughter of Strawder and Ellen (Patton) Priddy, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Pennsylvania, who were married in Ohio and soon after went to Missouri. In 1880 the family moved to Pueblo, Colorado, where Mrs. Priddy soon after died. The father was a soldier in the Union army during the Civil war, serving in an Ohio regiment.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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