FIVE CARTTER BROTHERS, THEIR SISTER AND MOTHER
Little personal record is available concerning the family of David Kellogg Cartter as it struggled, following his death, to take part in community life and at the same time help prepare each member for his or her future contributions in different states of the nation.
PHEDERUS, 1807-1865. Oldest son, was born at Lowville, N.Y. He was the only son content to settle down in Rochester and consequently, with his family proved to be of real help to his mother n her declining years. He married Lydia Ann Wright and became an attorney, having studied law with an early member of the bar in Rochester. He practiced as a member of the firm Bishop and Cartter in both Rochester and Scottsville, N. Y. State. His name appears on the list of practicing attorneys as late as 1853.
Due to health problems he eventually gave up his law practice and entered the nursery business with his brother-in-law Dennis McCarthy in Syracuse, N. Y. where he stayed for nine years. It is said that Phederus was a great lawyer and that he once cleared a thief. This was a fact that he couldn’t reconcile with his conscience. This may have played an important role in his turning to the nursery business.
The family of Phederus consisted of six children: Nancy, Edward P., Martha F., Charles F., Frederic Oberlin, and David Kellogg. Edward, Martha and Charles never married. David served as special deputy and later as Collector of Customs at the Port of Rochester from 1869 to 1879. He resided on a farm in Rigo township engaged in business as an accountant and followed farming as a side line. Frederic Oberlin, who spent some time during his early years with James Bruce (2), established residence in Chicago, was on the police force and later a private detective. Nancy Cartter Weaver the oldest daughter was a very good correspondent. It is her letters that tell us most about Phederus’ life and that of his children. For instance she says in one letter.
“Father was a large man, when in his prime, standing well over six feet and weighing close to 300 pounds.” She characterizes him as follows: “he was the most splendid man I ever saw and in all his dealing with men, he was strictly honest and upright.”
George H., younger brother of James Bruce in a letter written after being back in Rochester on a visit says this of Phederus - - “None can be under the influence of his mind and conversation without becoming a better and brighter man. There are few but that will yield to him a supremacy of mind and listen to learn while he speaks.”
Phederus’ later years were marked by much sickness and he died in Boston June 22, 1865 being buried at the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester.
HARLEIGH, 1811 – 1874. Second son was born at Lowville, N.Y. He too read law in Rochester. It is probable that he left Rochester about 1834 with James Bruce, for both settled in Utica, Michigan Territory at the same time. He was here admitted to the bar of McComb county April 13, 1837 and took a prominent part in civic and political affairs. He served as Shelby’s Town Clerk and Justice of Peace; helped organize the Utica Lyceum and was president of the County Agricultural Society in 1858. He served as prosecuting attorney 1842-44 at which time he moved to Mt. Clemens in the same county. He was elected Legislative representative from McComb County in 1844, serving two terms, and was circuit court commissioner 1856 to 1860. His wife Jane Louise Scranton died in 1865.
On May 17, 1867 Harleigh Cartter was appointed by President Lincoln as Judge of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Arizona, organized in 1863. He was reputed to be the only democrat so appointed by Lincoln. He was appointed member of the first Bi-annual Territorial Council of Arizona which met in Tucson January 11, 1871 (11 members). Following the sudden death of the president of the council he was appointed to fill that vacancy. He represented Yavapai County and died in Arizona in 1874.
Harleigh’s family consisted of seven children: Elizabeth M., Francis B., Cass, James B., Harleigh Jr., Millicent H. and David Kellogg. Of these Elizabeth, Cass, and James died as children. Harleigh Jr. went to Arizona with his father and was admitted there to the bar, becoming a partner with his father. He was a rancher, and served as under sheriff. The ranch was located east of Prescott in Yaeger’s Canyon off Lonesome Valley. David Kellogg the youngest son moved to South Lowell, Alabama where he entered the Lumber Business. According to present information neither of these two families had sons to carry on the Cartter name.
DAVID KELLOGG(2), 1812-1887, was born in Lowville, N. Y. He was sixteen years old when his father died. He went on to finish two years of his education at the Rochester Academy.
He served as an apprentice in the printing office of Thurlow and Weed while he studied law in the offices of Ebeneza Griffin and E. Darow Smith at Rochester.
At the age of 20 he was admitted to the Bar and commenced the practice of law in Rochester, N. Y. He married Nancy H. Hanford of Monroe Co., N. Y. in 1836 and the same year moved to Akron, Ohio. Here he practiced law in company with Alvah Hand and George Bliss. Becoming interested in politics he moved to Massilon in Stark County, Ohio in partnership with H. B. Hurlburt in 1845. In 1848 he was elected as a democrat to the 31st Congress and was re-elected in 1850.
When the Republican Party was organized 1854-55 he joined its ranks. In 1856 he moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he opened his own law office. Being a delegate to the National Republican Convention in Chicago in 1860, he played an important part in the selection of Lincoln as the presidential nominee of the new party. He was successful in swinging enough Chase-committed Ohio votes over to Lincoln so that the result was his nomination and ultimate election.
In 1861 President Lincoln appointed David K. Cartter to be minister to Bolivia. He served from March 27, 1861 to March 1, 1862 when he asked to be relieved. He returned to Cleveland and his practice, but not for long. In 1863 he was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, a position he held until his death in Washington, D.C., April 16, 1887. During this time he became a very close friend and adviser to President Lincoln and succeeding presidents. He was one of those summoned to the President’s bedside at the time of his assassination.
The body of Justice David K. Cartter was interned in Lakeview cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio. David’s family consisted of two sons William H, Hanford and David Kellogg Jr. WILLIAM H., 1838-1904 was a physician and surgeon, trained in Heidelberg, Germany and interned at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. He served during the Civil War as medical officer on board the ship Farragut. He inherited some 6,000 acres of land in Kansas, accumulated much more and made his home at Cottonwood Falls in that state where descendants can still be found. DAVID, JR., 1840-1863 died of typhoid fever while in camp at Fort Scott, Kansas during the Civil War. He was a lieutenant in the 2nd Ohio Cavalry.
The following is taken from a eulogy of Judge David printed in the New York World under a Washington D.C. dateline of April 17, 1887.
“Judge Cartter was not great in the technique of the law, nor was he a great student of the law. He had a mind that grasped the philosophy, the wisdom, the reason, and the common sense of the law. Never was there a more judicial mind.”
GEORGE HOLLISTER, 1827-1863, was the youngest Cartter son born in Rochester just one year before his father’s death. He grew up at a time when the family finances were being strained but there is evidence that the family were working together to help each other.
He followed the path of his three oldest brothers, studying the law. He was admitted to the Bar in Cleveland, Ohio which indicates that he very likely studied with his brother David. In 1849, Gold Rush times, he satisfied his pioneering spirit by leaving for California where he settled in Sacramento City. Here he served three successive terms as district attorney for the Sixth Congressional Dist. His salary at that time was $5,000.00 per year. There is also some indication, though uncertain, that he served in state legislative circles.
In 1854 he came back to Rochester to visit his mother and to see his brothers enroute. He returned to California in December of the same year, as indicated in a letter sent to his brother James Bruce on Dec. 18th. He wrote “after a short but very pleasant voyage I arrived again to my adopted home. - - - I have some thought of removing to San Francisco. I think that there is a wider field and I can do better in it.”
He must have changed his mind for 1858 finds him in Portland City, Oregon. The U.S. Senate approved that same year the naming of Oregon Territory as a state and the House passed the Approval bill in February of 1859.
Little record seems to be available concerning George’s activities at Portland other than the announcement of his marriage, the official record of his death, and the filing of his will. The following marriage announcement appeared in a San Francisco paper: “Married, in San Francisco, May 14, George H. Cartter of Sacramento to Rosetha F. Silver.” (No year was given in the announcement) George died of typhoid fever Feb. 24, 1862 in Portland at the age of 36. No children were mentioned in the will which was drawn up nine hours before death occurred. His widow Rosetha F. Cartter signed the will Sept. 1, 1862.
It is regrettable that such a promising young life ended just at the time when its contributions to this new section of the U. S. might have been of great value.
In the Portland Journal of March 24, 1863 there appeared the following as part of their announcement of his death.
“It is our melancholy duty to record the death of one, who by his many virtues as a citizen, by his professional abilities and by his love of what was true and good, endeared himself to the affections of those who knew him while living and mourn for him now, that he is dead.”
ELIZABETH MILLICENT (CARTTER) MC CARTHY, 1817-1887, was born August 1, 1817 in the City of Rochester, N. Y. the one girl in a family with five brothers. At the age of 20 she married Dennis Mc Carthy of Salino, Onondago Co., N. Y. Dennis was at that time in partnership with his father in the mercantile business. His father had come from Cork Ireland.
In 1846 the young couple moved to Syracuse, N. Y. where Dennis continued in the same line of business, taking his sons into partnership with him as soon as they were old enough. In 1844-5 Mr. McCarthy represented Onondago Co. in the State Legislature; in 1853 he was elected mayor of Syracuse; and in 1868-71 he was representative in the U.S. Congress and from 1876-1885 inclusive he was a state senator. He died Feb. 14, 1886.
In a biographical sketch found in a Memorium to Elizabeth Millicent McCarthy we find the following excerpt.
“Elizabeth was well educated, - - - a woman familiar with general history, well versed in the modern and advanced literature of Europe and this country. She also ranked high as an able and cultured linguist, spending much time in Europe perfecting her early study and knowledge of Italian, Spanish and German. In French she was exceedingly proficient.” She was recognized for her charitable activities and especially with those children of the community.
Her death occurred December 2nd, 1887, less than two years after her husband’s demise and eight months following the death of her older brother, Justice David Kellogg Cartter of Washington D.C. She was buried in St. Agnes Cemetery in Syracuse, being survived by the following five children: David K., Thomas, Percy (Mrs. Thomas Emory), Kate (unmarried) and Dennis Jr. Four Other children died at an early age.
JAMES BRUCE, 1815-1897, fourth oldest son and first of the Wisconsin Cartter was only thirteen years old when his father died and because of the hardship which the father’s loss meant to the family James went shortly to live with his Uncle James Bruce Cartter (1), the pioneer blacksmith after whom he was named. His future will be the subject of the next chapter and the balance of our story as he moves through Michigan into southern Wisconsin and finally settles, after much searching, on a home site, near Black River Falls in Jackson County, Wisconsin.
We have now taken a look at the children of David K. Cartter (1) as they grew up and moved out into work responsibility, family life, and reclining years. We must not leave this family, however, without final reference to the pioneer woman whose fortitude, faith, and example must have been a determining factor in the lives of these six children.
Elizabeth Hollister Cartter had faced the frontier with courage and assumed responsibility for the family of six children, when there was little to live on and educational opportunities were very limited.
Perhaps the most pointed tribute to Mrs. Cartter and to other pioneer women like her is found in John Kelsey’s booklet entitled Lives and Reminiscences of Pioneers of Rochester written in 1854 and stemming from personal acquaintance and conferences with his subjects.
Here is a quote from his 58th Subject, Mrs. David K. Cartter.
“If we are prepared to write the history of the children, when we are made acquainted with the parentage, by parity of reasoning Mrs. Cartter’s worth should not be mistaken, when that of her children is written. Indeed if such have been all the pioneer matrons of Rochester, its moral preeminence among the cities of the Union, its rapid growth and improvements, social and intellectual advantages, and its future glorious prospects need occasion little surprise to those who are accustomed to connect causes and effects in their relations to the history of any people or community.”
Appearing in this same Kelsey reference we find still another tribute to the pioneer men and women. Reproduced in this reference is a map of Rochester as it would have appeared in 1814, a year which happens to coincide with the arrival of the Cartter family in what was then called Rochesterville. This map was drafted at the request of Mr. Kelsey by two residents of Rochester who were boys living there in 1814, and whose parents were both mentioned in Mr. Kelsey’s Reminiscences. One of these boys was Phederus Cartter, the oldest son of David and Elizabeth Cartter.
Excerpts from a letter which they sent to Mr. Kelsey with the map follow.
“Rochester, Aug. 2, 1854
To Messrs. Kelsey and others:
Dear Sirs: Agreeable to your request we have prepared a profile or map of Rochesterville (the now city of Rochester) as it was in March 1814 - - - More than 40 years having now elapsed since this vision was presented to our boyish eyes; and while we are tracing out the lines marked by our memory in years when we could hardly picture to ourselves a hope that we should this day walk among the living in a populous city, the one-twentieth of whose faces we hardly recognize; all this passed before us now like a dream of nite or like a tale that is told. We believe that we have placed upon the map all the dwellings, business houses, mills etc., that were erected, - - - together with the names and business of each occupant.
- - - we as the sons of two of the persons named (In Kelsey’s book) would be happy to bear testimony and record the following: - - - we have been acquainted with them and their children to the third and even fourth generation, and yet we have never known an instance in which they of their posterity were ever convicted of even accused of crime; if we could give any higher testimony of their moral worth, and their fitness to found a great and mighty city, we would do so. We have long desired that in some way a record might be made of those who first gave life and animation to our city. - - -
Very respectfully your obedient servants,
Elizabeth Hollister Cartter died in Rochester September 23, 1876 and is buried in the Cartter lot No. 140G in Mt. Hope Cemetery at Rochester, N. Y.