WILLIAM B. CARMAN (1791-1874)


WILLIAM B. CARMAN, one of the original trustees of incorporation of the Town of Palmyra, came to Missouri a short time eaerlier with his pregnant wife, Elizabeth, and half a dozen or more of their nine children.

William was born on September 28, 1791, in New York, but was himself an early settler of Harrison County, Kentucky.

About 1816, the younger William Carman was married to twenty-five year old Elizabeth Jaquess, widow of Isaac Jaquess and daughter of John Johnston, who was said to have been an Indian fighter in Kentucky.  She had a son, Isaac Newton, and Elizabeth and William Carman were to have nine children, all born in Kentucky, before they moved in early spring of 1828 into northeast Missouri.  Their tenth and last child, James H. B. Carman, was born just six months after their arrival in Missouri, so Elizabeth must have been “with child” during their journey from Kentucky.

William B. Carman was one of the first trustees of Palmyra in 1830, when the town was incorporated.

Even before then, Palmyra boasted of location of the United States Land Office for the entire district of northeast Missouri.  On March 30, 1829 (MoLDO, 2:48:5), Carman bought seventy-six acres in the west half of the southwest quarter of Section 29, Township 57 North Range 4 West.  This land is on the site of the rivertown of Hannibal; it is speculative whether the Carmans ever lived there.  On September 11, 1830 (MoLDO, 2:63:18, 19), however, Carman made two additional purchases of government land, totaling 160 acres.  One eighty acre tract was the east half of the northwest quarter of Section 29, T57NR6W, near the village of West Eli in southern Marion County; the other was the east half of the southeast quarter of Section 20, T58NR6W, which was on Licking Creek, a few miles west of Palmyra.  Again, on October 28, 1830 (MoLDO, 2:65:21), he doubled the size of his farm on Licking Branch by buying another eighty acres in the west half of the northwest quarter of adjoining Section 29, T58NR6W.  By then, Carman’s holdings comprised nearly a full section of land—albeit mostly in scattered parcels.

Elizabeth and William had eight daughters and two sons.

Paulina Carman, born in 1817, was married on January 24, 1839 (Marion MR A: Date), to twenty-four year old Tennessee-born John Pearce.  They lived with their children in Macon County (Macon Census 1850:150 [#462]:36-42)

America Carman, also born in 1817 and maybe a twin sister of Paulina, evidently was married twice.  First to a man named Jones by whom she had a son, Robert, and then, about 1847, to William Dearing, who was born in 1811 in Virginia.  In 1850 (Marion Census 1850:360[#1493]:34-360, the Dearings live next door to his sixty-two year old widowed mother, Mary, and her youngest son, Allen J. Dearing, and in America’s household is fifteen year old Robert Jones, who was born in Missouri.

Anna Eliza Carman never married.

Harriet Carman married Jonathan Eckhardt.

Nancy Carman was married on March 8, 1838 (Marion MR A:131), to twenty year old Kentucky born Morris Gibbons.  They lived in Marion County with their five children (Marion Census 1850:337 [#1163]:2-10).

By 1840, William and Elizabeth Carman’s Fabius Township house (Narion Census 1840:67:15) still included two sons and four girls.  Laura Jane Carman died in infancy, however.

Tragedy struck the family on February 16, 1841.  (Palmyra Whig 2/20/1841), when William Carman’s wife, Elizabeth Carman, died and was buried in the Carman Cemetery near Palmyra.  The newspaper called her “Nancy” and gave her age as “about forty,” but her tombstone identifies her as Elizabeth “Jaquith” and birth and death dates, October 17, 1791-February 16, 1841, showed she was going on fifty years of age.

More than three years later, on April 18, 1844 (Ralls MR A:154), Carman was married again to a thirty-eight year old widow, Sarah (Calvin) Neill.

Republican 3/3/1843), when he “died of winter fever…”  Three of William Carman’s children were married in 1846 and, in 1849, the last of his children was married.

On January 29, 1846, (Marion MR A:282), William B. Carman Jr. was married to Amanda M. Poole, whose mother was present and gave her consent to the marriage of her seventeen year old daughter.  Amanda’s father, Anthony Poole, died within the year, and young Carman was a witness to his will (Marion Wills B:443-447 &456 [1847]).  The Pooles were from Virginia, and Amanda was born in 1828 in Kentucky.  A few years later (Marion Census 1850:264[#86]:32-35), the Carmans lived with their first two children, Theodore and Frances, within a short distance of both surviving parents.

On February 10, 1846, (Marion MR A:291), Mary J. Carman was married to twenty-three year old Benjamin Melson, a native of Maryland.  They lived in Shelby County (Shelby Census 1850:232[#363]:26-42), where his seventy year old mother Milly Melson, was a member of their household, along with their three year old son John.

On February 10, 1846 (Marion MM[lost]); see Marion History 7120, Emily Ann Carman was married to John Maston, who was born on January 8, 1822, in Scott County, Kentucky.  Maston was a ‘49er, since he does not appear with his wife and year-old baby girl, Laura, in the 1850 Census.  Instead, Emily and the infant were living with her brother-in-law and sister, Morris and Nancy Gibbons (Marion Census 1850:337[#1163]:2-10), in Warren Township; by then, the Gibbons’ had five children.  Emily Ann died on January 9, 1869, and Masten was married again on April 3, 1872, to Elizabeth (Coons) Willian, widow of Jacob Willian, who died in May 1868.

James H. B. Carman, youngest son of William and Elizabeth (Jaquith) Carman, was married on April 3, 1849 (Ralls MR B:np), to twenty-year old Mary Ann Shulse.  She was born on May 28, 1828, in Ralls County, one of the older of Alexander and Eleanor (Whitledge) Shulse’s nine daughters.

William Carman died on April 17, 1874, at eighty-two years of age.  He was buried in his family cemetery at Palmyra, where his first wife had been interred more than forty years before.  His surviving widow, Sarah Carman, died on December 27, 1877, “in her 71st year of age.”

– Kindly donated by Kent Johnson