CARSON, James H.
Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago Co., IL, C. A. Church.   Chicago: Clarke, 1905, pp 211-212

On the roster of county officials in Winnebago County [IL] appears the name of James H. CARSON, who is now filling the position of treasurer, and his public service has won him high enconiums because of his fidelity to duty and his promptness and efficiency in dispatching the business relating to his office.  A native of Ireland, he was born in the city of Belfast, 10 Mar 18466, and is of Scotch-Irish parentage.  His father, Robert CARSON, was also a native of Belfast and was united in marriage to Jane McVEY, a native of Greenock, Scotland, in which place they were married.  Soon afterward they removed to Belfast, where their son James H. was born, but subsequently they returned to Greenock, where they resided [p 212] for about six years.  In 1853 they came to America, settling on a farm near Rochester, NY.  They were the parents of eight children, five of whom are still living.  The family is noted for longevity and both parents still survive, the father now 88 and the mother 85 years of age.  They reside on the old homestead in Monroe County, NY, and are venerable and respected citizens of that locality.

James H. CARSON, the eldest of the father's family, is indebted to the public school system of NY for educational privileges he enjoyed.  In 1865, when about 19 years of age, he came to IL, and in Winnebago County engaged in farming.  For many years, however, he has been identified with industrial interests in Rockford, having at different times been employed in the works of Emerson Talcott & Company [EMERSON & TALCOTT Company, which played a major role in the mechanization of wheat farming], in the N. C. THOMPSON manufacturing plant, in the BRIGGS & ENOCH works and in the TRAHERN Pump Company's factory.  Diligence, industry and perseverance have ever been characteristic of his business life and have secured him some excellent postions.

When 23 years of age Mr. CARSON was united in marriage to Miss Ella M. THOMPSON, a daughter of Hiram THOMPSON, one of the early settlers of Winnebago County.  Three children have blessed this union:  Robert D., who died when 26 years of age; Frank A., who is now 28, and is serving as deputy county treasurer; and Mrs. Mabel F. WETHERELL, who also resides here.  The family have a pleasant home in South Rockford at No. 1129 Ferguson Street, and have made their home in this city since 1873.  Socially Mr. CARSON is a Mason and has served as secretary of the E. F. W. Ellis Lodge, No. 633, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, for a number of years.  He is also connected with the Knights of Pythias, the Tribe of Ben Hur, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and his wife is affiliated with the ladies auxiliaries of these societies.  She is now a past matron of the Order of the Eastern Star and past grand of the Rebekah lodge of the Odd Fellows society.

Politically Mr. CARSON has ever been a stanch republican, but in local matters he is conservative and will support the candidate who in his judgment is best qualified to fill the office regardless of party lines.  His deep and sincere interest in the public welfare has been manifest by the capable service which he has rendered when called by his fellow townsmen to positions of public trust and responsibility.  The first office he held was that of supervisor, representing Rockford on the board in 1891, and by re-election he was continued in that position for 10 years.  He served on a number of important committees and was chariman of the committee on fees and salaries.  He was appointed by the board of health of the city of Rockford as water and plumbing inspector and again he did practical and signal service for the community.  From the board of supervisors he received appointment to the office of overseer of the poor, in which position he remained for six years, and at the election held in Nov 1902, he was chosen by popular ballot to the office of county treasurer, receiving the unanimous vote of every town in the county and precinct in the city.  He is now in charge of the funds of the county and in this office, as in all others which he has been called upon to fill, he has studied closely the best methods to pursue in order to render to his fellow townsmen a service that will promote the public welfare.  He has a wide and favorable acquaintance in Rockford and his official career has been characterized by all that marks the exemplary citizen.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.