Biographies of Buchanan County Residents:
General W. Carrel
Transcribed by Danielle Thompson
the History of Buchanan County and the City of St Joseph and Representative
GENERAL W. CARREL. St. Joseph, Missouri, has among her many esteemed residents, a number of retired farmers, who, after years of industry in agricultural pursuits, elect to spend their evening of life in comfort and well-earned ease in the social environments of city-life. One of the well-known men of this class is found in General W. Carrel, whose comfortable home is situated at No. 514 North 22nd street. Mr. Carrel was born in Clay County, Missouri, in September, 1832, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (STUBBLEFIELD) Carrel
The parents of our subject were born, reared and married in Tennessee. John Carrel was probably of Irish extraction. At a very early date in the settlement of Clay County, Missouri, he located there with his family, securing a large tract of the wild prairie land to which he added by purchase. Their children were: Nathaniel, Robert, William, George, Major and Nancy, all deceased; Fannie; Martha, deceased; General W., of this sketch; Jackson, of DeKalb County; and Francis, of DeKalb County.
The boyhood of our subject was spent in hard work on his father’s farm, with absolutely no chance to attend any kind of a school. He grew to manhood well-trained, however, in all agricultural pursuits and possessed of that sound business sense which, under all conditions, is the foundation of all practical success. He married at the age of 20 years and started into farming for himself, buying land in DeKalb County. Later he traded this for land in Clay County, but bought a second time in DeKalb County and was operating a farm there when the Civil War broke out.
In 1862, when excitement ran high, Mr. Carrel enlisted for army service, at Stewartsville, Missouri, entering Company H, fourth reg., Missouri Vol. Cav., and was soon thereafter sent to Jefferson City. During the whole two years of service, Mr. Carrel was in poor health, not sick enough to be discharged, but too ill to perform his duties with any degree of comfort. It was during this enforced period of absence from home that he realized the noble qualities of his most estimable wife. Left alone on the farm, with five little children, she bravely took upon herself not only the accustomed duties of her absent husband, but cared for and provided for her young family. She cut wood, operated the farm, harvested the crops and hauled her wheat to St. Joseph and sold it there. Every part of the farm was forced to add to the income, and her poultry, eggs, butter and cheese were all disposed of by herself in the neighboring city. Mr. Carrel remained on the farm in DeKalb County until 1871, when he rented it. He sold it subsequently and bought his present comfortable home in St. Joseph in 1872. Since locating here he has done some teaming, but for the past four years he has lived retired. He has invested largely in real estate in the city and has an ample income.
In 1852, Mr. Carrel was married to Virginia BAYS, who was born in Fayette County, Virginia, and is a daughter of William and Margaret Bays, both of whom were born in Fayette County. They were the first settlers in DeKalb County, Missouri, where Mr. Bays was a large flax grower and a man of considerable prominence. Both he and his wife died in that county. Mr. And Mrs. Bays had 11 children, the survivors of the family being: Miles of Caldwell County, Missouri; Martha, wife of Frank LOCKHART, of DeKalb County; and Virginia, the wife of our subject.
Mr. And Mrs. Carrel have had seven children, namely: Sarah, who is the wife of Marshall SMITH, of Clarksdale, Missouri; William, who is a carpenter, living at Clarksdale; Edward Alexander, who is a carpenter at Portland, Oregon; Jackson, who is a farmer in DeKalb County; Burr H., who resides at Clarksdale; and Margaret and Belle, both deceased.
Although he has never sought office, Mr. Carrel has always been interested in public affairs and has actively supported the principals and candidates of the Republican party. Both he and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Hard toil and persevering industry were required of our esteemed subject and his estimable wife for many years. They thus converted their wild land into a comfortable home. Conditions in this section of Missouri were very different 50 years ago and the hardships faced by Mr. And Mrs. Carrel were such as tried their endurance but never weakened their affection for each other. Their "Golden Wedding," which anniversary was celebrated on June 20, 1901, was an occasion long to be remembered. Surrounded by their children, whom they had reared with prudence and wisdom, preparing them for all the duties of life, and congratulated by friends of many years, they passed this milestone, happy they had been spared to reach it together. Mr. and Mrs. Carrel, whose portraits are shown on a preceding page, are much beloved in St. Joseph and their many friends hope that they may be able to see other pleasant anniversaries.