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          James Peele Carey, lawyer, railroad president, and director of many corporations, was born in Oconee County, South Carolina, on April 27, 1858. His father John W. L. Carey, was a farmer and for many years the tax collector of the Pickens district, combining a great popularity with strict integrity and attention to the public business and was never defeated at the polls. On his mother’s side Mr. Carey is a direct descendant of the Kentucky pioneer, Daniel Boone.

          Largely dependent on his own exertions in securing an education at early schools, he was taught the value of time and the need of persistent and continuous industry if one is to succeed in life. Early in his life James felt a strong impulse to practice law. He knew it would take hard work and determination to achieve something higher in life. After completing what little educational opportunities that were available in the country schools of Old Pickens, he studied at Adger College. He was an exceptional student, winning all the prizes presented to his class for best works. James graduated with first honors and received his B. A. degree in June of 1880.

          In April of 1883, he began his practice of law in Pickens. In September of 1855, he married Miss Lynda Troupe Lovett. They had six children.

          While Mr. Carey never desired to be known as anything other than a public-spirited lawyer, he served his community in a various number of other ways. He was president of the Pickens Railroad Company; director of most of the corporations in the county, and also served as an attorney for many of them. He at times has acted as a special judge in the courts of South Carolina. In 1906 he was elected by the opponents of the state dispensary vote ever cast in Pickens county. At a conference held before the legislature convened, Mr. Carey, and Mr. Cothan of Greenville county, were both chosen to draft a bill to be presented to the body. They prepared the “Carey-Cothan Local Option Bill,” which passed both houses and was signed by the governor, making the dispensary system in South Carolina a thing of the past.

          James Carey was a member of the Presbyterian Church and one of the elders of his church for nearly twenty years. Politically, he was identified with the Democratic party. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and gardening as his relaxation exercise. To the young people of our state he left theses words as the key to success, “be truthful, honest, reliable, and pay strict attention to business when performing your duties without regard to the consequences of your time and effort.”


Men Of Mark in South Carolina, Volume I


James Calvin Hemphill



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