Ancestral Family Topic 14

 14   Charles Paul Carr (1875-1960)
Pedigree Chart 08

Charles Paul Carr, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, Charles Paul Carr might describe his life as follows.

Called “Charlie,” I was born in Halifax County 10 January 1875, and attended school at Bethel Hill, North Carolina. On 21 December 1897 at Crystal Hill, Virginia, I married Mary Emma Edwards. Born 1 March 1873, she was 2 years older than I.
We reared our 7 children on a farm near South Boston before opening a 4-bedroom, 2-story boardinghouse on Main Street near the tobacco warehouses. With 3,500 citizens, South Boston was the second largest bright tobacco market in the world. Mary and the girls served many a meal to those planters, some of whom slept in their wagons overnight, and I made extra money as a grocery clerk.
On 5 July 1909 South Boston celebrated its 25th anniversary with a parade down Main Street. Ladies rode sidesaddle in the parade, wearing white dresses topped off with small white hats. Free glasses were offered for ice water and an insurance company had a sign in its widow that said “Mothers and Babies Rest Here.”
In November 1918 we got a farm near Jennings Ordinary in Nottoway County. With the flu pandemic underway, it was months before we dared meet our neighbors. We later lived on a 272-acre tobacco farm. Each year I took our crop back to South Boston, returning home a few days late with the money I didn’t spend on liquor.
Too old to keep farming, we auctioned off the farm along with two mules, three head of cattle, and some farm tools in October 1938 and got a 5-room house up the road. We later moved to the railroad town of Crewe, living with Charlie Jr., and then in the apartment above our daughter Sarah on Carolina Avenue. I understand my children avoided me. You see, I was an alcoholic.
Our children took turns caring for Mary after she had her stroke, and they put me in a boarding house in Crewe with a friend. I died 17 April 1960 and rest with Mary in Section E, Lot 8, of the Crewe Cemetery.

The Census of 1900 shows Mary’s sister Mattie Lee Edwards living with them. 

Farm life
The Carrs lived on their farm between Paces and Turbeville until 1906 when they sold the farm to John I. Wade and moved to a farm known as the Seatman place, which was closer to South Boston. For many years, Wade held the annual cantaloupe festival on the old Carr property. Charlie Carr kept a garden and raised vegetables to eat and sell.

Life in South Boston
Recollections of their daughter Sarah reveal what life was like in South Boston.
Sarah’s best friend in South Boston was Maria Ballow and they spent many days together. They would go downtown to where Maria’s brother Wallace worked and he would give them a little bit of money. Money was rare then and children usually had none. They would buy candy at Cage and Waller’s grocery store near the corner where Main Street turned and headed to the Southern Railroad station.
Sarah and her younger brothers would play ball and hide and seek in the boarding house backyard. Then they would go out front on the sidewalk and draw a four-square design.
Standing on one foot, they would kick a block into each of the 4 rectangles. They also raced up and down the street. Sarah’s only toys were balls and a doll with hair painted on. When they jumped rope, they would chant:

1-2, buckle my shoe; 3-4, shut the door;
5-6, pick up sticks; 7-8, lay them straight.
9-10, big fat hen; 11-12, roast her well.
13-14, maids are courting; 15-16, maids are kissing;
17-18, maids are waiting. 19-20, I have plenty;
21-22, I have plenty, too.

Like most children, they went barefoot. Sarah was proud when she got some high-topped gray buttoned shoes, because she thought they were pretty to wear.
Growing up in a boarding house was not like anything else. The guests liked teasing Sarah and the other children. After supper, the boarders would play Set Back. If they lacked a fourth player, they would ask Sarah to play, after she had to assure her mother that she had done all of her school work.
Sarah liked to play Finch, Old Maid, Rook, and other card games with Maria Ballow and Kathleen Ballow. Young people liked to gather around a piano and sing. Sarah’s Aunt Clara had a player piano and music rolls with words on them so they could sing along.
The theater on Main Street had a matinee each day. Sarah got a job nearby at Joe Terry’s Grocery Store selling chocolate-covered almonds. The store bought the candy in small wooden barrels and sold it to theatergoers for 10˘ a bag. Small scales were on the counter for Sarah to use to measure out the right amount of candy to put in each sack. She got so good at filling each bag with the right amount of candy, though, that she stopped measuring it. Once Joe Terry caught her not weighing the candy one day and reprimanded her. When he measured the bags that she had already filled, none were over or under the right weight. He never checked her again.
Sarah helped with the younger children. Once, when Charles was about 3 years old, Sarah was supposed to look after him. No cars were on the roads then but horses and carriages could be just as dangerous. Charles was always running away and when he disappeared Sarah went looking for him. She knew he loved ice cream and she found him at Buck Lawson’s drugstore downtown. He had asked for a cone and Buck said, “Give me your pants.” Charles was doing just that.
They also sent Sarah to shop at the nearby grocery store. The highlight was when they sent her for a pound of Arbuckle’s Coffee. Each bag came with a stick of candy, which she got. Candy was a treat for Sarah.
Sarah lived about one mile from her school where she was an average student. No school buses ran so she walked unless someone picked her up in a buggy.
When Sarah was 10, the first car came to town. Later, more drove down Main Street and passed the house on the way into town. Sarah and Thornton would run and stand on their picket fence to watch when they heard one coming. Cars shared the street with the horses and wagons. Once a passing car met a horse and buggy coming from the other direction. Sarah thought the horse was going to climb a telephone pole. Sarah feared the cars, too. She did not think a buggy or wagon rolling along without a horse in front seemed right.
During World War I, Sarah bought the first Liberty Bond and rode in a wagon when they were promoting them. This was also when she got to ride in an automobile for the first time. She was very nervous of that “horseless carriage.”
In the summers, Sarah would stay with her Carr grandparents near Republican Grove. She and her Aunt Blanch did the indoor chores and gathered vegetables from the garden.
The family lived across from a new post office, which Sarah enjoyed watching them build. People picked up their mail there because neither mail nor newspapers were delivered to homes. Her grandfather Carr walked a mile to pick up his mail and newspaper. However, when the weather was bed, Sarah would wade through rain or deep snow to bring them to him.
She was old enough to try to do things her aunts would do. She would find a small tree sapling, climb it, and ride it to the ground. She would hang between Heaven and Earth until an adult would climb it too and ride it to the ground with her.

South Boston
South Boston was a tobacco processing town. The town originated on the south side of the Dan River, but periodic flooding forced many to the higher ground on the north side. Here Capt. Edward Bedford Jeffress, “The Father of South Boston,” owned a store, a blacksmith’s shop, and land that he sold in lots. In 1857 a post office called “South Boston Depot” was established. South Boston did not change much until 1873-5 when they built 4 large tobacco warehouses, as big as football fields, covered with tin roofs. By 1907, when Sarah was a small child, South Boston with 3,500 citizens was the second largest bright tobacco market in the world. Fifteen million pounds of tobacco passed through the 6 warehouses of South Boston during a market that ran from 15 July until the next 15 May. South Boston was also a manufacturing and jobbing center.
Its main street was cobble-paved and sidewalks were of brick. The town had its own water utility with pumping house and machinery. By 1909, electricity lighted the town. South Boston boasted 5 banks, 3 wholesale grocery stores, and the Keystone Drug Manufacturing Company that sold its own proprietary medicines.
The town was the headquarters of the Barbour Buggy Company, which could turn out 10 thousand vehicles per year. They sold buggies, surreys, wagons and drays throughout the Southeast. The Century Manufacturing Company sold throughout the South its famous “Century Cloth,” along with dress goods, linen-finish waistings, bleach muslin, and long cloths.
In 1905 DeJarnette and Cage opened a store, which offered “flour, meal, shipstuff, meats, sugar, coffee and field seed.” V.L. Fowlkes advertised that his store had plenty of Dr. David’s Vegetable Anti-Billious Pills. J.W. Nelson & Son at the corner of Broad and Arch Streets made repairs and shod horses.
The Census of 1910 found the Carrs boarding 4 men, Mary Emma’s aunt Emma Edwards, and her sister Fannie Ruth Edwards. Charles was then described as a grocery clerk. 

Jennings Ordinary
When the Carrs moved to Jennings Ordinary, they brought their church letters with them and joined Crewe Baptist Church. However, since they lived closer to Wards Chapel, a Methodist Church, they attended there, where Sarah sang in the church choir. The family later moved to a 272-acre farm known as the Capt. Manson home and farm. The Census of 1930 shows them in Nottoway County with Dorothy 22, Charlie, 20, Mary E., and William T., aged 10. 
Sometime after 1940 Charles and Mary Carr arranged to sell their farm, two mules, and various farm implements, which was subject to a Federal Land Bank Loan, at a public auction. They then moved up the road to a house they had built. Mary Ann Baer recalled visiting them there in the summer between schools for several years.

Descendants of Charles Paul Carr
Information about the children of Charles Paul Carr, their descendants, and allied families previously found at is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 Sarah Frances (Carr) Vaughan (1901-1995),  
Holmes Arthur Vaughan,   
Evelyn Rebecca LaPrade,   Jessie Gravette,  
William R. Wrigglesworth,  
Lois Heartwell,  Lois Dickerson,  Lucille Robertson,  
 Richard Thornton Carr (1902-1982),  
Florence May Kell,  Maggie Jane Belcher,  
 John Edwards Carr (1904-1996),  
Odelle Porter,  
Patricia Ann Carr,  
James Hunter Slaughter,  Gay Slaughter,  J. Carlisle,  
Susan Hunter Slaughter,  Joseph Callicott,  
Anne Randolph Slaughter,  Dr. Maurice Monroe Miller,  C. Maurice Miller,  Lavenia Tilley,  
Edward Wayne Carr,  Patricia Ann Mayhew,  
 Dorothy Virginia (Carr) Dixon (1907-),  
Leon Alvah Dixon,  William Jones Dixon,  Martha Coleman,  
Henry Hunter Watson,   
William Moncure Dixon,  
Geraldine Frances Conner,  Estral R. Conner,  Janis Faye (Cramer) Arnold,  
Martha Leigh Dixon,  Joseph Amos Meadows,  Joseph Amos Meadows,  Phyllis —,  
Deborah Anne Meadows,  Robert Edward Forkins,  
Anne Carolyn Dixon,  William Holloway Booker,  Erasmus Derwin Booker,  Lucile Brockenbrough Holloway,  
William Holloway Booker,  
Elizabeth Randolph Booker,  
 Charles Paul Carr (1909-1973),  
Emma Etisea Stewart,  
 Mary Elizabeth (Carr) Simonton Ranson (1914-1984),  
Carl Othel Simonton,  Roy Sydney Ranson,  
Mary Ann Simonton,  William Robert Baer,  
Eva Diane Baer,  Lester C. Roth,  Mark Gribben,  
Jacob L. Roth,  
Aaron Roth,  
William Robert Baer,  Patricia Foster,  Melissa Schafer,  
Christina Ann Baer,  
Michael David Baer,  
Debra Kay Baer,  Danny E. McElroy,  
Heather Melissa McElroy,  
Margaret Louise Ranson,  Clyde Rudd,  
William Brooks Rudd,  
Michelle Rudd,  
Matthew Rudd,  
Roy Sydney Ranson,  Vivian Gibson,  
Sydney Ranson,  
Amy Ranson,  
Leslie Ranson,  
 William Thomas Carr (1919-2002),  
Virginia Gertrude Davis,  
Beverly Ann Carr,  Charles Michael Brown,  Rev. Adrian E. Brown,  
William Adrian Brown,  Emily Marie Edwards,  
Madelyn Clare Brown,  
Michael David Brown,  

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