Biography of Charles T. Carpenter

Charles T. Carpenter is one of the pioneer bankers of Coffeyville, and for thirty years has been closely identified with what is now known as the Condon National Bank, being vice president of that institution. Mrs. Temple W. Carpenter, his wife, is one of the prominent women of Southern Kansas, has been a leader in religious, social and public affairs, and is president of the Carnegie Library of Coffeyville, and is the only woman who has ever been honored with a place on the school board of that city.

The Carpenter family is a very old one in America, having been transplanted from England to Rehoboth, Massachusetts, as early as 1632. From there its descendants moved to Pennsylvania, and into North Carolina and Kentucky. Mr. Carpenter has ancestors who fought in the Revolution.

Charles T. Carpenter was born at Palmetto, Tennessee, December 9, 1858, and belongs to a substantial stock of people who were extensive planters in early Tennessee, but were stanchly aligned with the Union cause and in the difficulties that grew out of the Civil war moved north of the Ohio River. Peter Carpenter, grandfather of the Coffeyville banker, was born in North Carolina in 1790. He was reared and married in his native state, became a planter, and moved his family to Tennessee, establishing a homestead on an eminence long known as Carpenter Hill. He was a stanch whig, and on account of his pronounced advocacy of the Union cause he had to refugee from Tennessee during the war, and lived at Bloomfield, Iowa, where he died in 1865. Peter Carpenter married Margaret Ramsey, who was born in 1805, and died at the old estate at Carpenter Hill in Tennessee in 1845. She was of Scotch-Irish descent and her ancestors had come to America at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Samuel Carpenter, father of Charles T., was born at Knob Creek, North Carolina, in 1826, and was reared and educated near Palmetto, Tennessee. He became a merchant, and in 1874 moved out to Kansas and locating at Oswego established one of the early general mercantile stores there. He retired from business in 1887 and died at Oswego in 1901. He was a republican, and was practically a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church, serving as a member for forty years. Samuel Carpenter married Sarah Montgomery, who was born in Tennessee in 1831 and died in Oswego, Kansas, in 1907. Their children were; Laura C., wife of Dr. W. H. Belt, a physician and surgeon at Oswego, Kansas. Robert P., in the real estate and insurance business at Oklahoma City; Charles T.; Mary, wife of L. J. Van Alstyne, who is connected with the Carpenter & Van Alstyne mercantile establishment at Oswego, Kansas; Samuel, Jr., also a member of the firm of Carpenter & Van Alstyne at Oswego; Margaret, a teacher in the Central High School of Kansas City, Missouri.

Charles T. Carpenter had his first schooling in a private institution at Palmetto, Tennessee. After his parents moved to Kansas he continued his education in the State University at Bloomington, Indiana, where he was graduated A. B. in 1876. He then came out to Kansas to join his parents at Oswego, and spent five years in the employ of his father. While at Oswego he became connected with his real work in life, and served two years as cashier of the Condon Bank there. In 1886 he came to Coffeyville as one of the partners in the Condon Bank, which was then a private institution and had been established at Coffeyville that year. The bank took out a state charter in 1898, and since 1903 had been the Condon National Bank. Its present officers are: C. M. Ball, president; Charles T. Carpenter, vice president; C. A. Walker, cashier; and F. S. Mitchell, assistant cashier. This is one of the old and reliable banks of Southern Kansas, and had a capital of $100,000 and surplus and profits of $50,000. In September, 1916, the bank completed its handsome new home, a two-story terra cotta building at 814 Walnut Street in Coffeyville.

Mr. Carpenter is also senior partner in the Charles T. Carpenter Insurance Agency, the largest agency of the kind in Montgomery County, and handling life, fire, hail, cyclone, accident, plate glass, and practically every line of insurance. For twelve years Mr. Carpenter served as president of the Coffeyville Board of Education and is still a member of the board. He is trustee of the Montgomery County High School at Independence. Politically he is independent, is a member of the Presbyterian Church, which he had served as trustee and elder, and had made himself an influential factor in everything that concerns the better life and progress of his home city.

In 1892 at Bockport, Indiana, Charles T. Carpenter and Miss Temple West were united in marriage. Mrs. Carpenter was born in Pike County, Indiana. Her ancestors, the Wests, came from England to Virginia in colonial times. Her grandfather, Hugh West, a native of Virginia, saw active service in the Mexican war, and spent his life as a farmer in Kentucky and Ohio. He died in Clermont County, Ohio. He was a whig in politics. Hugh West married Rosanna Boyd, who was born in South Carolina and died in Indiana about 1867.

J. D. West, father of Mrs. Carpenter, was born in Clermont County, Ohio, in 1828, grew up there, but when quite young went to Pike County, Indiana, where he was a successful farmer and stockman, and where he died in 1900. He was a republican. In 1861 he enlisted with an Indiana regiment and served all through the war, first under the command of Grant and later under Sherman. In one battle he was taken prisoner, and was confined at Andersonville until exchanged. J. D. West married Sophronia Brock, who was born in Virginia in 1834 and died in Pike County, Indiana, in 1870. Their children were: Joshua, who was a farmer and died in Pike County, Indiana; Mrs. Carpenter; Leander, who is employed in an elevator at Mount Carmel, Illinois; Eva, who died at Rockport, Indiana, in 1875, unmarried.

Mrs. Carpenter received her early education in Rockport, Indiana, graduating from the high school there in 1882, and in the same year entering the State University at Bloomington, where she completed the course and received the degree Ph. B. in 1886. She is a member of the college sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. For several years before her marriage Mrs. Carpenter taught at Rockport and also at Minneapolis, Minnesota. In addition to the conscientious care of her home and family, Mrs. Carpenter had accomplished a great deal in the sphere of woman’s activities. Since early girlhood she had been a worker in the Presbyterian Church. For a number of years she had served as treasurer of Chapter No. 112 of the Eastern Star at Coffeyville. Mrs. Carpenter is one of the charter members of the Searchlight Club, the original woman’s club of Coffeyville, and was its president for a long time. She had been closely associated with local affairs, particularly those affecting the educational progress of the city, and is president of the Carnegie Library Board. Reference had already been made to the fact that she is the only woman who ever served on the board of education, and she filled that important post in local affairs four years.

To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter were born seven children: Walter Thomas is a director and bookkeeper in the Condon National Bank, being a graduate of the Coffeyville High School, as are all the other older children; Samuel is in his father’s insurance office; Charles T. is also learning the insurance business under his father’s direction; Hugh is now in the junior class of the Kansas University at Lawrence; Margery, after finishing the high school course in 1916, entered Oswego College for Women; William is a freshman in the Coffeyville High School; Sarah is in the seventh grade of the public schools.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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