Biography of David Friedley Carson

David Friedley Carson, a prominent member of the Kansas City, Kansas, bar, is a native of Kansas and his people went through all the harrowing experiences of homesteading and making a living out of the land during the years when Kansas was plagued by grasshoppers, droughts and mortgages.

Mr. Carson was born on a farm near Urbana in Neosho County June 7, 1875. He was the third of seven children, four of whom are still living. His parents, William and Anna M. (Friedley) Carson, were both born in Bedford County, Indiana, where their respective parents were early settlers. William Carson’s brother, George W., was a colonel in the Union army during the Civil war, while on the maternal side of the family Madison Friedley was a captain in the Union army. William Carson learned the trade of blacksmith, while his wife became a teacher. Both of them grew up in Bedford, Indiana, where they married, and in 1869 they started west to find a new home in the State of Kansas. All their worldly goods were in a wagon and they traveled in company with two other young couples. They had hope and ambition and energy, but practically no capital when they reached Kansas. They knew no one in the state and they started out as strangers in a strange land. William Carson took up a homestead of 160 acres, and broke the land with oxen and horses. It required six weeks to make the trip from Indiana to Kansas. The first home of the family in Kansas was a two room house built of clapboards stood on end, and the structure was very loosely put together, admitting large quantities of water during a heavy rainstorm. William Carson was a man among men, was interested in everything for the benefit of the community, was an advocate of good schools and roads, served on the school board, and was absolutely trusted for his uprightness and integrity. He had no ambition for wealth, never speculated, and consequently accumulated more of the esteem of his fellow citizens than he did of material possessions. He cared more for the maintenance of a good home for his family and the affording to his children of good opportunities for education and culture. He helped move the first house into Chanute, which was then known as New Chicago, and has seen that village grow to a village of 10,000 people. He and his wife now live retired at Chanute. His wife is a very devout member of the Christian or Disciples Church. William Carson has always been a republican, has served as a member of the Central Committee, but has never sought office. He has filled various chairs in his lodge of Masons.

David F. Carson had a district school education and as a young man taught in his home district. While teaching and working on a farm he paid his way through the State Normal School at Emporia, and after graduating there in 1901 he went to the Philippines and spent a year as a Government teacher on those islands. In the meantime he had definitely determined to become a lawyer, and on returning to this country he entered the University of Michigan law school at Ann Arbor, where he was graduated in 1905. He was admitted to the bar of Michigan in 1905, but being without funds on graduating he was unable to return to Kansas at once, and he put in a short time writing life insurance. He also worked on railway construction on the Junction City Division of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad. He finally located at Kansas City, Kansas, and in ten years has built up a substantial law clientage. His offices are in the Stubbs Building.

At the outbreak of the Spanish-American war Mr. Carson enlisted in Company H of the Twenty-second Kansas Infantry. This regiment was sent to Camp Alger, but in November he was mustered out without having seen active field service. Mr. Carson was married September 29, 1909, to Daisy Ott of Greenwood County, Kansas. Mrs. Carson is of German ancestry. They have one child, David William.

Mr. Carson is a republican and has served as chairman of the County Central Committee of Wyandotte County. He is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has membership in various insurance societies. His wife takes a very active part in the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church.



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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