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The TALES you probably never heard about


Port Colborne News

[Welland Tribune, 19 March 1897]

Charles H. Carter, ex-harbor master, and father of Messrs. Carter Bros., died very suddenly on Sunday last of heart disease. The announcement of his death came with fearful suddenness upon the community, and marks the third death within the same family within ten weeks-L.G. Carter, who passed away on Dec. 30th, Isabella Carter, died Feb. 24th, and Charles H. Carter on Sunday last-all, however, having lived to a ripe and honorable old age. Only three members of that family now survive-William Carter of Grand Forks, Dakota; Mrs. Tinlin of Port Colborne, and Mrs. H.B. Steele of Humberstone-the latter in a very feeble state of health. Death has surely been busy, carrying off half the family within three months. Charles Carter was one of the best known and most universally esteemed residents of the county, and in marine circles he was a veritable patriarch. To know him was to respect and honor him. He had not an enemy. In politics he was a Liberal, a faithful and conscientious Liberal of the old school. Mr. Carter had been failing steadily but almost imperceptibly of late years, and to his own family death was not wholly without warning. And yet the final and fatal illness was unexpectedly brief. On Friday and Saturday last, despite the sharp weather and high winds. Mr. Carter was about as usual-down into the hold of the Cavalier on Friday, and on Saturday afternoon on board the new tug. At midnight on Saturday he was taken ill, and Mrs. Carter summoned a physician. He rallied in a few hours, and on Sunday morning dressed and laid down on the couch. About one o’clock p.m. on Sunday the treacherous disease of the heart took its worst form, and in a few moments Charles Carter had sunk to eternal rest. The afflicting news overcast the village with deep gloom-flags everywhere were soon at halfmast, and deep sympathy for those nearest to him was expressed on every hand. A figure familiar to most of us from childhood had passed away; a good and kind husband, father, citizen had gone to his reward. The remains were buried on Wednesday with Masonic honors; deceased having been a charter member of masonic lodge. Revs Wm. Morrin and A. Bonny conducted the religious services. Interment took place at Overholt’s cemetery. The following sketch, mainly taken from the county history, gives a most accurate account of the life of deceased.

Chas. H. Carter, son of Levi and Hannah Carter, was born in Chester county, New Jersey, Aug. 13, 1821. A year later the family moved to New York state near Rochester. They contemplated forestalling Horace Greeley’s advice and going west. In fact Mr. Carter and his father made a preliminary trip west, but the Black Hawk war broke out, and after being besieged at Fort Peoria for a season they returned and subsequently came to Canada instead. In 1838 Charles Carter, with his brother William, engaged in the business of towing on the Welland canal, at first with horses and later C.H. Carter owned the second tugs as steam superseded quadrupedal power. C.H. Carter owned the second tug built on the lakes, and the first ever employed on the Welland canal, the “Underwriter,” sixty horse power, built at Buffalo. In 1874 Chas. Carter was appointed harbor master at Port Colborne, which position he held until 1895, when he was superannuated. During the season’s of 1885-6 he had charge of the navigation of the Welland aqueduct, his successful management of which won high mention from leading Chicago and other papers. He is a member of the charter members of Macnab lodge, A.F.& A.M., Port Colborne. There are but few, if any, men living better known on the lakes than the subject of this sketch. In 1849 he married Miranda, daughter of late Solomon Steele of Humberstone. This union was blessed with five sons and four daughters, five sons and one daughter still living. The two eldest sons, Dewitt and Sperry, are doing a successful tug and wrecking business, having accomplished some notable exploits as wreckers. The other sons are Frank, stockholder and director of Santa Monica Electric and Power Co., California; Harry V., engaged in gas and electric business in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California, and Alfred located on a stock farm near Innisfail, Alberta territory; his daughter, Miss Clara Carter, is now a student in the Church Training and Deaconess’ house, Philadelphia, and on April 25th she will be set apart by Bishop Lawrence to be the first episcopal deaconess in Massachusetts, with her work located in Boston. Mr. Carter’s present wife, to whom he was married on 13th April, 1887, is Amy, the second daughter of the late Archibald Thompson, sr., of Welland, who still survives.

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