From the 1885 History of Steuben County, Indiana

pages 669-670


James N. Carpenter, one of the early settlers of Steuben County, Ind., was born in Schoharie County, N. Y., July 24, 1824, a son of Samuel and Roxana (Lowden) Carpenter, his father a native of New York and his mother of Connecticut, both born in 1797.  They were married in New York in 1820 and in 1826 moved to Delaware County, Pa., and thence in January, 1829, to Portage County, Ohio.  In February, 1843, they came to Steuben County, Ind., making the journey with teams, and coming by the way of Michigan.  There were no roads nor bridges, and the way was rough.  They settled in Scott Township on a tract of timber land, moving into a rude log cabin that was found there.  There was two feet of snow on the ground and nearly as much on the upper floor of their cabin.  They lived in this rude cabin till one could be built on section 19.  There was no tame hay in the county, and as their stock would not eat marsh hay, they were obliged to cut basswood for it to browse on till spring.  They then began to clear the land and prepare to raise a crop of corn.  Mr. Carpenter became widely known in the county, and was one of the most prominent and influential citizens.  In religion he was liberal in his views, but was an upright moral man.  He died in 1859.  The mother died in 1880.  They had a family of eight chidren, but four of whom are living-- James N., Harriet, Uriah, and Sarah; Orrison C., Eliza, Alexander and Almond are deceased.  James N. Carpenter was reared in the wilderness of Steuben County, and educated in the pioneer schools.  He was married May 18, 1847, to Polly E. Brown, a daughter of Erastus Brown, a Methodist preacher of Berkshire County, Mass.  To them were born four children; two sons are living-- Heman F. and Royal E.; two daughters are deceased-- Roxana M. and Viola I.  Mr. Carpenter lived on a farm till 1856, and then moved to Angola, and embarked in the grocery business, which he continued till 1862.  He then sold out his grocery and formed a partnership with Mr. Merriman in the dry-goods business.  Mr. Merriman soon sold his interest, and Mr. Carpenter conducted the business alone two years.  He then retired from the mercantile business and looked after the interests of his farm for several years.  In October, 1871, he formed a partnership with Mr. Burlingame in the wholesale and retail liquor trade.  Fifteen months later he bought Mr. Burlingame's interest and is now carrying on the business alone.


Submitted by Kim Davoli