William J. Carpenter

Name: William Joseph Carpenter
Born: 13 March 1844 / Galena, Ohio
Died: 9 August 1936 / Portland, Oregon
Parents: Deming Carpenter & Esther Woodruff
Spouse: Melissa Ruthven Kenaston Carpenter
Married: 17 January 1867 / Rock Island, Illinois
  • Marietta Drucilla Carpenter Myres (1868 – 1933);
  • Ollie Elmer Carpenter (1873 – 1939);
  • Othie Edwina Carpenter Gardiner (1875 – 1967);
  • Ottis Wayne Carpenter (1878- 1944);
  • Ethel M. Carpenter (1879-1880)
  • Osyth Ethelyn Carpenter (1881 – 1974);
  • Vida Lorena Carpenter Robison (1883 – 1965);
  • Joel Vilah Carpenter (1886 – 1959);
  • Earl Roff Carpenter (1887 – 1957)
  • Clyde Henry Carpenter (1889 – 1957);

Photo credit: Judy Kenaston Warren


William J. Carpenter was born March 13, 1946 in Delaware county, Ohio, the eldest son of Deming and Esther B. Carpenter. He enlisted at the beginning of the Clivil War but had only served a few months when he suffered in a severe attack of the measles. Due to exposure and hardships the disease often proved fatal. Ill health, followed as an aftermath and so, Mr. Carpenter was discharged until such time as he had completely recovered.

He reenlisted December 19, 1863, in Co. L 17th Regiment of Illinois Calvary Volunteers, under Captain Rogert St. George Dyhunforth and served during the remainder of the war, fighting in numerous battles but was never wounded. He was honourably discharged at Fort Leavenworth on December 20, 1865, by S.C. Williamson, First Lieut. And Asst. Commander of Musters.

On March 14th of the following year he was married to Melissa Ruthan Kinaston [sic]. For several years he farmed and worked at carpentering. They moved to Nebraska later and about 1896 Mr. Carpenter owned and operated a meat market at Clark, Neb. He carried mail from Stromsburg to Clark around 1900. Later they moved to Portland and Mr. Carpenter operated a meat market and store there in 1912. A few years later they moved to a farm in the Webfoot district, near Dayton, where he remained until taken to Portland due to his last illness.

Mr. Carpenter died at the Veterans’ Hospital in Portland, August 9th, 1936, at the age of 91 years, four months and 28 days. Mrs. Carpenter preceded him in death nine years at the age of 81 years, 4 months and 11 days. A daughter, Ethel, died in infancy and their eldest daughter, Etta Drucilla Myer, died at Springview, Nebr. in 1934.

The surviving children are: five sons Ollie Elmer and Joel Vilah of Nampa, Idaho; Clyde Henry of Los Angeles, Calif., and Otis Wayne and Earl Roff of Portland; and three daughters, Vida Lorena Elwell of Calif, and Othie Edwina Gardiner and Miss Osyth Ethelyn Carpenter of Portland. There are 36 living grandchildren, numerous great grandchildren and at least one great great grandchild who resides in Bassett, Nebraska. Mr. Carpenter was also survived by three brothers, Vilah, of San Diego, Ira of Isle, Minn., and Frank of Iowa Falls, Iowa, and one sister, Miss Rhoda Walters of Rochelle Illinois.

Interment was in the Odell cemetery in Webfoot, beside the grave of his wife.

*Source of above obituary has not yet been identified.


Statesman Journal, 17 March 1936, p.10


Statesman Journal, Sunday 26 July 1936, p.7

Statesman Journal, 14 Aug 1936

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Reference: 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 & 1930 United States Federal Census; Illinois, Compiled Marriages (1851-1900); Oregon Death Index 1931-1941, Oregon State Library, Reel Title: Oregon Death Index M-Z, Year Range: 1931-1941; Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009; findagrave.com; Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007; Statesman Journal, 17 Mar 1936; Statesman Journal, 14 Aug 1936; Statesman Journal 26 Jul 1936