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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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COLONEL ELIAL FOOTE CARPENTER, the subject of this sketch was born in Jamestown, Chautauqua county, N. Y., May 8, 1826, and died May 18, 1864, near Bermuda Hundred, Va. He was the third son of William and Nancy (Blake) Carpenter. William Carpenter was born in the city of London, England, and when a boy was bound out to service, on a British man of war. While serving in the British navy, his ship was wrecked upon the coast of Guinea. With the destruction of his vessel, his sea life ended and he came to America, going to the State of Maine, where he married.

The Blakes were natives of New England for many years. When the present site of the prosperous city of Jamestown was a dense forest, William and his wife moved to what was soon after called Dexterville, but now within the limits of the city. Here he resided until his death, which occurred in 1869, while on a visit to his daughter in Oil City, Pa. Mr. Carpenter is described as a small, but stout man, a good story teller and a great favorite with the children. For many years preceding his death, he was a devoted member of the Methodist church of Jamestown. He helped to build the first steam-boat on Chautauqua lake, and for some time acted as Captain. He was the father of twelve children, all of whom are dead except three, viz: Mary Ann Tanner, Emeline Follmer and Laura Stock.

Elial Foote Carpenter was reared in Jamestown and educated in her public schools. Soon after leaving school, he went upon a visit to his sister Mary Ann, who resided in Kentucky, and for two years was engaged as the manager of a large tobacco plantation; but the cruel and inhuman treatment expected by his employer to be shown toward the slaves was more than his nature could bear, and although offered large pay, he resigned his position and returned to Jamestown, where he engaged in the lumber business, buying along the Allegheny River and its tributaries and rafting to Pittsburg, Cincinnati and Louisville. He subsequently became engaged in the manufacturing of axes at Jamestown, and the breaking out of the war, found him in the oil field of Pennsylvania and one of the then most successful operators. Laying aside the private pursuits of a citizen, he enlisted August 16, 1861, in the 49th N. Y., Vol. Inf. and was elected 2nd Lieut., Co. K. at its organization. Subsequently, in April, 1862, he was commissioned 1st Lieut. He participated in the battles on the peninsula under McClellan, and after the battle of Malvern Hill, he was promoted to be major of the 112th N. Y., Vols., a new regiment then being recruited in Chautauqua county. He was constantly on duty with this regiment, and was promoted to be Lieutenant Colonel, January 11, 1863. He was in command of the regiment after its transfer to the Army of the James from May 5th to May 16, 1864. He was in action May 8th, at Walthal Junction, and at the battle of Proctor’s Creek was mortally wounded and died at night. He was a brave man and greatly loved by the men of his command.

Rev. W. L. Hyde, chaplain of the 112th Regt. in his History of the Regt., says of him. “Often have we seen him during a hard day’s marching, dismount from his horse and place some weary, foot-sore soldier upon him, and then take the gun of another who was hardly able to drag himself along, and then march most of the day with his men. The result was, his men loved and trusted him.”

Carpenter Post G. A. R., of Mayville, N. Y., is named in memory of the Colonel. In politics, he was an active worker in the Republican party, and with himself and wife who survive him, were devoted members of the Methodist church at Jamestown.

July 3, 1848, he married Julia A. daughter of John and Phebe (Wood) Jeffords. Three children were born to Col. and Mrs. Carpenter: Belle E. wife of T. E. Grandin; Franc C. wife of F. A. Brightman; and Addie J. wife of W. P. Frink. The two former reside in Jamestown, and the latter in Lewis Run, Pa.

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This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Chautauqua County, New York here: Chautauqua County, New York Map

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