Thursday, July 19, 2018

Robert Washington Carpenter

Robert Washington Carpenter was born on 29 May 1831, in Madison Virginia, to William Joel Carpenter and Mary Snyder. Robert's great-great-grandfather Christian Zimmerman emigrated to Virginia from Germany in 1717. In America, the surname was changed to Carpenter.

Robert's parents married in 1805.

Joel Carpenter
mentioned in the record of Joel Carpenter and Polly Snyder
Name: Joel Carpenter
Spouse's Name: Polly Snyder
Event Date: 14 Dec 1805
Event Place: Madison, Virginia
Spouse's Father's Name: Adam Snyder

Record Source: 
“Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940,” database, FamilySearch ( : 11 February 2018), Joel Carpenter and Polly Snyder, 14 Dec 1805; citing Madison, Virginia, reference p255; FHL microfilm 32,595.

On 18 Dec. 1851 in Oldham, Kentucky, Robert married Elizabeth Ann Mathews, daughter of Walter B Mathews and Catherine Pottof Schrader.

Robert Washington came to Texas in 1852. He rented a horse and rode out northwest Texas along Spring Creek. Since he liked what he found there, with the $900 inherited from his father, he bought some land in the Collin County area, nowadays Rowlett, (50c/ acre). He also obtained 30 acres of a timber tract ($3/acre).

Afterward, he brought his young wife Elizabeth to Texas. They had eight children, seven sons — William Joel, Gipson Edgar, John Henry, Jefferson Davis, Robert Elzie, Benjamin Owen and Robert Edwards — and one daughter Mary Katie who did not survive (1877-1878).

During the Civil War, Robert formed a cavalry company in McKinney and was chosen its Captain.

In 1873 the town of Plano came into being.

Three years later, Robert together with Cpt. W N Bush started the Bethany Christian Church in Plano. He was also the founder of the Bethany Church Cemetery (4 Jan. 1877) which was situated not far from the First Christian Church of Bethany.

The Carpenters and other local families supported the establishment of Add-Ran College (later transformed into Texas Christian University). Robert Washington Carpenter was the director of the college.

Robert W. Carpenter passed on Sunday, 24 April 1898, in the result of the road accident of his buggy.

Clipping Source:
Thompson, F. C. The Democrat. (McKinney, Tex.), Vol. 15, No. 13, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 28, 1898, newspaper, April 28, 1898; McKinney, Texas. ( accessed July 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Collin County Genealogical Society.

One of Robert's sons William Joel came to Plano in 1901 and built a house which you can still admire at 708 E. 16th Street.

W J Carpenter House - 2015

Edward Albert, the youngest son of Robert and Lizzie's, born in 1871, graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. He ran a drugstore in Plano till 1908, when he sold his establishment to the Allen brothers.

In 1922 Gipson Edward, the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter's was elected the mayor of Plano. He served at the position for two years.

Many years later, in 1978, one of Plano middle schools was named after Robert Washington Carpenter.

Where is R. W. Carpenter in our family tree?

The connection goes via the Angel and Brown families*

Rachel Clementine Howard our grandmother
her brother Robert Lee Howard
his wife Dora Elizabeth Howard (nee Angel)
her brother James Lafayette Anglea (b. 25 Feb. 1863, Tennessee/d. 27 June 1949, Allen, Collin Co., Texas)
his wife Eliza Catherine Anglea nee Brown (b. 5 May 1869, Collin County, Texas/ d. 27 June 1964, Allen, Collin, Texas)
her father John Liter Brown (b. 8 June 1834, Oldham, Kentucky/d. 14 April 1913, Allen, Texas)
his mother Eliza Ann Brown nee Carpenter (b. 24 Sept. 1808, Madison, Virginia/d. 1 Nov. 1849, Oldham, Kentucky)
her brother Robert Washington Carpenter

 *according to my MyHeritage research

Information Source:
Find A Grave
Carpenter Plano Middle School Website
Historic Downtown Plano by Janice Craze Cline

Michael Barera [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons 

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