Ethelbert Gilmer & Clara Briggs (Gaar) Carthrae, Comanche County, Kansas Hosted by RootsWeb, the oldest & largest FREE genealogical site. Click here to visit RootsWeb.
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Ethelbert Gilmer & Clara Briggs (Gaar) Carthrae

The Western Star, April 28, 1944.

Another Pioneer Answers Final Call

E. G. Carthrae Had Been Comanche Resident Since 1884

Funeral services for E. G. Carthrae, who passed away in this city, were held Thursday afternoon of last week. At the brief service held at the home of Mrs. Geo. R. Stewart and Mrs. J. W. Brewer sang "Home of The Soul," and at the Presbyterian church they sang the song a second time, also "Abide With Me," accompanied on the organ by Mrs. A. A. White. The pastor, Rev. D. C. Wallace, had charge of the services. There was a profusion of flowers.

The pall bearers were J. W. Brewer, Lovedren Hall, Frank Todd, V. J. Allderdice, T. C. Mahan and Clyde Diemart. Interment was in Crown Hill cemetery.


The following obituary was read at the funeral.

Ethelbert Gilmer Carthrae, son of Addison Fletcher and Sydna Brown Carthrae, was born June 10th, 1858, at Malta Bend, Mo., and passed away at his home in Coldwater, Kans., April 18, 1944, at the age of 85 years, 10 months and 8 days.

He was the last of a family of nine. His early life was spent near Malta Bend. In the fall of 1884 he came to Comanche county and proved up a claim northwest of the little town of Avilla where he was a favorite with the young people.

At 8 o'clock on the evening of November 19, 1885, in the school house, which also served as a community building, he was united in marriage with Miss Clara Briggs Garr of Wolftown, Va., the first couple to be married at Avilla. To this union were born six children, three preceding him in death. Some of the wedding guests are still living in the county and attended their Golden Wedding anniversary at their home in Coldwater in 1935.

In the early pioneer days there was no railroad nearer then Kinsley, 60 miles to the north, and Mr. Carthrae engaged in freighting from there to Avilla in order that he might secure additional funds to support his family and aid in increasing his farm and stock.

In the early days of their marriage they, in company with friends, made an interesting trip to the Indian Territory and Texas in a covered wagon, with the idea of establishing a ranch there, but the vast herds of thirsty cattle in Texas discouraged them so they were glad to return to Kansas.

Riding his fine cowpony "Bronc," he was among those who made the famous run, in the opening of the Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. In 1889, securing a quarter section of land near the present town of Taloga, Okla., but he and his wife decided there were too many Indians there, so remained in Kansas.

Many interesting tales he told about his trips to the "Territory" driving his team and wagon to secure firewood and posts and of the hunts for buffalo, deer, and wild turkeys. He experienced the invasion of the cinch bug and grasshoppers along with the drought, and lean years as well as the good ones.

His early pioneer home was a two room frame house, which was badly damaged in the historical flood and cyclone of April 20, 1885. In the year 1900 he bought land in Nescatunga township, being attracted principally by the abundance of running water for his cattle. Here he secured a fair sized ranch and built a comfortable home for his family. Truly, he "lived in a house by the side of the road" and "was a friend of the road" and "was a friend of man."

Twenty years ago, this month, he retired from farm life, and since that time he and Mrs. Carthrae have resided in Coldwater. He was a member of the Presbyterian church, a good citizen, a loyal friend and a good neighbor and made many contributions for the betterment of the community in which he lived, and he was greatly loved by his family and friends.

He is survived by his wife, his son, Ernest, his daughter, Faye; also by seven grandchildren, four great grandchildren, two nieces, four nephews and a host of friends.

The Western Star, October 25, 1946.

Beloved Pioneer Mother Passes

Mrs. E. G. Carthrae Had Been an Invalid Seven Years

Mrs. E. G. Carthrae, who was taken to St. Anthony's hospital in Dodge City a few weeks ago, passed away Thursday morning of last week after an illness which had caused her to be bedfast practically all of the time during the past seven years.

Funeral services were held in the Presbyterian church in this city last Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. and were in charge of the pastor, Rev. S. A. Fulton, who brought a comforting message. There were many flowers, tokens of love and respect for his kindly and gracious friend of all who knew her.

A ladies quartet composed of Mrs. Melvin Taylor, Mrs. Frank Weber, Mrs. J. P. Scholle and Mrs. Helen Currier sand "Abide With Me" and Rev. W. J. Thomas of Wilmore sang "Near to the Heart of God." Mrs. A. A. White was the organ accompanist.

Burial was in Crown Hill cemetery near this city, by the side of her husband who died April 18, 1944. The active pallbearers were Victor Gates, J. W. Brewer, Ralph Todd, Dan Jackson, Jay Overocker and Lovedren Hall. The honorary pallbearers were Bert Klingensmith, Frank Dodson, Nick Pepperd, Paris Alley, Chas. E. Allderdice and Alvah York.


Clara Briggs Gaar, daughter of Benjamin Franklin and Harriet Kirtley Gaar, was born June 17, 1861, at Wolftown, Va. She was the youngest of nine children and the last surviving member of her family.

She spent her childhood and early life on her father's tobacco plantation near Wolftown. Her education was received in private schools.

In her early twenties she came west to visit her brother at Marshall, Mo., where she met Ethelbert Gilmer Carthrae. In the autumn of 1884 he preceded her to this county to homestead a quarter of land and prepare a home.

Later, accompanied by her brother and family, she arrived here to become the first bride of the Avilla community. They were married at the community church on November 19, 1885. A few of the guests who attended their wedding still live in this county.

The early years of their married life were spent on this homestead, where she met all the trials, hardships, and sorrows of early pioneer life with the grace and fortitude of the true pioneer woman.

Later they moved to the Nescatunga community where they established another home and reared their family.

In 1924 they retired and moved to Coldwater where she made her home until she passed away at Dodge City, Kans., October 17, 1946, at the age of 85 years and 4 months. She was a faithful member of the Presbyterian church.

The last seven years of her life was spent as an invalid caused by arthritis. Her patience, faith, and cheerfulness through all her suffering was an inspiration to her family and to her friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband and three children and leaves to mourn their loss three children: Ernest Carthrae, Anna Dale and Faye Carthrae of this county; seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and a host of friends.

Mrs. Carthrae was one of God's noble women. She was a kind and devoted wife and mother, a helpful neighbor and a loyal friend who had the faculty of inspiring others to better living and a more hopeful outlook. The entire community mourns her passing. The sorrowing relatives have the sincere sympathy of all.

The Western Star, February 18, 1899.


On Monday evening, February 13, 1899, Gilmer Guy Carthrae, aged 10 months and 13 days, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Carthrae, of Avilla-tp. Little Gilmer was a bright and healthy child. He had not known a sick day in his life until on last Saturday evening when he began to complain. During Sunday and Monday his suffering was intense, the affection seeming to be inflammation of the bowels. At 7:00 o'clock on Monday evening he breathed his last, and the heart-stricken family realized that they were bereft of a darling son and brother, one in whom many fond hopes were centered and upon whom love, in its best and purest sense, was bestowed. The funeral took place on Tuesday the exercises being conducted by Rev. C. M. Gray, of this city. The sympathy of the entire community is extended to the grief-stricken family. "Though earthly ties be broken, it only serves to strengthen the ties over yonder."

Carthrae - Garr
Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Carthrae have been married longer than any other couple now living who were married here, according to the record. They were married on November 19, 1885. -- Interesting Data From Old Marriage Records, (Excerpt) The Western Star, July 15, 1938.

Also see:

Thomas Carthrae, second son of E.G. & Clara Carthrae.

Letter from J.F. "Jack" Howery to C.M. Cole
-- The Western Star, April 7, 1922.

Some Surviving Pioneers in Comanche-co.
-- The Western Star, July 20, 1924.

Prairie Fires   The fire started in E.G. Carthrae's pasture
-- The Western Star, September 12, 1890.

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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