Thomas W. Carre Falls Dead

“What is there in modern civilization to cause the awful increase of sudden deaths? Is it the penalty inflicted upon mankind for seeking to become possessed of knowledge beyond the limit of Divine intent, and pushing of the life powers beyond what they were intended to perform? Has the race become over-wrought and over-educated? In the Bible there are few instances of sudden death, and fewer still in ancient and medieval history. But now they seem to be as common as any other form of death. Nearly every issue of every newspaper contains one or more instances of such awful visitations. This is the age of steam, of electricity, of over-work, of stimulus, of crowding and cramming through schools and colleges, hence the life centers are sapped, and death comes in an instant, in unlooked for cases, and at unlooked for time.”

“Few of our citizens were better known than Thomas W. Carre. For forty years he has been a prominents and energetic citizen, and at one time wealthy and influential, and at all times pushing and full of energy. For several years he has been employed at the car shops, making a good hand, though beyond the time of life when men are supposed to be capable of doing a day’s work., month in and month out. Last Wednesday afternoon he went to work as usual, and was in his customary jovial humor, laughing and joking as was his wont. About three o’clock he turned and stooped to pick up a piece of wood for some mechanical purpose, but in that instant of time, before his hand had touched the wood, he soul fled to its Maker, and he dropped upon the floor a corpse!”

“‘Tom Carre’ was dead.”

“In a few moments the awful news spread through the building and the comrades and shop-mates gathered sorrowfully around the inanimate form of the old veteran, lying there so quiet. Life’s fitful fever was over, and Thomas W. Carre, after an active, busy and eventful life, was gathered to his fathers.”

Thomas W. Carre, was born in the city of Philadelphia in 1822, and came with his parents to Chillicothe when quite small and was raised to nearly manhood in that city. He came to Portsmouth in 1849, a young carpenter, and at once became identified with the life of the place. He was public spirited, and went into every movement in which the people were interested. He became well to do, was a prominent builder, and was known for years as the junior of the contracting firm of Fuller & Carre. They built a planing mill on Fifth street, above Market, and were among our heaviest contractors and builders. After the death of Mr. Fuller, Mr. Carre continued in business for himself, always successful, always pushing, and came to be ranked as one of our most prominent, enterprising and wealthy citizens, and built himself a handsome residence in the East End. His last venture was in the Portsmouth Planing Mill and Lumber Company, when they built their large mill at the corner of Third and Gay streets, what is now Drew, Selby & Co.’s shoe factory.”

“Mr. Carre was the manager and moving spirit in this company, but his good genius seems to have deserted him, for the company failed and the factory was known no more as a planing mill. After his fortune seems to forsake Mr. Carre, and when old age began to creep upon him he found himself compelled to fall back upon his trade of carpenter, and work as he had done in his younger days. But he had a stout heart and willing hands, and never knew what it was to be idle. About five years ago, he obtained a situation in the car shops, which he retained to the instant of his death, dying on duty and at this post, like a veteran warrior on the field of battle.”

“Deceased was an active member of the old volunteer fire department, belonging to the Citizen, No. 2. He was both an Odd Fellow and a Mason, rising high in both orders. He was also in influential member of the Knights of Labor, Rivery City Assembly. He was a man of positive ideas, bold, aggressive, and unfortunately could not brook opposition. This temperament gave impetus to his character in earlier days and enabled him to surmount obstacles and arrive at wealth and influence, but in his waning years and declining fortune it operated against him, as it always must. But he was true as steel, and could not be moved from his convictions.”

“His wife1 died several years ago. He has three children living and two dead2. Those living are Mrs. George B. Miller3, of near Lucasville; Mrs. Peters4, of Pike county; and Charles, of Los Angeles, California.”

“The funeral took place from his home on Gallia street yesterday at 3 PM, and was attended by the Masonic and Odd Fellows’ lodges, and the Knights of Labor.”

“His is said to have died from heart disease, but that term, so frequently used, is ambiguous and misleading. Sudden deaths are frequently caused by a failure of the heart’s action, such failure being a result of failure of the brain to act and send the nerve current to the heart. Mr. Carre was worn out, and his exhausted brain failed longer to supply the nerve force to keep the body up to the same work it did thirty years ago.”5

  1. Martha Ellen Acres Carre
  2. Julia S. Carre & William J Carre.
  3. Anna Elizabeth “Annie” Carre Millar
  4. Ella Carre Peters
  5. In an instant! (1888, May 12). Portsmouth Times, p. 3.
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