Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Learning More About Dr. John Thomas Carman, the Original Owner of This Old Book

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 “This historic and very valuable book was given to me by my kind and lovable step-grandfather, Dr. John Thomas Carman. “ These words are written in the front of an original edition of Goodspeed’s History of Tennessee, published in 1886. I purchased this book from an old bookstore near downtown about thirty years ago. 

John Thomas Carman was born in Macon County, Tennessee to William B. Carman and Nancy Stubblefield Carman. He was the sixth of seven children born to this couple. [Elizabeth, G.G., Sarah J., William R., Martha, John T. and Nellie H.] William B. is enumerated as a Carpenter in the 1860 census.
He married Ida C. Cornwall, the oldest daughter of Thomas Jesse Cornwell and Jane Draper Cornwall, also of Macon County, Tennessee.
Although I am still working on the medical career and history of Dr. Carman, a great deal of information was contained in an October 1989 article from The Monitor published in McAllen, Texas.  The article focused on the renaming of the San Juan Elementary School to the Edith and Ethel Carman Elementary School. 
According to Ethel, the family moved to Texas in 1931 after her father, Dr. John T. Carma, retired from active practice. “His health was poor and he wanted a warmer climate.  Not liking Florida, he chose to find out what South Texas was like.  It took us about four to five day to drive down from Tennessee. The roads were not very good back then. The roads in Arkansas were the worst, mostly gravel roads. The roads in Texas and Tennessee were much better.
We stayed at a tourist court in Edinburg and then got halfway to Pharr the next day and my father said, ‘That’s it. This is where I want to live.’ “
“Both of the Carman sisters received their bachelor’s degrees from West Kentucky State Teacher’s College in Bowling Green and later their Master’s degrees from George Peabody College from Nashville, Tennessee.  Both [sisters] taught in Tennessee for several years prior to moving to San Juan, Texas.  Of the combined total of 75 years taught in Pharr-San Juan- Alamo, Ethel taught for thirty-eight and Edith for thirty-seven. The two taught for combined total of 90 years, including the years taught in Tennessee."

This article made the connection of the Carman family to Texas, where Dr. John Thomas Carman was buried after his death in Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky.  His wife, Ida, died in Texas in 1933.  He returned to Tennessee, where he married Ida Slate Patterson.
His obituary as published in the McAllen, Texas Monitor explains more. 
Funeral Services for Dr.  J.P. Carman, 89, a winter visitor in the Valley for the past 25 years, will be held Monday at 10 a.m. from the Virgil Wilson Funeral Home Chapel. The rites will be conducted by the R.F. Head of the Church of Christ at San Juan, assisted by Leon Davis of Weslaco. Burial will be in Roselawn Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be A.R. Denton and J. B. Welch of Pharr; T.W. Worley of McAllen, E.E. Granes of Alamo, J.C. Foster of San Juan, and W.R. Dugger of Edinburg.
Dr Carman died Wednesday of last week at his home in Franklin, Ky., He had been coming to the Valley each winter since 1933. A native of Tennessee, Dr. Carman was a practicing physician in Tennessee and Kentucky for 60 years. He had been a member of the Church of Christ for 70 years.
Surviving are his wife,  Mrs. Ida Carman of Franklin, Ky., two daughters, Misses Ether and Edith Carman of San Juan, [son Paul E. Carman of Nashville, TN.]

I will continue to learn more about this great family, and feel honored to hold the book that
Dr. Carman purchased and read 133 YEARS AGO.

Sources: "School renaming to honor Edith and Ethel Carman," The Monitor, McAllen, Texas, 12 Oct 1989, p 33.
"J.T. Carman" Obituary, The Monitor, McAllen Texas, Sunday, 5 Oct 1958, p 2

J. Mark Lowe
J. Mark Lowe Reviews
Springfield, Tennessee Speakers
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