Harlow T. Carpenter
Harlow T. Carpenter was one of the very first men to become acquainted with the
section of Dodge and Washington counties and afterwards make his permanent
home here. He was not only an early settler but a man of distinction in business and
civic affairs after Dodge and Washington counties had become well settled. He was
born in New York State in 1830. He acquired only a fair knowledge of the
fundamentals of learning, and was educated largely by contact with the world. He
was a worker, always ready to accept duties away from the comforts of civilization.
For two years of his youth he worked on railroad construction in Canada.
It was in 1855 when the great Kansas-Nebraska question was the principal object
of controversy in the halls of Congress that Harlow Carpenter came to Nebraska
Territory and preempted some land near Fontanelle. He made the journey up the
river by boat as far as Omaha. This country was then far out on the frontier and he
found it difficult to make a living entirely from the land. To supplement his efforts as
a farmer Harlow Carpenter engaged in freighting, making several trips to Fort
Kearney and also going as far as Denver. Those who followed him to this new
country recognized his qualities of manhood and his reliability, and at their hands he
was honored with the office of county clerk when Fremont was the county seat of
Washington County. In addition to farming he was associated with Julius Brainard
as a hardware merchant at Fremont for about two years. Besides the county office
just named he served several terms as county commissioner and for many years
was a justice of the peace. He voted as a republican and was an active member of
the Grange. Harlow Carpenter was seventy three years of age when he died in
1903 and his character is still safe in the memory of most of the older citizens of the
two counties. Harlow Carpenter married Helen Griffin, a native of Illinois. They were
married in Fontanelle, Nebraska, and she died in 1914 at the age of seventy-seven.
She was a very earnest member of the Baptist Church.
Nine children were born to Harlow Carpenter and wife: Florence and Charles F.,
both deceased; Lucelia, wife of James Daffer, a farmer in Red Willow County,
Nebraska; Emma, deceased; Eva, wife of Ned Carpenter, a clothing merchant at
Denver; Elmer, connected with a flour milling company at Omaha; Ernest H., a
well-known farmer citizen at Fontanelle; Jessie, deceased; and Winifred, deceased
wife of Henry Brand of Fontanelle.
Source: History of Dodge and Washington Counties, Nebraska And Their People, Ed. Rev. William H. Buss, Fremont, Thomas T. Osterman, Blair. The American Historical Society, Chicago, 1921.