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The Reverend Carr, his wife Martha Jane, and their twin children Anna and Mather arrived in Floydada, Texas, on Christmas Eve, 1901, from Coryell County. Accompanied by a friend, Les Squires, the Carrs had traveled in two covered wagons with all their possessions.  In Floydada, they contacted a friend, Lovic Tavender, who insisted they to the courthouse with him and his family for a Christmas tree celebration.  The tree proved to be a huge star cut from lumber, made by Walter Cound.  Gifts were hung from the star by nails driven into the wood.   

Prior to his move to West Texas, the Reverend Carr had been a member of the Central Texas Conference and had preached in Coryell and adjoining counties. William Hardy Carr was born in Tennessee on August 2, 1839.  When he was a young man of twenty-two, Carr joined the Confederate army.  His father and brother joined the Union ranks, which meant he fought against his family.  During the war, William joined William C. Quantrelle’s guerilla band.  Jessie and Frank James, as well as Cole and Jim Younger, also rode with Quantrelle.  They were a rough group of renegades and had many narrow escapes.  One night the gang was playing cards in an abandoned shack when someone (the tale was a “Yankee”) shot through the window and the bullet took off one of my grandfather’s curls.  The shooter escaped into the woods.  Later, Jessie James was killed in his own home by two of his own men for the reward money. 


William Hardy and Martha Jane Maxwell Baker, were married during the Civil War on June 19, 1864.  Martha had experienced many hardships and the grief of war.  Many times, Union soldiers entered her house and demanded hot meals. She cooked all the food she had for the soldiers.  Despite her giving them food, the soldiers burned the house.  Martha threw her possessions out of the house before she was forced out by the flames.  The soldiers threw all her belongings back into the fire.   Carrying her baby girl, Martha walked to the home of a relative twenty miles away to get help. 


Martha had already known a great deal of sorrow.  She had married A.N. Baker when she was only fifteen years old, and the couple had two sons.  Martha’s children and husband died within a period of two years, leaving her a widow and alone at the age of eighteen.  William (Bill) had been married and widowed also.  His wife, N.E. Carr, died early in 1864.  No other details are available. 

When the war was over, Bill returned to Martha in Bentonville, Arkansas.  They soon moved to Texas, living in Fannin and Hunt counties before they settled in Coryell County.  They resided there until the family moved to West Texas in December, 1901.    

Martha had been a devout Methodist since childhood, but Bill was not a Christian.  When he returned from the war, his young wife insisted that he attend church with her.  Martha and the baby rode their only horse, while Bill walked along beside them.  God must have had his hand on them because Bill was soon converted and dedicated the rest of his life to the ministry. 

The Reverend Carr preached in the area surrounding Coryell County.  He conducted many revivals and camp meetings, which often lasted two weeks.  People set up camp, bringing the entire family in wagons.  They built brush arbors to hold their services, and they prepared benches and lay straw on the ground for people to sit.  The worshippers attended sunrise prayer service and heard testimonials and sermons.  

The services lasted the better part of a day.  The men returned home on horseback sometime during the day to tend to chores and feed the livestock.  The night services began with prayer services or grove prayer meetings.  The men went to one grove of trees, while the women to another, and the children to still another.  This time was spent reading scripture and praying for the needs of the group or for an individual who might need the saving power of God.  Many fervent prayers were uttered for those who had not seen the need to dedicate their lives to Christ. 

When the Carrs moved to Floyd County, they had six living children:  Louisa Clementine ("Clemmie"), J.W.M. ("Mack"), John D., Anna M., Mather, Martha ("Mattie," Mather's twin sister).  Bascom and Thomas died in infancy.  Clemmie, Mack, John, and Mattie had married when their parents left their home in East Texas. Mather and Anna accompanied their parents in the move to West Texas, although the rest of the family eventually moved to Floyd County. 

The Carrs purchased land in southwest Floyd County, and the Reverend Carr began to look for a place to preach.  The country was sparsely settled, and no rural churches had been established.  Thus, he spent much of his time below the Caprock, organizing churches or preaching to cowboys in their camps.  He preached in Dickens City, Espuela, and the Swinson Ranch headquarters where the town of Spur now stands.  Because money was scarce for these cowboys as well as everyone else, they paid Brother Carr with three worn-out horses, which he took to use on the farm.  The trips below the Caprock were made either by buggy or by horseback.  Usually, he spent three weeks on his circuit and one week at home.  The Reverend Carr’s tombstone at Carr’s Chapel Cemetery is marked by a medallion, identifying him as a pioneer circuit rider.  

Later when this territory became more populated, the Reverend Carr preached wherever a few would attend.  In 1902-1903, he pastored at Dickens City which included Emma and the Hashmire Ranch headquarters.  He organized the Lockney church in 1907 and was pastor in 1908.  He later organized the church in Petersburg in 1911 and the church in the Allmon community in 1912.   

The largest salary the Reverend Carr received for preaching was $200 a year, which made it necessary for his wife and children to work the farm in his absence.  Often people shared what they had with the preacher, such as feed for the horses, vegetables from the garden, eggs, chickens, meat, or whatever was available at the time of the year.  All these gifts were graciously accepted by the Carrs. 

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