Carpenter, William C.

Born: 1787-07-03 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Died: 1859-08-30 Springfield, Illinois

Flourished: Springfield, Illinois

Carpenter's father died when he was very young, leaving him and his family to work to support themselves. He later moved to Licking County, Ohio, with his brother Samuel. In 1819, he married Margaret Pence, with whom he had eleven children. They soon settled two miles north of Springfield, Illinois, and built a house that became an important stop on the stage route out of town. In 1820, he earned appointment as Justice of the Peace for Sangamon County. Carpenter moved into Springfield in 1828 and became a merchant, renting his farm to Stephen T. Logan. During the Black Hawk War, Carpenter served as quartermaster for the 20th Illinois Militia Regiment and then as paymaster of Abraham Lincoln's 4th Mounted Regiment. In 1834, Carpenter won election to the Illinois General Assembly and later sat as a city councilman. Martin Van Buren appointed him as postmaster of Springfield in 1837 and he remained in that position until 1840. Carpenter built a saw and grist mill near Springfield in 1845. In 1850, he owned $20,700 in real estate.

John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 187-88; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Sangamon County, Illinois, 96.