Lake County Full of History

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Joe M. Carter

Mr. Joe M. Carter was honored by the Wynnburg Baptist Church in the village of Wynnburg, Tennessee on Sunday March 13, 1983. The occasion was Mr. Carter’s 100th birthday.
On that Sunday the church bulletin had this to say about Mr. Carter. We at Wynnburg Baptist Church would like to express our gratitude to a very special member, Bro. Joe Carter. Throughout his life brother Joe Carter has exemplified the dedication it takes to be a true servant of the Lord. He has stood strong in the church through times of trouble and discouragement. His willingness to take an active part in various ministries of the church it is an example we all learn from.
Brother Joe, we are honored to have you as a member and we deeply appreciate all you have done for the Lord here at Wynnburg. May God fill your life with his richest blessings.
On the occasion of Mr. Carter’s 103rd birthday, the John Deere Farm Implement Company of Ridgely was the scene of a ceremony in his honor. Congressman Ed Jones along with the John Deere territorial manager, Rick Downing, were on hand to present Mr. Carter with a new John Deere tractor, which Mr. Carter immediately climbed upon to “try it out”.
Mr. Carter is now, in 1988, 105 years old and is still a wonderful person to go to for answers about Early Times in Lake County.
In appreciation for the vast store of information he has imparted to us, the Lake County Historical Society presented Mr. Carter with a Pioneer Heritage Award Plaque. The Tennessee State legislature adapted a resolution to honor Mr. Carter on his 105th birthday. The resolution is signed by governor Ned McWherter, Speaker of the House, Ed Murray and Speaker of the House, John S. Wilder.
I was born 10 May 1883 in Marian, Illinois. My father was William T. “Bill” Carter and my mother was Martha Hill.
I started to school in Marian and went there two years. Then my mother died when I was seven years old and we moved to Metropolis, Illinois.
I lived with my aunt and uncle, Joe Carter and went to school two years in metropolis. When I was ten years old I moved to Martin, Tennessee and lived with two old maid aunts, Jennie and Sally Lawler. I went to school in Martin then.
I started working when I was 15 years old, first in a grocery store and later as a clerk in a hotel.
It was while I was living in Martin That I met miss Varina Auston. Her family had moved to Martin in 1906. They came from Lake County Tennessee.
Varina had asthma so her family decided to move out west where they had relatives living. They moved to Enoch, Oklahoma. I was clerking in the hotel in Martin and teaching skating and dancing on the side at the time, but I didn’t want to lose Miss Verina so, I followed her out to Oklahoma. We were married in Enoch, Oklahoma 30 May 1909.
While leaving in Enid, our first child, Teresa, was born and shortly after she was born we moved to Lake County, Tennessee. We lived on the Austin home place and I farmed with her family. This was the beginning of a long career in farming.
We only moved away from Lake County one time. That was after Ruth and Shelton were born. We moved to Martin, where the Martin Could go to school at all Moody Institute but, in 1921 we were expecting our fourth child and moved back to the home place and have lived here ever since.
Our youngest son, Joseph, was born December 1, 1921. He lives here with me. Teresa was born April 5, 1910. She married Charles McCall. They live in Dyersburg, TN. Ruth was born April 3, 1912. She married Norman Olhausen from Ridgely. Shelton was born August 21, 1914. He married Martha LeDuke of Tiptonville. They live in Dyersburg also.
In August of 1913 I began a Christian and have been a member of the Wynnburg Baptist Church for more years than most people lived. I was Sunday school Superintendent for 25 years. I was ordained a Deacon in the church in 1924. I served as chairman of deacons for 45 years. I taught a Sunday school class and served in any way I was needed.
I remember in 1925 a tornado blew the Wynnburg Church away. I took a petition around and got enough contributions to rebuild the church and even pay for the piano.
In 1933 I became a charter member when the A. S. C. S. was organized. I served as a committee-man for 30 years. I also became a member when the Farm Bureau was organized in 1953. I served on the Board of Directors until 1977. I was then given the honor of Director Emeritus.
I was active in the farming business until 1961. On June 1, 1981 my wife Varina passed away. She was 94 years old. We had celebrated our 72nd wedding anniversary.
I am often asked about the changes I’ve seen during my life. There is no way I can tell it all. I saw bread when it came on the market sell for five cents a loaf. Most people made their own bread. Now it’s over $1 per loaf. The same for cigarettes. The first ones I ever saw in a package were five cents a pack. Now they are way over a dollar a pack but, then again people first rolled their own cigarettes.
In 1927 I went to Baptist hospital in Memphis for surgery. I paid $5 a day for a nice private room. In 1982 I had to go to Parkview hospital in Dyersburg and when they told me the price of a private room I thought they were telling me what they would sell the hospital for!
I have always enjoyed fishing hunting and watching sports. I guess the modern invention I enjoy the most is the television. I watch all the sports on TV. I usually tell people that if I had known I was going to live so long, I would have taken better care of myself.

Related Posts

Serving Lake County and the Reelfoot Lake Area since 1923
Contact us: [email protected]

© Copyright 2024