The Byron Express
August 4, 1882


A feeling of sorrow pervaded our little city, early Sunday morning, occasioned by the sad intelligence that Peter Carter, one of our most respected and energetic citizens, had passed away to that bourne from which no traveler returns. Death, the destroyer of earthly happiness, had stepped into our midst and with his merciless hand beckoned a man whom Byron delighted to honor, to follow him through those portals which no living man can pass.
Mr. Carter was a man in the prime of life, and late Saturday evening he was seen and spoken to on our streets, apparently in the best of health and spirits. He retired about half past nine, but about one o'clock he awake in great agony, and asked that a physician be sent for. Mrs. Carter immediately called L. H. Manson, who lives in rooms above, and he and a gentleman who was spending the night with him, went down stairs. Dr. J. P. Wayland was summoned, and remained with him until dissolution occurred, everything known to the profession being done to afford relief to the sufferer, but without avail, and at about four o'clock he passed away, never to know sorrow or pain any more.
The bereaved wife could scarcely realize that the dear one in whom she had so long and fondly trusted, had been taken from her so suddenly, but as she saw the anxious looks on the faces of the few friends who had come to comfort her, and noted that the beloved form lay quiet and breathless, she began to realize that she was left to fight life's battles without his strong arm to aid her, and the intensity of her grief was such, grave fears were entertained by friends that reason would be dethroned. But after she had become exhausted by her great sorrow, she became quieter, and her friends succeeded in soothing her by their sympathy and kind ministrations.
Relatives and friends of the deceased were at once notified by telegraph and otherwise, some of them arriving early in the morning, the rest arriving later, and the deep sorrow depicted on their countenances was an indication of his strong hold on the hearts of those who were most intimately acquainted with Mr. Carter's private life.
The lifeless body was prepared for its last, long rest by kind and sympathizing friends and neighbors, while others were endeavoring to comfort and lighten the now heart-broken widow.
The last sad rites were held from his late residence of the deceased, on Monday afternoon, at 3 o'clock, by Rev. Joseph Crummer, and the services were of the quietest and most unostentatious character, it being the special request of Mrs. Carter. The remains were accompanied to the cemetery by a long procession of friends, and all that remained of our late townsman were solemnly laid in the cold embrace of the grave.
Peter Carter was born in Livingston county, N. Y., October 1, 1824. He was married in the summer of 1847 to Miss A. J. Dake, and commenced his business life in the mercantile world, where he remained several years, but having made up his mind to accept the law as his profession, he entered the office of Hon. L. C. Peck, as a student, and remained with him until he was admitted to practice in the courts of the State of New York. He then entered into partnership with Mr. Peck, at Nunda, N. Y., which existed until Mr. Peck's health failed him, when he left the firm, Mr. Carter remaining in successful practice at that place until the winter of 1870. He then concluded to try his fortune in the west, and located at Rochelle, Ill., where he remained four years, but after having his law office burned, together with his entire library, and valuable papers, he found it a difficult matter to practice as he had formerly done, and becoming somewhat discouraged, he concluded to again emigrate, and came to Byron eight years ago last May.
Upon reaching Rock River at this point, with his family, he was compelled to wait several hours to allow the wind to abate somewhat before attempting to cross. When he did cross, it was at great peril to himself and family, but by his indomitable energy and great caution, they finally landed. Having determined to remain here permanently he at once set about establishing himself in the practice of his profession and was eminently successful, until the year 1877, when he lost all his possessions in the great Byron fire, including his library. Nothing daunted by this second great blow, he immediately rose to the occasion, and worked the harder to accumulate something to place his family in the position he wished them to occupy.
Just when he had gotten a new start, he met with an accident, from which he had not entirely recovered at the time of his death, which confined him to the house for months, and to the use of his crutch for nearly two years. He and his many friends fondly hoped he had at last reached that point where he could enjoy those comforts of life he had labored so long and earnestly to acquire, when death came so suddenly and closed his useful and eventful career.
Perhaps the man who did more toward securing a bridge across Rock River at Byron, than any other, was Peter Carter. Whenever the interest of the people in regard to the bridge seemed on the wane, he stepped to the front and by his energy and thorough knowledge of the subject, incited them to renewed exertions.

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Submitted by Ellen Kennedy