Born in Ohio in 1842, Thomas Carroll, 8, lived in Evansport in 1850 with his parents:
William Carroll, 37, a pearl ash maker, born in Maryland, and his mother, Sarah, 32, born in New Brunswick, Canada. He had an older sister, Susan, and two younger brothers, William J. and Edwin E.
According to the History of Defiance County, 1883, this regards Thomas's father, William:
"At the age of ten years he (William), with his two brothers and one sister, were left orphans. They came to Ohio in 1829, and were bound out (indentured) until of age, having no advantages of schooling. In 1834, he came to Evansport, Defiance County, and was married to Sarah Evans..."
By 1860, the family had moved to Pulaski in Williams County. Thomas's father had taken on farming with William (Jr.) serving as his farm hand. Susan had a job as a domestic and Thomas was a store clerk. Edwin was still in school.
According to the 1883 country history:
"At the age of eleven, he (Thomas) commenced clerking in the dry goods store of A. W. Boynton at Pulaski. After two years, he hired out to W. E. Kintigh of Defiance, and with him, moved to Napoleon, Ohio, and continued clerking for him as long as he remained in the business. He afterward clerked for Imber & Richards, dry goods merchants, for five years."
The history mentioned that he enlisted in the Union Army in 1863, but no other source could be found to confirm that. His obituary mentioned his membership in the 68th OVI in 1863, but that could not be found. The 1890 census and Thomas's pension card both noted that he enlisted May 2, 1864, into the National Guard, eventually known as the 163rd Regiment. Most Henry County men were in Company G, as was Thomas. it was a 100 day enlistment and his discharge on both sources said September 10, 1865. Thomas did report on the 1890 census that he was also a private in Company A, 114th O.V.I. from February 9, 1865 to September 20, 1865. Perhaps it was a special assignment, but it was not mentioned in the company lists or on the pension card. A mystery to be solved.
The 163rd was first ordered to Fort Reno near Washington, D.C. and then to the battlefront in Virginia. Some men were involved in a skirmish on June 15th, while the others built a large portion of Fort Pocahontas. Soon they were ordered back to Columbus and mustered out in September.
Upon his return from the war, he married Miss G. (Glorian) A. Cary in Henry County, Ohio on October 12, 1865. They had two daughters who died in infancy, and one son, Charles H., born in Napoleon in 1872. He joined forces with H. E. Cary to open a branch store in Defiance in 1876, of which Thomas would be in charge.
On December 4, 1878, Thomas married his second wife, Anna B. (called Betty) Opdycke, a resident of Pulaski, and the daughter of John and Harriet (nee Baird).
The 1880 census enumerator found the Thomas Carroll family at 265 Holgate Avenue. Thomas, a grocer, 37, and his wife, Betty, 26, and Charles, his son from his previous marriage, now 7, lived there. In 1881, Thomas bought out his partner, Cary, and ran the Defiance store himself for two years. According to the 1883 history, he joined with new partners, C. W. and T. J. Prettyman to form Carroll & Co. in 1883, a predecessor to the Defiance Grocery Company. He also served as a Defiance City councilman, as well as being a well respected and very successful businessman and a very active member of the G.A.R.
One of his later projects was running a restaurant on Island Park.
Thomas R. Carroll died on July 29, 1900 at the age of 58 years, 6 months and 25 days. Obituaries and Funeral notes were found in both the Defiance Crescent News on July 30, 1900, and the Defiance Weekly Express on August 2, 1900.
He was buried in Riverside Cemetery. His second wife, Betty, lived on until November 4, 1933.
(This is part of a series on Civil War veterans of Defiance County who were part of the G.A.R., Bishop Post, that headquartered in the city. Formed in 1879, the post was named after a local man, Captain William Bishop, Company D, 100th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army who died as a result of wounds received in battle. The veterans' photos are part of a composite photo of members that has survived. If you have other information or corrections to add to the soldiers' stories, please add to the comments!)