Ford Mason Carothers
Cowlitz County WA Archives Biographies.....Carothers, Ford Mason ************************************************
File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:
Ila L. Wakley email@example.com May 9, 2009, 12:15 am
Author: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
FORD MASON CAROTHERS needs no introduction to the residents of Kelso, for
he is one of its honored pioneers and has successfully engaged in
merchandising here for a period of thirty-six years. A native of Illinois, he
was born near Galesburg, in Cedar township, Knox county, November 12, 1860,
and has inherited the sterling attributes of a long line of worthy ancestors,
some of whom figured in events which shaped the early history of this nation.
His great-grandfather, Peleg Carothers, was an intrepid Indian fighter who
served under General Washington during the Revolutionary war and was in
command of the blockhouse at Sodus Point, New York. He was taken prisoner by
the British and sent to Quebec, Canada, but soon afterward was exchanged.
During the struggle for American independence he captured a British officer
and took from him a razor hone, which is one of the treasured possessions of
Ford M. Carothers. His grandfather, John Carothers, served under General
Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812 and fought in the battle of New Orleans and
other notable engagements. He was paid in land scrip and took up a vast tract
in Knox county, Illinois, about 1834. His wife, who was a Miss Mason, belonged
to an old and illustrious Quaker family, tracing her ancestry to John Penn, a
brother of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania.
Charles Carothers, the father of Ford M. Carothers, was of Scotch descent
and the mother, Alfreda (Ellis) Carothers, was of English lineage. Her
forbears settled in this country prior to the Revolutionary war and achieved
prominence as shipbuilders, centering their activities in Maine. Charles
Carothers was born at Sodus Point on Lake Ontario, July 25, 1826, and
supplemented his public school training by attendance at the Presbyterian
College of Ashtabula, Ohio, and Allegheny College at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
He was well qualified for educational work and during the '50s taught Greek,
Latin and mathematics at Knox College. During the Civil war he endeavored to
enlist for active military service but was rejected. However, he aided the
Union cause by becoming a recruiting agent and after the war went to Iowa,
settling in the western part of the state in 1867. His wife was born in
Somerset county, Maine, and taught school prior to her marriage.
Their son, Ford M. Carothers, attended the public schools of Illinois and
Iowa and also received instruction from his parents. In 1887 he came to Kelso,
Washington, arriving here just after the town was laid out, and his first job
was that of a teamster in the logging camp which had been established for the
purpose of clearing the land for the town site. Afterward he worked on a
steamboat plying between Portland, Oregon, and Toledo, Washington, and was
next a clerk in the general store of which John Nail was the proprietor. Mr.
Carothers saved his money and in November, 1892, began his independent career
as a grocer, a branch of merchandising which he has since followed with ever
increasing success. His trade is drawn from a wide area and the store is
situated in a substantial building which he erected in 1893. He carries a
large stock of staple and fancy groceries and his commercial transactions have
always balanced up with the principles of truth and honor. Many of the
customers are still his patrons and his has been the leading grocery in Kelso
from the time of its inception, while he also owns valuable timber lands in
Mr. Carothers was married May 27, 1889, in Corning, Iowa, to Miss Anna
Robb. Mrs. Carothers was born February 14, 1861, in Montgomery county, Iowa,
and is of Scotch lineage. Her ancestors were numbered among the colonial
settlers of Pennsylvania and in later generations members of the family
migrated to Ohio and thence to Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Carothers have two children.
Helen, born in Kelso, April 30, 1890, is the wife of George Plamondon, vice
president of the Woodland State Bank, and they are the parents of four
children: Catherine, Gregory, Louis and Joan. The son, Russell Carothers, was
born November 16, 1897, and after his graduation from the Kelso high school
took a course in the University of Washington. In 1915, while a student at the
latter institution, he joined the coast artillery, and during the World war
was called upon for active military duty. He spent two years in France with
the Sixty-third Coast Arillery, becoming sergeant of his company, and is now
associated with his father in business.
For generations the paternal forbears of Ford M. Carothers have been
Presbyterians and he has always adhered to that faith. In politics he is a
strong republican and in the early days his father was one of the influential
members of that party. Charles Carothers was a delegate to the convention
which nominated Abraham Lincoln for the presidency in 1860 and while living in
Iowa, Mr. Carothers held a number of offices. He was long a justice of the
peace, being elected the last time when he was eighty-nine, and a year later
met an accidental death. Ford M. Carothers was one of the first councilmen of
Kelso and has always manifested a keen interest in community affairs. He is
connected with the Kelso Club and is also a Kiwanian. Along fraternal lines he
is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and his wife is one of
the Daughters of the American Revolution. When he came to this part of Cowlitz
county Kelso had but three families and it now has a population of twelve
thousand. With deep interest he has watched the progress of the town, whose
development he has materially furthered through his activities as a capable
and enterprising merchant. Mr. Carothers has been loyal to every trust reposed
in him and faithful to every duty and his reward is the respect, confidence
and good will of his fellowmen, while at the same time he has won individual
History of the Columbia River Valley From The Dalles to the Sea, Vol. II,
Our Family Homes--Then and Now
Our Homes, some were lived in for generation, some for just a short time.
Villages, Towns and Cities of my family.
Some of the homes and places my family and extended family have lived.
See photos below the posts.
See photos below the posts.