Ohio History Journal

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[The following article from the pen of Mr. Gilmore appeared in the

columns of The Daily Scioto Gazette of March 21, 1903. As this article

presents the history of Senator Kerr, no where else to be found, it is

thought sufficiently valuable to deserve permanent preservation and is

therefore herewith republished.- E. O. R.]


At length my inquiries and correspondence, begun in 1886,

for the purpose of recovering something of the personal history

of General Joseph Kerr, a very early resident of Chillicothe, and

in his day a very prominent and important one, has met with some

success through the kind assistance of Mr. Henry Clay Carrel,

an eminent architect, of 1123 Broadway, New York, who is a

son of the well known Captain Hercules Carrel, formerly of

Cincinnati, and a great-grandson of General Kerr.

It has been strangely difficult to get information in regard

to this notable person, owing to many peculiar causes. In the

first place he himself was utterly indifferent as to whether his

fellow citizens or any others knew anything about him or not.

In the second place, while his correct name was Kerr, almost

every person who knew him spelled and pronounced it Carr, and

this fact gave infinite trouble to his descendants afterward, in

proving up title to a large land grant, made by the Republic of

Texas to soldiers of its revolutionary war with Mexico.

He was defeated in long litigation for that magnificent farm

just east of this city, known as the Watts farm, and the defeat

almost impoverished him, and greatly embittered him.

He had been unjustly treated, he thought, in large contracts

for supplies to the army of the U. S., operating under General

Hull. He had quarrelled with Gov. Thomas Worthington, to

whose remnant of senatorial term he had been elected by the

General Assembly of Ohio, and finally he, with his family, had

made two or three changes of residence after leaving Chillicothe

in 1824, and if he ever wrote a single letter back to any one here,