Theodore William Carson
Every once in a while, as I transcribe diaries and journals, I come across small nuggets of gold.
Delving into Emma Jane Carson’s journals is not for the weak-hearted because of the number of journals--more, it is the foolish who choose to begin, so you see where I stand!
To catch up on family genealogy, Emma Carson, daughter of William Carson and Jane Livingston, married Bryant Taylor (B.W.), and was the mother of Floyd and Lloyd, among other children.
Emma came from a large and close, loving family of Carsons. Emma had five brothers—Albert, Theodore, George, Edward and Harry. She had two sisters, Mary Elizabeth and Anna. Theodore was three years younger than Emma, so they were close in age, and close in actuality, as he often stayed overnight to help when Emma and Bryant’s children were young.
After Emma married, most of the Carsons remained in the area with the Taylors only a short buggy or train ride away.
On to my nugget of interest:
In her 1888 journal for December 5th, 1888, Theo's sister, Emma Carson Taylor writes:
"We were terribly shocked this morning to get a large letter from Anna (Emma’s sister) to Bryant telling us the sad news that Theo had accidentally shot himself last Friday, but was now doing as well as could be expected. We are waiting the result. We cannot help but cry ‘Oh God, spare him!’”
The twenty-five year old Theo was working for a year as a farm hand in a nearby town. He had not spent Thanksgiving with his family, but stayed on the farm. Orrin Taylor, brother of B.W.--again showing that the Carsons and Taylors were close as family friends-- was spending Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, with Theo who was two years older than Orrin. About three o’clock while they were shooting at a target, Theo tried to make sure his footing was good before taking aim and instead slipped, arms flailing to attempt to catch himself. With that, the revolver went off, the ball entering his head above his ear.
Emma then transcribes a letter from her father, William, who rushed from his home to help Theo. William writes to his wife Jane and his children; Jane and their children at home read the letter and then sent it on to Emma and Bryant:
“It is a great comfort to see him as well as he is, and there is a faint hope that he may come through it. I hope you will have grace to be resigned. It is a hard thing to bear, but let us put our trust in our Heavenly Father hoping for the best. All of you pray for him and for yourselves, and let us say ‘Thy Will be Done.’ If there is any change for the worst I will telegraph to you. I remain your Husband and Parent, Mr. Carson.”
By Sunday, two days after the accident, William again writes:
“He is just now eating breakfast, sitting up in his bed. If you were here and could see him, the pleasant look and smile on his face would do you good. He feels as we all do, that it was a very sad affair, yet he is so resigned to whatever the result may be that nothing seems to bother him, only as it seems to make others trouble. When I got here, he could not speak, but was sensible, and knew me. Pretty soon he could talk and almost the first thing he said to me was that it was all right with him, let the result be what it would, but how will Mother stand it?”
By Monday, Father again writes to his worried family:
“It really does look as if he is going to be around again in a very short time. The Dr. says that there is a possibility that if the ball is inside of the bone that it may remain there and never make him any trouble. So we will hope for the best, and put our trust in him who said to the singing waters peace, be still and there was a great calm.
Four o’clock and fifteen minutes, Monday a.m., Wm. Carson”
Theo and Eunice Carson, 1897