EDWARD ELMER CARHART, of Panhandle, a pioneer resident of Carson county, where he has been actively identified with business affairs since 1887, and for a number of years served as county treasurer, is the successful and enterprising druggist of the town. He has spent all his adult career in northwestern Texas, and has the honor of having been a pioneer in various undertakings in this part of the state.
Born at Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1863, he was a son of Dr. John W. and Theresa (Mumford) Carhart. His father, a native of New York state, moved from Massachusetts to Wisconsin about 1867. At that time he was a Methodist minister, and accordingly was stationed at various places, though principally at Racine and Oshkosh. He became a presiding elder in one of the Wisconsin conferences, and for many years occupied a prominent place in church affairs. Later in life, however, he took up the study of medicine and proved himself a very capable physician. He came to Texas in the early eighties and after a few years’ practice at Lampasas moved to Austin, where he is now a well known and successful practitioner. He is a cousin of Captain I. W. Carhart of Clarendon, whose history appears elsewhere in this work, and also of Rev. L. H. Carhart, a prominent pioneer minister who came from Tennessee to West Texas as a minister and founded the town of old Clarendon in the latter seventies. Dr. Carhart lost his wife while the family lived in Lampasas.
Reared for the most part in: the city of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Mr. Carhart received the major portion of his education in that place. While still a boy he learned the printer’s trade, and, with the assistance of his sister, founded and published the “Early Dawn,” a weekly paper, at Oshkosh. In 188o he went to Texas, it being his intention to seek his fortune in northwestern Texas. With others he traveled in wagons from Gainesville west to old Clarendon, passing only three ranches on the entire route. At old Clarendon Mr. Carhart, though still but a boy in years, established the Clarendon “News,” which has the distinction of being the first paper published in the Panhandle country. He continued to issue this journal for three years. Journalism was not in a very advanced stage in this part of the country at that time, and the first two or three numbers of the “News” were published back at Oshkosh, whence the copies were sent on to Clarendon; but finally enough of an outfit arrived so that all the paper could be published at home.
After disposing of his paper Mr. Carhart spent about two years on the range as a cowboy, and then went into the drug business at Clarendon. On discontinuing this he took employment with White & Company, general merchants and ranch outfitters at Clarendon. In the spring of 1887, a short time before the Santa Fe Railroad was completed to Panhandle city, and when that town was just starting up, White & Company sent Mr. Carhart to the embryonic town with a stock of goods for the purpose of establishing a store, which he took charge of as manager. Some time later, when White & Company were ready to leave this field, they sold the store and Mr. Carhart purchased a drug stock of J. D. Stocking, and has since so conducted it, with a high degree of success.
Carson county; since its organization in 1888 up to November, 1904, has had only two county treasurers. Judge J. C. Paul, who was the first. served until 1896, in which year Mr. Carhart received his first election to that office, and by re-election he served continuously until the close of 1904. In the latter year he declined another nomination for that office, and became a candidate for the office of county judge. He has had a long and honorable official career, and before coming to Carson county he was elected and served a term as county and district clerk of Donley county. During the Harrison administration he was appointed postmaster at Panhandle, and also continued to hold the office during the second Cleveland regime, altogether for eight years.
Mr. Carhart married, at Clarendon, Miss Stella Brewer, of an Indiana family that lived for many years at Sherman, Texas. The four children born of their happy union are John LeRoy, Nina May, Emma Opal, and Thelma Stella.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 654-655.