Silas Baker Carr was my great-grandfather. He was born 17 Oct 1878 to Robert T Carr and Elizabeth Canada of Halifax County, VA. He died when I was three years old 24 Jun 1968 in South Boston, VA. As I have studied individuals in my family history over the last several years, I formed impressions about what that person was like. Grandpa Carr was no different. In visiting with my grandmother, his youngest daughter, I learned a few more things about him.
Grandpa Carr went by his middle name Baker. He was engaged to another woman before he married Grandma Carr. I’m not clear on whether he broke his engagement before or after he met Winnie Haley. I do know that Baker and Winnie married across the border in NC on 26 Sep 1909. (That was news to my grandmother.) I can’t help but wonder if they eloped! I have gotten the vague impression that Winnie was not fond of her in-laws. I don’t think she called Elizabeth “Betsy” Carr, her mother-in-law, “old Miss Betts” as a term of endearment. There’s a story there I would really like to learn one day.
Over the years I have asked different family members what Baker was like. The answer was almost always the same. He was very quiet and didn’t talk much. He sat and read his newspaper. In fact that’s the main memory of his grandchildren. Even his photos show what appears to be a stoic man. Others remember that he was a very smart man. He was especially gifted with numbers. He did various jobs including being a postman and running a sawmill. He was frequently gone during the week while working and returning home on the weekends.
He also danced! Now that memory from my grandmother did not fit in with everything else I’d been hearing. His wife’s family (the Haleys) were very musical and loved to get together on the weekends to sing, play instruments and dance. In the evening, the adults would put the children to bed and continue with the music and dancing. According to my grandmother Baker was quite a good dancer.
The other memory that relatives mention is that Baker was short. He was only about 5’4″. Mmmm…..that might explain the lack of height in my family!