CAROTHERS, THOMAS (ca. 1818–1867). Thomas Carothers, legislator, stock raiser, and superintendent of the State Prison at Huntsville, was born about 1818 in Pennsylvania, probably in Cumberland County (see TEXAS STATE PENITENTIARY AT HUNTSVILLE). He was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Loudon) Carothers. Carothers (also spelled Caruthers) arrived in what would become Walker County, Texas, probably in the late 1830s.
In 1846 he served as justice of the peace for Montgomery County. That same year, Carothers was one of four men commissioned to mark and lay out a road in newly-formed Walker County from Huntsville to the Montgomery county line. During the Second Texas State Legislature, 1847 to 1848, he served in the House of Representatives for Montgomery County. The 1850 census listed Thomas Carothers, age thirty-two, as a stock raiser and farmer in Walker County with real estate valued at $3,000. His wife Mary, age thirty from Kentucky, was also listed. Thomas Carothers was the first master of the San Jacinto Masonic Lodge, #106, which was located in Danville at the time of its founding in 1853. He had received a third class land grant, patented in 1859, for 160 acres from the Texas General Land Office.
Thomas Carothers served as the superintendent of the State Prison at Huntsville from 1859 to 1866. Throughout the Civil War the prison held Confederate lawbreakers as well as Federal prisoners of war, perhaps most notably the officers and crew from the Federal gunboat, Harriet Lane. Carothers regularly entertained the Union officers in his family's home above the prison office.
Outside of his experiences in public office, Thomas Carothers farmed and raised stock in Walker County but also appeared often as a land agent or as a partner in a joint holding in other areas of the state. Carothers was trusted by his cousin Sam Houston and was named as one of the executors of the famous Texan's will. Thomas Carothers died in Anderson, Texas, on April 17, 1867, while traveling home to Huntsville.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Jennifer Eckel, "Carothers, Thomas," accessed April 30, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fcald.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles