Behind the Vault Doors: John Price Carr Family Papers, 1881-2008

A black and white photograph of John Price Carr, Charlotte businessman. Image courtesy of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room.

John Price Carr (1854-1927) was born to Thomas Milton and Rebecca Price Carr in the Hopewell community of Mecklenburg County. His father was a Methodist minister and died at a young age, which forced Carr to quit school and financially support his family. Despite obstacles in his young life, he rose as a leader and successful businessman in Charlotte’s First Ward community.  

 

John Price Carr, photo courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room 

John Carr married Anna Elizabeth Little on February 14, 1878. Anna was the daughter of William Price and Hannah Sifford Little. Her father served as a Confederate soldier, was a farmer and former Mecklenburg County Sheriff.  

After their marriage, John Carr pursued several business opportunities. For a time, he raised and sold cattle alongside his brother, held an interest in a cotton gin, H.M. Bassamon & Co., and after selling this interest in 1891, he began buying land near North McDowell and E. 5th Street. By 1895, Carr owned and operated a moving company, in which he continued business throughout his life. When Presbyterian Hospital was about to close following a devastating fire in 1917, he and four other local businessmen stepped up to undersign a $40,000 loan to help the hospital buy the vacant Elizabeth College grounds. 

 

John Price Carr home, 200 N. McDowell, c. 1900 

John Price Carr’s moving business thrived, and he, Anna and their five children (Daisy Rebecca, Jonnie Little, Fannie Alice, Annie Price Wurzburg, and Laurie Milton), moved into a newly built house at 200 N. McDowell Street in 1904. After his death due to pneumonia in 1927, his family continued to live in their home until its sale in 1951. John Price Carr is buried in Elmwood Cemetery. 

The Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room houses the John Price Carr Family Papers, 1881-2008which are only available for virtual research due to the COVID-19 crisis. Contact the Carolina Room’s Archivist for more information on how to access this collection: (704) 416-0150 or carolinaroom@cmlibrary.org. 

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This blog was written by Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room staff.