Philmore Carpenter is buried in the Bethel Methodist Church Cemetary, along with many other members of this family.
After reading the newspaper article from the April 4, 1896 edition of the Anson Record, I wanted to find out more about this family. After learning that Gilliam Philmore Carpenter was born in Stanly County, I was certain that he must be related to the Stanly County Carpenter family that become very entwined in my family tree.
And he was. Gilliam Philmore (or Filmore) Carpenter was the son of Williamson Carpenter and Sarah B McIntyre. Williamson Carpenter was the son of John Ludwell Carpenter and Obedience Broadway. John Ludwell Carpenter was the son of John Carpenter and Elizabeth Upchurch. These families show up in my family tree many times over. Ludwells sister Obedience was the mother of one of Edmund Murray's son's John Carpenter, illegitimate, but treated as an equal to the legitimate children in the will, because Edmund, himself, had been illegitimate. Then there was their brother Allen Carpenter, who was Hawk Davis's best friend. They were both Civil War Veterans and one of Allens daughters married into the family. Brother Thomas Carpenter's daughte Caroline also married into the family, I could go on. The Broadaways as well. Clarrisa Howell, daughter of Job Davis's stepson Jordan Howell married Jeremiah Broadaway. The grandfather of my Great-Grandmother, George Turner, married a Broadaway. The McIntyre's came in several times as well, marrying Davis sisters and Elizabeth Murray, Priscilla's sister married Stokes McIntyre. Phillmore was a rotten apple that fell from the family tree.
This is a photo of Sarah Catherine Gaddy Carpenter, better known as Sallie, the first wife of Gilliam Philmores 5 wives and the mother of his oldest children. There seemed to be a different number of children given, depending on whom was asked. The number ranged from 8 to 14. And this was only from the first marriage.
Some of the antics recorded and remembered of Philandering Philmore was the story in the Anson Record of him taking his family to Danville, Virginia and abandoning them, but it was more complicated than the newspaper article let on. The story from his descendents embellishes the story a little bit.
|Sarah Catherine Gaddy Carpenter|
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Philmore was married 5 times, divorced twice, became a widower once and married the fifth time without divorcing the fourth wife, committing bigamy. He was quite the character. I've heard sometimes of people and dogs surviving a long time on sheer meaness. This seems to be the case for Philmore as he lived a long life of 104 years.
Other stories of Phimore's antics are his arrests, but he must have been a likable character as he served little or no time. Judges must have found him a hoot and he had no problem finding wives.
In November of 1893, he was accused of assault, but found not guilty. Five months later, in April of 1894, he is accused of trespassing, and again, found not guilty. The year 1893 seems to be when he developed a problem with alchohol because he had no issues up until then. Maybe the stress of having to support such a large family drove him to drink.
In January of 1896, he went on a moonshine binge and ended up pulling a Lady Godiva by riding into town in his birthday suit. He takes his jug of moonshine along for the ride, drinking all along the way. After arriving at the square, he is said to have stood straight up in the saddle and taking a swig for all to see. This time, he was arrested and put in jail with a $200 bond, which was a large sum for the day. On January 8, 1896, he was found guilty and sentenced to 3 months on the chain gang. As winter time in North Carolina can be pretty cold, the moonshine must have been keeping the naked Philmore warm.
Philandering Philmore was known for liking the company of wayward women and there may have been numerous other little Philmores running around out there than his legitimate lots by Sallie and Hattie, his third wife. It was said there was also one by his second wife, although their marriage was a very short one.
Gilliam Philmore Carpenter died on August 21, 1952. He had seen a great deal of change in his life from his boyhood during the years preceding the Civil War, being born in 1848, through the war and reconstruction, living through both World Wars and into the age of planes, automobiles, telephones and televisions. He left a legacy, both in his longetivity, legend, and many descendants.