William M. Carson was born April 5, 1834, in Carroll County, Tenn., and is one of six children—three sons and three daughters—born to Wm. H. and Sarah H. (Dinwiddie) Carson; himself and a sister Mrs. Dr. Curtis, of McKenzie, Tenn., are the surviving members. The father was born in Butler County, Ky., January 30, 1806, and lived there until 1826, having served an apprenticeship in the tanning trade; then moved to Carroll County, and married, in 1827, our subject’s mother, she being also a native of Kentucky. His father continued the tanning business alone until 1850, then combined cotton spinning with it, until 1856, then also embarked in the mercantile trade in the county, which he continued until 1860; then farmed a few years, but re-engaged in the cotton and leather manufacturing until about 1864, when he gradually retired from business, still residing in the county until his death, January 12, 1882. His wife died October 26, 1843, and after her death, in 1845, he married Elizabeth M. Reed, nee Dinwiddie, who also died before he did.
Our subject stayed with his parents, working at the cotton factory until 1856; he then assisted his father in his mercantile business four years; then he returned to the old homestead and farmed, in connection with the tanning business, until 1865, and in three years closed out the business, after which he accepted a clerkship in McKenzie; then superintended the Shiloh Cotton Mills, of the county until 1872, when he moved to his present residence, a farm of 165 acres two miles southeast of McKenzie. January 15, 1862, he married Sarah A. Ridley, who is still living. The farm is known as the old Pigeon Roost, so called from wild pigeons congregating there formerly in sufficient numbers to break down timber. Mr. Carson and family are Cumberland Presbyterians and he is a member of the F. & A. M.
Transcribed by David Donahue
Source: History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Carroll, Henry and Benton Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978.