Family Stories

Thomas Benton Carter Obituary

Newspaper – Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky

Wednesday, October 26, 1898

Major Thomas Benton Carter, chief of the U.S,. detective service for the district of Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee, died of apoplexy, Sunday night.  Monday morning he was found dead in his bed at Seelbach’s Hotel in Louisville.  The deceased was a native of this place where he has relatives and many friends.  He was educated at Kentucky University and when he had just reached his majority the Civil War began and he was one of the first to enlist in the Confederate Army.  He was a member of Company E, in the first regiment of General John H. Morgan’s command and served, gallantly, during the war.  He was a man of dauntless courage and made many narrow escapes in scouting to obtain information for his chief.  On one occasion he was captured and would have been shot as a spy had not Captain J. W. Cardwell and Dr. J. L. Smedly, of this place, interceded with President Lincoln in his behalf.  Soon after the war he married Miss Mary Walter Trelkeld, of this place, and for some time was editor of the Mercer County Banner.  Afterwards he was elected marshal of Harrodsburg.  In 1884 President Cleveland appointed him a detective in the U. S. Secret Service, a position admirably suited to his ability and inclination.  He was gradually promoted and finally reached the highest position.  He was fifty-eight years old at the time of his death, and leaves a widow and one son, Mr. William T. Carter, a prosperous merchant in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The remains were taken for interment to Indianapolis.

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