Charles T. Carpenter

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Charles T. Carpenter
Born (1858-12-09)December 9, 1858
Bedford County, Tennessee
Died February 22, 1945(1945-02-22) (aged 86)
Montgomery County, Kansas

Charles Thomas Carpenter, born December 9, 1858 in Bedford County, Tennessee, died February 22, 1945 at Montgomery County, Kansas, was a pioneer banker who was taken hostage by the Dalton Gang in their last raid, October 5, 1892, in Coffeyville, Kansas.[1][2][3]

Carpenter was a son of Samuel and Sarah (Montgomery) Carpenter, of Palmetto, Tennessee.[4] He was schooled in a private institution at Palmetto, and attended the State University at Bloomington, Indiana, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and graduated in 1876 with an Bachelor of Arts degree.[5] After graduation, he moved to Kansas to join his parents at Oswego, Kansas, where he first worked for his father, and then served two years as cashier of Condon Bank. In 1886, he moved to Coffeyville as a partner in the Condon Bank office established at Coffeyville that year. He was also senior partner in the Charles T. Carpenter Insurance Agency, the largest agency in Montgomery County, Kansas. He served as president of the Coffeyville Board of Education and trustee of the Montgomery County High School at Independence, Kansas.

Carpenter married in 1892 at Rockport, Indiana to Temple West, who was born in Pike County, Indiana. She was a prominent woman of Southern Kansas in religious, social and public affairs, president of the Carnegie Library of Coffeyville, and the first woman honored with a place on the school board of that city.[6] She and her husband were the parents of seven children.

When the Dalton Gang attempted to rob two banks in Coffeyville on October 5, 1892, Charles T. Carpenter was taken hostage in his bank. In the gun battle that followed the failed raid, which turned out to be the gang's last, four townspeople were killed, and four gang members were killed and the fifth captured and imprisoned. Carpenter was not physically injured in the affray.


  1. ^ William E. Connelley: A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill., 1918, Vol. 4, pp. 2081-2082.
  2. ^ Sara Mullin Baldwin and Robert Morton Baldwin, eds.: Illustriana Kansas, Illustriana, Inc., Hebron, Neb., 1933, pp. 203 and 205 + photo plates.
  3. ^ Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. III, part 1. 1912. pp. 252–253. 
  4. ^ Connelley, 1918, loc. cit.; contrary to the statement in the standard history, this family is not of English ancestry, it is of Germanic ancestry -- see Robert C. Carpenter: Carpenters A'Plenty, Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, Md., 1982.
  5. ^ Baldwin & Baldwin, 1933, loc. cit.
  6. ^ Connelley, 1918, loc. cit.