William J. Carpenter

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William J. Carpenter
Born (1827-04-17)April 17, 1827
Braxton County, West Virginia
Died February 21, 1921(1921-02-21) (aged 93)
Braxton County, West Virginia

William J. Carpenter (April 17, 1827 - February 21, 1921) was a legendary West Virginia outdoorsman.[1][2][3][4] He was said to have had "no equal" in skills at hunting and fishing, and to be the best long rifle marksman in his community in his younger years—his skill in hitting difficult targets in squirrel hunting earned him the nickname "Squirrely Bill."

Carpenter was a descendant of Jeremiah Carpenter, the first white man to settle in the upper Elk River valley, at or near the mouth of Holly River, in the year of 1784. His father was the first white child born in that section of Webster County, West Virginia, created from Greenbrier County, Virginia in 1788.

Carpenter's extended family is known for producing noteworthy raconteurs and musicians.[5]


  1. ^ John Davison Sutton: History of Braxton County and Central West Virginia, McClain Printing Co., Parsons, W.Va., 1919, pp. 360-361.
  2. ^ Jim Comstock: The West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia, Richwood, W.Va., 1973-1976, Vol. 4, p. 826.
  3. ^ Journal of the Braxton Historical Society, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1973, cover photo and pp. 1, 2, 11.
  4. ^ William Eston Randolph Byrne: Tale of the Elk, West Virginia Publishing Co., Charleston, W.Va., 1940.
  5. ^ Gerald Milnes: "The Carpenter Legacy" in Play of a Fiddle, Traditional Music, Dance, and Folklore in West Virginia, The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky., 1999, pp. 35-44.