Carey, one of the industrious farmers of Brandywine Township, was born near Wheeling, in Brooke County, West
Virginia, May 4, 1839. He was the oldest of four children, one
son and three daughters, born to Thomas V., and Margaret E.
(Lee) Carey, the latter of whom was a relation of the illustrious
General Robert E. Lee. His parents were natives of Virginia
and Pennsylvania, respectively, the former of Scotch-Irish and the
latter of German descent. In 1850, he accompanied his parents to
this State, and located with them in the town of Edinburg. Two
years later the family came to Shelby County, and located at Fairland, then a little hamlet of perhaps a half dozen houses.
the father and mother spent the rest of their lives, their respective
deaths occurring May 14, 1S36, and August 11, 1854. Left an orphan at this early age and penniless at that, the prospects for a
bright future were very discouraging to young Thomas. However, he made the most of his surroundings, and with
as his only capital, he went to work, and spent the greater portion
of his youth working upon a farm in summer and endeavoring to
secure an education in winter. During this time he also worked
some at the carpenter's trade, to which he was naturally inclined. He has always possessed a great deal of natural tact and genius,
and to secure a knowledge of carpentry as he did, without any instruction, was but little trouble to him.
In April, 1861, he entered
the service of the Union Army, in Company H, 16th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Captain William
Judkins. He entered as a private, but at the organization of the company was
chosen Third Sergeant, and shortly thereafter was promoted to
the rank of Orderly Sergeant, which position he held until the mustering out of the company at Washington, D.
C., in May, 1862. He then returned to Shelby County and assisted in recruiting and
organizing Company F, Seventieth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, which entered the service under command of Gen. Harrison.
Mr. Carey was first chosen a Second Lieutenant, but when the
company was mustered in at Indianapolis he was commissioned as
Second Lieutenant. With this he served until in August, 1864,
when, owing to the uncongeniality existing between him and
Gen. Harrison, he resigned, returned again to this county, and in
the winter of 1864, he recruited the Ninth Indiana Cavalry Company. Of this he was chosen Captain, but in
consequence of an
attack of erysipleas he was incapacitated for duty and when his
health was restored he entered as a private in Company G, One
Hundred and Forty-eighth Indiana Infantry, with which he served
until the close of the war. He then returned to Fairland and accepted
a position as salesman in a general store. He also worked at the
trades of carpenter and painter occasionally. He was married
April 5, 1868, to Susan E. Reed, a native of this county, and
daughter of Isham and Irene (Ray) Reed. After their marriage
Mr. and Mrs. Carey resided for two years upon a farm in Brandywine Township.
The former taught school in winter. He resumed
his position as salesman in the store at Fairland in 1870, and in 1872
he was elected a Justice of the Peace and was re-elected in 1876,
but in the fall of that year he resigned the office to accept the position of
Deputy Sheriff of Shelby County. In the meantime his
marriage relation was severed by the death of his wife February
27, 1876. After serving two years as Deputy Sheriff, he was
employed as salesman in the local agricultural implement trade. Two years later he entered the employ of
Walter A. Wood for
whom he traveled as salesman four years. On the first day of
November, 1885, he was united in marriage to Sarah J. Holmes, a
native of Moral Township, this county, born February 22, 1840. She was the youngest of five children, two sons and three daughters,
born to George W. and Sarah (Floyd) Holmes, the former a native
of Broom County, N. Y., and the latter a native of Madison County,
Ky., both of English descent. The first marriage of Mr. Carey
resulted in the birth of three children: Charles G., May I., and
Maggie B., all of whom are living. Mr. Carey is a member of the
F. & A. M. Lodge, and a staunch Democrat in politics. He and
wife have a good farm of 160 acres and a comfortable home where
they reside in a quiet, happy way. They are among the worthy
and esteemed citizens of the township.
History of Shelby County, Indiana, Chicago: Brant & Fuller, 1887,
"Brandywine [Township] Sketches, page 608-609.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming