Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Carr Brothers. Maybe You Know Them?

A number of years ago, I found a treasure trove of postcards that belonged to my Grandmother. My Mother had saved them, and I came across them in her cedar chest after she passed away. I remember seeing them when I was a little girl in my Grandmother’s own chest, but I hadn’t thought about them in a long while. After finding them amongst my Mother’s belongings, I promptly put them away…forgotten, as usually happens with things that get “put away.”

I found them again a few years ago. I had put them in a special box where they would be safe. So safe, in fact, that it was a lovely surprise when I re-discovered them. What fun it was to go through them again. And what insights I gained into the life of my Grandmother when she was a teenager and then a young, unmarried lady. Grandmother (Lorena Grace Sanford Wallace Werkhoven) was born in 1896, so the time period we are looking at falls between about 1911 and 1918.

Those insights must be saved, however, for another time. Today I’m going to concentrate on the postcard that had a photo on it of two brothers. I thought they might be twins. The fashion of the day was to have photos made in postcard form so that they could be mailed to friends and family members. This one had obviously been given to my Grandmother because only their names were written on the back: Cleades Carr and Claudus Carr. Who in the world were they?

One of the insights I learned about my Grandmother was that she had received quite a few postcards from various friends who were males. (Really?My Grandmother?) Naturally, I wondered about these two whose faces I had before me. Her other friends were faceless, made real only by their words and obvious devotion to her. These two simply left her a photo of themselves – one she kept as a memento all of her life.

After finding them again, I did place a post on the Carr surname message boards hoping that someone would come forward who knew them. They never did.  But recently, I began to research them again and actually found them on Ancestry and on Find A Grave. They were indeed twins, born in 1893 in Kentucky. It seems that they lived their whole lives in Kentucky, so I’m not sure exactly how, when, or where they met my Grandmother. It was probably on a trip to Memphis, or perhaps Mississippi, where she lived for a couple of years during that time period.

According to information I found on both of the aforementioned sites, Claudus was killed in a traffic accident in 1931. I can only imagine how much that must have devastated his twin, Cletus. In fact, the tombstone photo I saw on Find A Grave showed Cletus buried in the middle, with his wife on his right and, yes, his twin brother on his left. Cletus lived until 1965, married and had children. Claudus never married.

Shown below is the postcard with the photo of the two brothers dressed in cowboy attire. Someone (probably my Grandmother) had written their names on the back of the card. Cletus’ name was misspelled, evidently written out as it sounded and spelled closer to the spelling of Claudus.

Do you know these twins? Are you a relative? If so, let me know. I have a wonderful piece of history to give you to cherish.

Back of the postcard showing the names of the Carr brothers - with Cletus' name misspelled.
Cletus and Claudus Carr (Not sure which is which)

@2015 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland 


  1. Carla, that is a wonderful unique postcard. Sad that one brother died many years before the other. Uncovering their story on Find a grave was clever. Good luck finding their family.

    1. Thanks, Colleen. I, too, thought it very sad that one of the twins died so young. I'm hoping that someone in the family will find this post or possibly one of my other attempts to reach out. I'll keep folks posted!