Ohio Biographies

Robert W. Carroll

Robert W. Carroll, who for many years was at the head of the great publishing house of R W Carroll & Co of Cincinnati, died at his home in Avondale, December 17, 1897. He was born July 28, 1826, in St. Clairsville, Ohio and was the son of Dr.Thomas Carroll and Anne Lynch (Williams) Carroll. HIs father was one of the leaders in the medical profession in Cincinnati from 1841, his date of settlement here, until his death, March 13, 1871. His mother was a native of Lynchburgh, Pennsylvania.

Robert W Carroll, who was the second of his parent's sons, after completing his literary education at Woodward College, entered the office of Judge William Johnston for the study of the law. He made rapid progress and was admitted to the bar in 1848 and practised for one year at Springfield, Ohio, removing then to Cincinnati, where he entered into partnership with his preceptor, Judge Johnston. He soon gained a reputation for legal acumen second to none, and enjoyed a lucrative practice. His ability in his profession was marked and through his whole life, although giving his attention to other interests for a time, he displayed those qualities which distinguished him so long before the bar. In 1862 a combination of circumstances induce Mr Carroll to embark in a mercantile business which he continued with remarkable success for four years, during which time he founded the publishing house of R.W.Carroll & Company. In the disastrous fire of 1866, his business was swept away, but he soon resumed and continued in the publishing line until 1880, one of the issues of the house being the Christian Standard, of which Elder Isaac Errett was editor. The firm was distinguished for perfect integrity and uprightness. In 1880, the publishing business having been disposed of, Mr Carroll resumed the practice of the law and with as much success as formerly.

In 1854 Mr. Carroll was married to Lydia B Conway, of Delaware, who died January 19, 1857. The death of the mother was followed by that of their only child, little Nora, on January 10, 1860. On May 1, 1860, Mr Carroll was married to Mary Arabella Piatt, daughter of Jacob Wycoff Piatt, the Piatt family being one of the oldest and most honoured in the Queen City. Jacob Wycoff Piatt was a most remarkable man and took a conspicuous part in the early political history of Hamilton County. He possessed great vigour and independence of character, which were brought to the public notice by his position on the Bible, school and fire department questions. He was a most zealous friend of fire department reform, and the introduction the paid fire department into our city was due in no small degree to his championship of it in the City Council, against violent clamour and opposition from the members of the old volunteer department. Mrs Carroll and all the children, five in number, survive. Two sons live in Cincinnati: Louis, who is secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Sinking Fund; and R de V., who is a prominent member of the bar, with offices in the Union Trust Building. The other members of the family are Eugene, the oldest son, who is manager of a water company in Buttee, Montana; Laura (single), who lives in New York; and Belle (Durphy), who is also a resident of New York.

Mr. Carroll was a leader in all public movements tending to the prosperity and advancement of educational and reformatory enterprises. He was a man of the most perfect integrity and, although not formally united with any religious body, contributed to the support of all. He was of a refined nature and possessed a cultivated mind and was a welcome addition to social circles. He left a large number of sincere friends who respected him for his exemplary character and loved him for his personal attributes. He passed away in serenity of spirit and those about him recall his own words, uttered to comfort those who grieved: "Death is neither to be dreaded nor deplored."


From Cincinnati, The Queen City, Volume III by Rev. Charles Frederic Goss, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1912