Birth: Dec. 14, 1829.
Death: Aug. 21, 1863.
Louis Carpenter was a lawyer, and was a Deputy Clerk of Douglas County, Kansas by June 14, 1859.In late 1860 or early 1861, he became Probate Judge of Douglas County, the first case bearing his name as judge being recorded on February 26, 1861, and on September 29, 1862, he was chosen by the Union Party as their candidate for the office of Attorney General of Kansas. He was enumerated in the 1860 federal census of the Kansas Territory as age 29, born in the state of New York.
Louis married on October 10, 1862 at the home of his bride’s sister and brother-in-law Abigail (Barber) and Grosvenor C. Morse at Emporia, Kansas to Mary E. Barberwho was born ca. 1838 in Massachusetts according to census records. In 1870, his widow was enumerated at Topeka, Kansas; she married second on January 5, 1871 at Emporia, Kansas to John C. Rankin, and was enumerated in Osage County, Kansas in 1900 and 1910. She was a sister of Harriet A. Barber, who never married, and Abigail Barber, who married Grosvenor C. Morse.
Judge Carpenter was one of the 185-200 men and boys killed in the Lawrence Massacre on August 21, 1863. He was murdered in his home at 943 New Hampshire Street in Lawrence by members of Quantrill’s Raiders. A detailed account of Judge Carpenter's life and murder in Kansas, and a photograph of him, are posted at the Douglas County Law Library website.
The Lawrence Massacre, also known as Quantrill's Raid, was a rebel guerrilla attack during the U.S. Civil War by Quantrill's Raiders, led by William Clarke Quantrill, on the pro-Union town of Lawrence, Kansas. The attack on August 21, 1863, targeted Lawrence due to the town's long support of abolition and its reputation as a center for Redlegs and Jayhawkers, which were free-state militia and vigilante groups known for attacking and destroying farms and plantations in Missouri's pro-slavery western counties.
As the raiders were preparing to leave town after four hours of destruction and bloodshed, one of them appeared at Judge Carpenter’s door and asked him where he was from. Carpenter, who had earlier talked several groups of the raiders into leaving his family and home unmolested, answered “New York.” The intruder yelled that New Yorkers were the ones that they were after and began firing his pistol at him. Judge Carpenter ran through the house, down into the cellar, and then out into the yard, trying to avoid the gunfire. A second gunman joined the first and they continued to fire at Carpenter. He collapsed in his backyard after sustaining four4 severe gunshot wounds and, despite Mary falling down and covering him with her body, was killed with a point-blank shot to his head.
The raiders set the house on fire and then left. Abigail was able to put out the fire before it had time to do much damage.
About three hours after Quantrill and his men had left town, a crude wooden coffin was made by friends who had survived the devastation and Judge Carpenter was buried in his own yard. A week later, on August 28, 1863, his body was exhumed from his backyard grave and moved to another temporary burial site. Eventually he was interred in a plot in Oak Hill Cemetery, near to the final resting place of many other victims of Quantrill's Raid.