Thomas Carskadon

Thomas Carskadon of Keyser (1837-1906) was the Prohibition candiditate for Govenor in 1884 and again in 1888. Carskadon's house in Keyser is being nominated for the National Register of Historic Places.

The mansion, which overlooks U.S. 220, is the former residence of Thomas R. Carskadon, an influential Mineral County farmer and political leader.

Born in 1837, he was the youngest member of the West Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1862-63, a U.S. assessor of the Second West Virginia District, a presidential elector for Ulysses S. Grant and a member of the Mineral County Court. Carskadon at one time had been a leading Republican in Hampshire County. He and his wife were strong supporters of the then-First Methodist Episcopal Church (North) in Keyser; their contributions made it possible for the congregation to build the present First United Methodist Church on Davis Street.

Thomas R. Carskadon, of Radical Hill, Keyser, W. Va., was born of Scotch-Irish parentage in Hampshire county, Virginia, May 17, 1837.  Raised on the farm, and adopting farming as his vocation, by careful study of agricultural and economic questions he has placed himself in the front rank of his calling.  He has written a highly commended work on "Silos and Ensilage," and is a paid writer for leading farm journals and a lecturer for institutes, fairs, etc.
     He gives as the crowning act and happiest epoch of his life his conversion, at fifteen years of age.  He joined the Methodist Church and has since been honored by election or appointment to all positions eligible to laymen.
     Though reared in a slave-holding family, he was an uncompromising Unionist.  At great pecuniary loss he left his farm, home, wife, and baby boy to become a refugee rather than assent to the disruption of the Union in the interests of slavery.  While a refugee in 1861, he was elected to the constitutional convention of West Virginia and was the youngest member of the convention.
     For a quarter of a century an active worker among the honored leaders of the Republican Party in his State, and speaking in every campaign, he was declared by them to be one of their "most attractive and forceful speakers."  Under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson he was United States Assessor of the Second West Virginia District.  He was also a Grant and Hayes elector.
     At the time of joining the Prohibition Party, in 1884, he was a member of the Republican State committee, and left that to become a member of the West Virginia Prohibition State committee, which committee, on his motion, proceeded to organize the party in that State.  As speaker for the Prohibition national committee he has been active in every campaign since, and has been frequently called the "Lincoln of West Virginia."  He was the party's first nominee for governor of that State and is now a member of the State and National committees.

                               -- Data from An Album of Representative Prohibitionists (1895)