Stone finally marks the grave of former Clifton postmaster

Judy Strickling

Submitted photo

C.F. (Flavius) Carr and his second wife, Sarah, in front of the cabin in Carr Canyon near Clifton.

Submitted by 

Judy Strickling


Delbert Strickling and his wife, Judy, have spent many years researching family history. Their research led them to cemeteries in Nebraska and South Dakota, not to mention mortuaries and even a dingy basement of an old mortuary in Nebraska.   

Delbert is the great-grandson of Charles Flavius Carr, who is the subject of this article. Flavius, born in New York, was a cobbler by trade. He and his family moved west and lived in a log house, or cabin, at the mouth of Carr Canyon near the community of Clifton. Clifton was established near the railroad out on the old highway east of Newcastle. A few structural remains can still be seen at the town site.

Flavius’ wife, Julia, died in 1904 and he then married Sarah Furniss. In July 1907, Flavius was appointed as the first postmaster of Clifton. 

While returning home from a visit in their buggy, the horses bolted, causing the buggy to overturn. Sarah was severely injured and Flavius, with a broken leg, crawled several miles after dark, arriving in Clifton about midnight. Men went in search of the accident site and found Sarah, still unconscious. Word was that Sarah never fully recovered from her head injury.

Several years later she passed away and is buried in Baltimore, Md., her previous home.

Flavius was listed for a Carnegie Hero Medal for the heroic act after this accident.   

While living in Clifton, Flavius raised a garden and his produce won ribbons at fair. He tanned hides with a process that he developed himself, carved men’s heads from the soft sandstone that existed in the area, and repaired shoes and other leather goods.

On Nov. 7, 1922, Flavius passed away at his at the ranch of his son, Charlie Carr.

For years it bothered Delbert that there was no marker or headstone at his great-grandfather’s gravesite in Custer, S.D.  The archives for the Custer cemetery had no information of his burial. After a few years of research, Delbert finally proved his great grandfather, C.F. Carr, is buried beside his wife who had a headstone. Cousins Gerry Carr, Ken Carr, Kathrin Carr and Carroll Hinsdale’s widow, Marice, volunteered to help with the expenses. Delbert, Ken, Kathrin and Carroll are all great grandchildren of C.F. Carr and Gerry is a great-great-grandchild.

Delbert’s mother, Myrtle Carr Strickling, is a granddaughter of Flavius Carr.

In October of this year, Delbert and Ken Carr placed the stone on the grave of a man who died almost 100 years ago and is not forgotten, thanks to five cousins and Delbert’s determination.


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