This is an interesting story that nobody in Stamford seems to know anything about.  I asked some old timers about it and found nobody that was familiar with this story.

The following article was published in the New York Press on January 26, 1916

Abandons Wall Street to “Save the Chee-ild”

Wealthy youth gives up financial career for that of a fireman

Stanford, Connecticut — Kenneth W Carter, only son of Galen a Carter, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has abandoned a career in Wall Street and has become a member of the Stamford fire department.

A passion for firefighting and all that goes with it is responsible for the young man’s decision. He was appointed last night by the Common Council to the post of Assistant Electrician in the Department at a salary of $900 a year. Mr. Carter’s grandmother was the sister of the late James D Smith, for many years chairman of the New York Yacht Clubs American Cup Committee, Commodore of the New York yacht club, once president of the New York Stock Exchange, and until his death about six years ago, head of James D Smith &  company, bankers and brokers, of New York City.

Carter is 25 years old and was associated James D Smith &  Company.



This article smacks of “social elitism” and disappointment… no?  What do you think?

Kenneth W Carter was appointed to the position of Assistant Electrician of the SFD on January 24, 1915.  Just over three years later, on April 1, 1918, he was granted a leave of absence so that he could serve with the A.E.F. during World War I. According to a Stamford Advocate clipping, he was the second member of the SFD to obtain such a leave.  The first was Sergeant Harry Mullins of the old Ninth Company (in France).

With the conclusion of Word War I on November 11, 1918, it appears that he returned home.  Something in his life must have changed though, because on October 1, 1919, he resigned from the Stamford Fire Department.  But that is not the last we hear of Kenneth W Carter.

On January 1, 1930 we find the following entry in the Department Log Book

Board of Public Safety took office, consisting of the following members – Kenneth W. Carter, Charles F. Guinas, Dr. J. J. Costanzo, Clarence E. Thompson, Michael A. Boyle, Robert C. Montgomery.

So it seems Kenneth returned to his roots, but remained interested in serving the Fire Department.  He is mentioned assisting Chief Veit in 1932 with an incident in Sound Beach and with being a key player in regularly acquiring equipment and apparatus.


According to SFD records, he served as a Fire Commissioner from 1930 to 1944.

The following article was published in the Daily Advocate (Published as STAMFORD ADVOCATE) – February 7, 1961.  It appears to be his obituary,


In doing some quick genealogy research, we learn that he was married to Barbara Margarette Morgan Carter (1890 – 1971).  Together they had two children.

Kenneth Woodruff Carter
Birth: Jan. 23, 1889
Death: Feb. 4, 1961
Buried: Woodland Cemetery, Southend of Stamford

Thank you for serving Kenneth W Carter!