The oldest citizen of the Fruitvale district of Oakland in point of years of residence is Thomas Carroll, who for
three decades has rendered efficient and satisfactory service as constable of Brooklyn township, his record as
a man and citizen winning for him a high place in public esteem. Mr. Carroll was born in Wisconsin on the 25th
of December, 1853, and is a son of Wesley and Margaret (Mitchell) Carroll. His father crossed the plains to California
in 1856, and settled at Fruitvale, where he bought two hundred and fifty acres of land. He engaged in mining for
a time, but spent the greater part of his life on his Fruitvale ranch. He engaged in raising horses and in farming
and was successful in his affairs. He was a typical pioneer of his day, having passed through all the experiences
common to frontiersmen, including warfare with the Indians. The old Carroll mansion at Fruitvale was the first
two story house built in this locality.
Thomas Carroll attended the first public school built in Fruitvale and from boyhood assisted his father in the
management and operation of the home place. A real pioneer, strong in body and alert mentally, he took upon himself
his full share of the work and also enjoyed the sports of the community. From young manhood he showed considerable
athletic prowess, possessing a splendid physique, and in the course of time gained national repute for his achievements.
At one time he held the world's record as a weight thrower and in the contests at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition
took third place as a strong man. As an international athlete, he visited England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia
and other foreign countries, where his performances excited much interest. Today, though seventy five years old,
Mr. Carroll is still erect in carriage and active in his movements, retaining his physical vigor to a remarkable
For ten years Mr. Carroll conducted a large dairy here and met with fair success, but during the past thirty years
he filled the position of constable of Brooklyn township, which is undoubtedly a record period of service for a
peace officer in this state. He has faithfully and capably performed his duties and has at all times commanded
the respect of his fellowmen.
Mr. Carroll married Miss Minnie Dean, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who is now deceased. To them were born three children,
Thomas Duncan, a well known evangelist, Wallace and Harry Mitchell. Mr. Carroll is a great lover of outdoor life
and enjoys an occasional hunting trip. He has a "den" and curio shop on two and a half acres of the old
home place, in which he keeps a collection of pistols and rifles used in former days, some of them having been
used several generations ago, and he is justly proud of this collection, which possesses considerable value, as
well as interest. Mr. Carroll is quiet and unobtrusive in manner but possesses a strong character, and among his
acquaintances is held in high regard.
History of Alameda County, California
BY: Frank Clinton Merritt
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill 1928
Alameda County, CA
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