Happy Birthday, Johnny Carr!

John W. Carr was a member of the Dayton Marcos when the Marcos were an initial entrant in the Negro National League, formed by Rube Foster and launched in 1920.

Johnny Carr was born John W. Carr to Robert Carr and the former Lue Fleming on January 1, 1887.  Carr was born in Owenton, KY but the family eventually moved to the Dayton area.  There, he earned his way to the Dayton Marcos, a team of African American players formed in the second decade of the 20th century that appeared to alternate between amateur and professional status.  When Rube Foster created the Negro National League in 1920, the Dayton Marcos were one of those original eight teams.  Finishing last, Dayton’s franchise moved to Columbus for 1921.

Carr was a Marco starting at least five years earlier, but only played one game as a Negro National League player (so far as the current documentation exists – he batted once and made an out) in 1920.  However, that year he spent the vast majority of his time with the Johnny Carr All-Stars, a barnstorming team that borrowed players from the Marcos from time to time.  He’d return to the Marcos briefly, but the first baseman would be out of professional baseball before long. Carr hung around the team for years, however, even appearing in old-timer games as late as 1936.

Carr married Paralee Carter in 1909; they took care of her daughter, Ethel, who was born a few years before they married.  After they divorced in 1925, Carr was briefly married to a young woman named Mattie – an Arkansas divorce record suggests that they may have been married while John was married to Paralee and they remarried after 1925.  When not playing baseball, Carr worked as the head porter at the Rike-Kumler Department Store in downtown Dayton. The longtime Dayton resident joined a local Masonic Lodge and was a member of the Shriners. When Carr died on April 7, 1939 he left behind no children, just his third wife, Ella. He was buried at Greencastle Cemetery in Dayton.



1910, 1920, 1930 US Census
World War I Registration Card

Ohio Marriage Certficate
Arkansas Divorce Records
Ohio Department of Heath Death Index

“Johnny Carr Is Again a Marco,” Dayton Daily News, Septebmer 25, 1915: 7.

“All-Stars To Play Rubbers at Westwood,” Dayton Herald, May 20, 1920: 16.

“Wife Had To Work, Charge,” Dayton Daily News, January 29, 1925: 15.

“Hups, Coopers and Ford Win,” Dayton Daily News, Dayton Daily News, August 17, 1926: 9.

“Pfeiffer, Mills Take No Chances,” Dayton Daily News, September 15, 1936: 20.

“John W. Carr,” Dayton Daily News, April 8, 1939: 16.


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