Willennar Genealogy Center’s collection is full of Throwback Thursday potential, so let’s get our #TBT on!
Eckhart Park is a familiar part of town, and usually associated with Mr. Charles Eckhart. But part of the park—at least as it is today—has a different story behind it. When you first enter the park, look to your left and you’ll see it: where the ball diamond stands is Carr Field, named in honor of Earl Carr.
Earl Carr was a student at Auburn High School in the 1930s, and seems to have been quite involved in both school and community activities. He was a member of the boy’s chorus, the Future Farmers of America, as well as the secretary of the Hi-Y Club and a member of Vern C. Clark’s Sunday school class at the local Church of Christ.
In addition to all of that, Earl Carr was an athlete, often going by the nickname “Stretch.” According to an article in the Evening Star, he was a letterman who played right end on the football team, center on the basketball team, and was an important member of the school’s track team as well. Well-liked as well, the same article notes that “Earl Carr was one of the most popular boys in the high school.”
It likely came as a shock, then, when a football injury took a turn for the worse, taking Earl’s life. While playing football on Saturday, October 30, 1937, at Auburn’s old athletics field, Earl received an abdominal injury, though he was able to walk off the field. It was expected that he would be out of school for several days to recover.
Sadly, the injury—a retro-peritoneal tear of the duodenum, according to his obituary—was too serious, and the Auburn High School junior died at 7:15pm at the Dr. J. A. Sanders Hospital.
A memorial page for Earl was added to the 1938 Auburn High School yearbook, and in 1939, when the new athletic field for the school was finished, it was decided to name the field after him: the Earl Carr Memorial Field.
In 2012, the DeKalb Central school board resolved to donate the field to the city of Auburn, and it is now a part of Eckhart Park.