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Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company

Page 608


Charles E. Caldwell is engaged in the cultivation of a one hundred and sixty acre tract of land in Staunton township that has been in his father's family for the greater part of a century. Mr. Caldwell was born in the township where he now resides on the 12th of February, 1858, and is a son of H. J. and Nancy (Griffiths) Caldwell. In the paternal line he is of Irish extraction, being descended from George Caldwell, who was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1802. There he grew to manhood and was educated, spending the first twenty-six years of his life in the land of his nativity. In 1823 he was married to Miss Mary Johnson, and soon thereafter they took passage for the United States. Upon their arrival in this country they located at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they resided until 1836. There, during the period of President Jackson's administration, Mr. Caldwell was officially connected with the custom house. In 1836 with his wife and family he migrated to Macoupin county, settling on a tract of land about three miles east of Staunton, that had been previously preempted by his brother Henry, who had been a resident of the county for some years. Staunton at that time contained but two or three houses, and was surrounded by unbroken prairie, which was very sparsely settled. The nearest mill and market was at Alton, where the settlers for miles around were forced to take their grain to have it ground, and buy their supplies. Here Mr. Caldwell reared his family and assisted in establishing churches, and schools, and various public utilities. He was an enterprising, progressive man and having implicit confidence in the future of the country applied his energies not only toward the development of his private interests but those of the community at large. He lived to attain a ripe old age and passed away at the home of his son, the father of our subject, at the age of eighty-five years. His wife had died three years previously being seventy-five years old at the time of her demise. H. J. Caldwell was a lad of eight years when his parents emigrated to Illinois, his birth having occurred in Philadelphia on the 16th of March, 1828. His education, which had been started in the public schools of his native city, was completed in those of Macoupin county, where he grew to manhood. He remained at home assisting his father in the cultivation of the farm until his marriage to Miss Griffiths, which event occurred at Hillsborough. She was born in Montgomery, Illinois, on the 6th of September, 1832, and is a daughter of John and Harriet (Pyatt) Griffith, the father being a native of Tennessee and the mother of North Carolina. They began their domestic life on the farm in Staunton township where Mr. Caldwell passed away on the 30th of May, 1904, at the age of seventy-six years. He was always more or less prominently connected with public affairs in Macoupin county, where he served as justice of the peace for four years. Fraternally he was identified with the Masonic order, holding membership in this county, and at one time he was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is survived by his wife, who continues to live on the old homestead. In Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell's family were six children: George N., John T., and Mary, who died in infancy; George B., who passed away at the age of nineteen years; Charles E., the subject of this sketch; and James H., who is operating the home farm for his mother.

Reared on the farm where he was born, Charles E. Caldwell during his boyhood attended the district schools of the vicinity, but later supplemented the education therein obtained by a course in a school in St. Louis, where he studied for a time. He subsequently returned to his father's farm, in the operations of which he assisted until his marriage. Immediately following this event he settled on his grandfather's old homestead, and there he has ever since resided. Here he is engaged in general farming and stock-raising, in both of which he has met with good success. In connection with his son he also owns a tract of land in Arkansas county, Arkansas.

In 1885 Mr. Caldwell was married to Miss Elizabeth Voyles and they have become the parents of five children: Nellie, the wife of John W. Hoxsey, of Staunton, by whom she has had one child, Roy Everett; and Roy, Nona Belle, Gracie and Daisy B., all of whom are at home.

Fraternally Mr. Caldwell affiliates with the Modern Woodmen of America, belonging to the camp at Staunton; in politics he is a democrat, and for over twenty years has been filling the office of highway commissioner in his township. During the entire period of his life he has maintained the high standard of citizenship that has characterized his family for the three generations they have been residents of the county, and has many stanch friends in the community where he is living.

1911 Index
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