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William Caldwell

From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.

WILLIAM CALDWELL, a retired farmer residing on section 24, Raritan Township, is numbered among the early settlers ot Henderson County, dating his residence here from 1855. In the many years which have since come and none, he has witnessed many great changes. He has seen the wild land transformed into beautiful homes and farms, and has watched the growth and upbuilding of towns and villages. In the work of public improvement he has ever taken a commendable interest, and has always borne his part in the work of advancement.

Mr. Caldwell is a native of Ireland. He was born in County Antrim, December 18, 1826, and is a son of John and Annie (Robb) Caldwell, who were both natives of the Emerald Isle, but were of Scotch descent. Their family numbered nine children, three sons and six daughters. William spent the first twelve years of his life in Ireland, and then accompanied his parents in their emigration to America, in 1838. They boarded a sailing-vessel, which, after a voyage of six weeks, landed them safely in New York City. They took up their residence in Greene County, N. Y., where our subject remained until eighteen years of age, when he went to New Jersey. He there began working by the month as a farm hand, receiving $7 per month for his services, and, in connection with farm labor, he also followed the carpenter's trade.

It was in 1855 that Mr Caldwell left the East and came to Illinois. He first located near Gladstone, Henderson County, where he followed carpentering and farm work until 1858. He then began farming in his own interest, and in 1865 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of unimproved prairie land, constituting a part of the farm upon which he now resides. His agricultural labors, however, were interrupted on the 14th of May, 1864, by his enlistment for service among the boys in blue. He became a member of Company D, One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Illinois Infantry, was mustered in at Quiucy, and served for five months and fourteen days, after which he was honorably discharged.

On the 12th of March, 1866. Mr. Caldwell led to the marriage altar Miss Sophia Gould. He and his wife together now own seven hundred and sixty acres of valuable laud. All is well improved, and yields to the owners a good income.

Mr. Caldwell has become one of the substantial citizens of the county, and his career demonstrates what can be accomplished through industry, per- severance and judicious management, for he started out in life a poor boy. He exercises his right of franchise in support of the Republican party, and for seventeen years has faithfully served as Township Trustee. He is a consistent and active member of the Baptist Church , and is a highly-esteemed citizen, who well deserves representation in the history of his adopted county