from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
In taking up the personal history of Thomas W. CaIdwell we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known in Malmska county, especially in White Oak townshiip. He lives on section 20, where he owns a valuable farm of one hundred and eighty-seven acres, and to the further development and improvement of this place he is giving his attention with the result that he now has a valuable farm equipped with all modern conveniences. He was born in Tennessee, November 2, 1848, and came with his parents to Iowa when a child of only three years, thus dating his residence in the county since 1851. His father, Franklyn Caldwell, was a native of Tennessee and was reared and married there, Miss Sarah White becoming his wife. She, too, was born in Tennessee, as was her father. Franklyn Caldwell was a farmer by occupation and soon after his marriage removed to Iowa, where he entered land from the government. He began with eighty acres in White Oak township, on which not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made. In 1853 he began to cultivate and develop the property, on which he built a log house. As the years passed by he placed the land under the plow, and in the course of time gathered rich harvests. He afterward bought more hand and at the time of his death owned one hundred and twenty acres, which had been placed under a high state of cultivation and therefore brought to him a good financial return. He passed away in 1855, after which his widow, with the assistance of her children, carried on the home farm. They had a family of seven children, of whom four are yet living. Thomas W. Caldwell was reared on the old homestead and received but common-school advantages. As his age and strength permitted, he engaged more and more largely in the work of the fields, remaining with his mother throughout the period of his minority. The home property was afterward sold, and Thomas W. CaIdwell purchased the tract of land upon which he now resides, his mother coming to live with him. In 1876 he bought one hunchred and seventy-six acres of land, on which was a goad house and he has since erected a good barn and substantial outbuildings. He has also planted an orchard of three acres and has added various modern equipments which go to make up a model farm property of the twentieth century. His mother continued to reside with him until her death, which occurred in 1882, when she was seventy-three years of age. On the 23d of December, 1860, Thomas W. Caldwell had been married to Miss Mary J. Gordon, a native of Ohio and a daughter of Jasper Gordon, who was also a native of that state, but at an early age removed to Iowa. Mr. CaIdwell lost his first wife March 10, 1872. On the 3d of December, 1876, he married Mary A. Carpenter, a native of Indiana and a daughter of Asahel and Ann Carpenter, who were natives of Massachusetts and removed from New England to Indiana, where they spent their remaining days. Their daughter Mary came with a brother to Iowa. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell have been born seven children, of whom Frank died at the age of twelve years. Effa Pearl, the oldest surviving member of the family, is a school teacher, who, having taught for several years, is now assistant principal at Biwabik, Minnesota. Terry A. is at home and conducts a general mercantile store at White Oak, where he has a good business. Shirley A. is living at home and assists in carrying on the farm. Elsie, Vida and Opal are with their parents. In connection with the tilling of the soil Mr. Caldwell is engaged in raising good graded stock and feeds all of his grain. He has his farm under a good state of cultivation and has done some tiling. Both he and his wife attend the White Oak church. Politically he is an earnest republican, voting for the men and measures of the party because he has firm faith in its principles. He has held the office of township assessor for two terms, but prefers to give his time to his farm and business interests rather than to politics. His home is a model one and everything about the place indicates his careful supervision and progressive methods. Almost his entire life has been spent in Iowa and he is a typical citizen of this state, imbued with the spirit of progress and enterprise which have been the dominant factors in the upbuilding of the middle west. His aid can be counted upon to further progressive measures for the general good, and while advancing his individual interests he has also promoted the public welfare.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy