Monday, July 15, 2013

Samuel B. Caldwell

This painting of Samuel B. Caldwell, now at the Follett House Museum, was painted by a strolling artist, according to the donor, Mrs. Ethelinda Griswold Free. Samuel B. Caldwell was born in Washington County, New York in 1792. During the War of 1812, he took part in the battles of Plattsburg and Lake Champlain. He married Mary S. Cady in 1815. In 1817, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel B. Caldwell moved west, along with the family of Eleutheros Cooke. First the two families resided in Indiana, and later they moved to Bloomingville, in what is now Erie County, Ohio. After Mary Caldwell’s death in 1825, Samuel B. Caldwell moved to Sandusky, where he boarded at the Steamboat Hotel.  In 1827, Samuel married Susan Boalt, the daughter of the hotel’s proprietor, John Boalt. Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell lived in this stone house at 257 Jackson Street from about 1835 until the 1850s. The property at 257 Jackson Street is now a part of the First Presbyterian Church.

Samuel B. Caldwell was one of the first local school directors, and during the years 1837 to 1839, he was the Mayor of Sandusky. Hewson Peeke wrote in A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio, that Caldwell served as an Associate Judge of the Common Pleas Court, though his years of service were not listed. A biographical sketch of Judge Caldwell, which appeared in the Firelands Pioneer in 1874, stated that the judge “stored his mind with useful and varied information which he could command with facility as occasion required. He possessed a native modesty that prompted him to shun rather rather than court notoriety.”  He and his wife were very hospitable to family and friends. A letter from Judge Caldwell is held in the  historical collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. The Judge and his wife invited Samuel and Clara Butler to Thanksgiving dinner in 1846.

Judge Samuel B. Caldwell died on July 15, 1873. He was buried at Oakland Cemetery. Mrs. Susan Caldwell survived until 1886. A portrait of Mrs. Susan Caldwell can also be seen at the Follett House Museum.


PalmsRV said...

Nice War of 1812 reference!

PJ Cooke said...

I have no words to express my appreciation. This is my great, great grandfather. I had no idea these pictures existed.
I just don't know what else to say at this point. I am speechless.

PC Cooke said...

the follow up to my joy at seeing the photos was tempered by reading the card attached to the paintings. The last line said they had no children. You can imagine how upsetting I found that seeing as they are my great, great grandparents. After much research and help of a pro named Chris Staats I now know that Mary Susan was adopted. trying to find the records of her adoption from 1847 is proving to be a horrendous task. However, at least because of your posting this information I know more about what I don't know.