Decatur County, Iowa
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Obituary ~ Alexander Caldwell
May 24, 1817 ~ April 18, 1901
Decatur County Journal
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
April 25, 1901
OBITUARY - ELDER A. CALDWELL
On Thursday evening, April 18, 1901, at 5 o'clock, occurred the death of ALEXANDER CALDWELL, one of the pioneer settlers of Decatur County. He had been gradually failing in health for several months, and at length passed away as the result of the diseases and weakness incident to old age.
MR. CALDWELL was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, May 24, 1817, which would make him 83 years, 10 months and 24 days old. His parents were prominent and wealthy Virginians. His grandfather settled in Wheeling near which place he entered 10,000 acres of land. MR. CALDWELL had one sister and two brothers, all of whom are dead, and his only relatives, besides his children, are two nieces who live in Illinois. After locating in Fairfield in 1838, MR. CALDWELL engaged in business and sold goods for nearly seventeen years. He was very successful in business and when he located in Decatur City in 1855, he had accumulated a fortune of $25,000. For several years he was the heaviest taxpayer in Decatur County.
In 1841 MR. CALDWELL was united in marriage to MISS MAXEY B. SHELTON, to which union four children were born, two of whom died in infancy. His surviving children are JOHN M., of Council Bluffs and J.A. CALDWELL, now residing in this city. MRS. CALDWELL died about a year ago.
The deceased purchased a store in Decatur City in 1855 and continued in business until 1873 when he sold out and in l875 came to Leon where he resided most of the remainder of his life.
In 1858 MR. CALDWELL joined the Advent Church and became a preacher of that faith. During the summer of 1873 he traveled through southwestern Iowa holding meetings in a tent and always paying his own expenses. In 1872 the Advents held a series of meetings in a big tent in Leon lasting six weeks, and MR. CALDWELL entertained the people who attended at an expense of $1,000. He was a prominent and zealous member of his church and spent hundreds of dollars in extending its doctrines.
MR. CALDWELL was not an active politician, but he attached himself to the principles of the republican party and always manifested a deep concern in public affairs. He was a patriotic citizen, devoted to the welfare of his country and its flag.
Although a business man of more than ordinary capacity he died in poverty, his fortune having gradually been dissipated by business losses and his liberality. His case furnishes another illustration of the fact that old age and penury meet when those who toil and gain fail to save their accumulations.
MR. CALDWELL was not only a good man in his relations at home, but he was a good man in the community in which he lived. As a citizen he was respected and beloved; as an indulgent husband and father his example is worthy of emulation; and as a member of the church of his choice he was faithful and zealous. He had reached that age when it may be said his
sun went down at eventide.
The funeral was largely attended, many being present who had known deceased in his younger and more prosperous days. The services were conducted by Elder Williams, assisted by Revs. Edwards and Biggs, Friday morning at 10 o'clock, after which the deceased was buried by the side of his wife in Leon Cemetery.
The world is all a fleeting show,
For man's illusion given;
The smiles of joy, the tears of woe,
Deceitful shine, deceitful flow;
There's nothing true but Heaven.
Poor wanderers of a stormy day,
From wave to wave we're driven;
And fancy's flash and reason's ray
Serve but to light the troubled way;
There's nothing calm but Heaven!
Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
July 10, 2001
~ ~ ~ ~
The Leon Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
Thursday, April 25, 1909, p. 2 col. 4
“Alexander Caldwell was born in Wheeling, Va., in May 1818 and died in Decatur County, Iowa April 18, 1901, aged 83 years. In 1838 the deceased came west and located at Fairfield, Iowa where was married to Maxie B Shelton in 1841. To this union was born four sons, two dying in infancy and two surviving J.A. Caldwell of Leon and John Caldwell of Council Bluffs. Mrs Caldwell died a few years ago in this city. He came to Decatur county in 1857 and continued a resident of the county until his death. He was converted in 1857 and joined the Christian Church but left it a year later to join the Seventh Day Advent church of which he was a member at the time of his death. He became an ordained minister and for many years preached the gospel from the pulpit. A number of years ago Rev. Caldwell lost his eyesight, but a few years ago an operation restored his sight and he has been a familiar figure on our streets until the past few months when his health failed. The funeral services were held from the home of his son, J. A. Caldwell, Saturday morning at 10 o’clock, the services being conducted by Elder Williams of the Advent church. His remains were tenderly laid to rest in the Leon cemetery by the side of his beloved wife who had preceded him to a home on high.”
Submitted by Pam Shelton-Anderson, 21 Jan 2001