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Below is a family biography included in The History of Benton County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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James R. Caldwell. Closely associated with the farming interests of Benton County stands the name of Mr. Caldwell, who was born in Bourbon County, Ky., and is the son of Thomas Caldwell. The latter was one of the early settlers of Kentucky, and was intimately acquainted with Daniel Boone. J. R. Caldwell came to Missouri and settled in Callaway County fifty-nine years ago, when he was but a lad of ten. He was reared here when the territory was indeed wild and uninhabited. Snakes were everywhere, and wild animals abounded on the prairie and in the forest. It was an ordinary sight to see from twenty-five to one hundred deer in a drove, or from twenty to forty elk. He married Miss Elizabeth Jane Davis, daughter of Gerald Davis, February 25, 1847, and moved to Benton County, Mo., in 1854, entering the farm where he now resides. There he has since lived, with the exception of a few years during the war. He has held the office of justice of the peace for ten consecutive years and notary public four years. Mr. Caldwell is a farmer and stock-raiser, and the owner of one of the finest horses in the county, “Cleveland Bay.” This horse has taken three premiums at the Henry County Fair, the first being for all purposes, second as the best harness horse, and third for feeing one of the best colts of “Bay Splendor,” owned by Dr. Robinson, of Henry County. Mr. Caldwell is a member of the Temperance lodge, also the Masonic lodge; is a member of the Old School Presbyterian Church, and is a Democrat in politics. To his marriage were born the following children: Mary, who married Edgar Smith, of Benton County, and who is now living in California; Eleanor married John Harper, of Henry County, and is now residing in Calhoun; she is the mother of two children: Amelia (deceased) was the wife of Peter H. Plank, of Bringhurst, Ind., and was the mother of eight children, six of whom survive her; Margaret married George McDaniels and is the mother of two children. The sons are Charles T. G., Caldwell, James Ewen, and Robert B. Caldwell. Robert only remains at home. Mrs. Elizabeth Jane Caldwell died August 26, 1874, in her forty-sixth year. In many respects she was one of the best women the world has ever known. A true lady, she was the embodiment of every excellence, and none knew her well but to admire her. Mr. Caldwell was married again, January 1, 1877, to Mrs. Eliza A. Burns, widow of James Burns, of Warsaw, who was killed at the battle of Pea Ridge, in 1861.

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This family biography is one of 86 biographies included in The History of Benton County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Benton County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Benton County, Missouri family biographies here: Benton County, Missouri Biographies

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