John E. CALDWELL was a California pioneer, and devoted many years to his useful life to the mercantile business in San Francisco.


He was born in New Jersey, in March 1811, of Revolutionary stock and of English descent. His first American ancestors came to this country in the 1600s. He was reared and educated in New Jersey and Philadelphia, subsequently moved out to Illinois and arrived in California October 10, 1853, having made the journey across the plains with ox team. It was a six months trip from Council Bluffs, Iowa. Mr. CALDWELL was not of the rough, adventuresome type that took naturally to the experiences of mining, and found his chief work in the mercantile lines. However, he served as a member of one of the early Vigilance Committee of San Francisco. He died August 31, 1887.


He married in 1845, Springfield, Illinois, and was the father of six children. Among those who grew to mature years were: Anna D., who married Thomas J. CURRY and is deceased; Frank, deceased; and Julia ALAMEDA, a native of Alameda County, California. Julie ALAMEDA became the wife of Frank Orrin HALE, who was born near Halfmoon Bay in California in 1862, and was a hoisting engineer by trade. He died March 10, 1922. Mrs. HALE is the mother of four children: Frances, at home; Mabel, wife of Leonard Osborn and the mother of three children, Frank, Dorris and Charles: Eugene C; and Jewel, deceased was the wife of James Green HOW and the mother of a daughter, Virginia. Mrs. HALE is a resident of San Francisco. Mr. HALE was a Mason and a member of the Junior Order United American Mechanics. Mrs. HALE is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Association of Pioneer Women of California.


Transcribed by Deana Schultz.

Source: "The San Francisco Bay Region" Vol. 3 page 244-245 by Bailey Millard. Published by The American Historical Society, Inc. 1924.

2004 Deana Schultz.


California Biography Project


San Francisco County


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Golden Nugget Library