Tod R. Caldwell

          Tod Robinson Caldwell - (1818-1874) Tod Robinson Caldwell was born 19th day of February 1818, the second child of John Caldwell and Hannah Robinson Caldwell which was married in 1815. He attended the ordinary schools of the county until March 1833, when he was placed in charge of a new stock of goods where he continued until the beginning of the next year when he was taken from the business and placed at school at Hillsboro under the late W. J. Bingham. He was diligent student and matriculated at the University of North Carolina during the week of the commencement in1836. His class was perhaps the largest that ever entered the University up to that period.
          At college he read law in addition to his other studies, with Governor Swain, and having graduated in June 1840 with honors, he was the next week licensed by the Supreme Court to practice law. He was the first person who ever graduated at the University and obtained a license to practice law at the same time.
          In December of the same year he married Minerva Ruffin, the daughter of William Cain of Orange County. He settled at once in Morganton, occupying the house in which he was born and continued to practice his profession with success until he succeeded Governor Holden.
          He first engaged in politics in 1842, when he, together with the late W. W. Avery and O. J. Neal, were elected to represent the county of Burke in the House of Commons. He was several times returned to the House and once or perhaps twice elected to the Senate. He was an elector on the Taylor ticker in 1848, was a candidate for Congress and was defeated in 1868 and elected Governor in 1872.
          Tod R. Caldwell had five children, two sons and three daughters. His first son was killed at the battle of Gettysburg when he had just completed the 17th year of his life. His second son died in infancy. His daughters married Dr. Waightstill A. Collett, Lieut. Edward Ward, U.S.A., and Mr. Walter Brem of Charlotte.
          The land for both Slades Chapel and Gaston Chapel was given by Governor Caldwell. They were part of his homeplace.
          Taken in part from "The Heritage of Burke County," 1981, The  Burke County Historical Society, as written in part by Mary Kistler Stoney, from family papers of Mary Kistler Stoney, great granddaughter of Tod R. Caldwell.

          Picture of historic marker by Dewey E. Fox and picture of Tod R. Caldwell from "The Heritage of Burke County," 1981.

          The Tod R. Caldwell historic marker is located, but has been moved due to new construction, at the corner of East Union and Green Streets in Morganton, N. C.


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