David Henry Caldwell

Male12 September 1828–28 November 1904

Brief Life History of David Henry

DAVID HENRY AND FANNY CATHERINE JOHNSON CALDWELL David Henry Caldwell, born the 12th day of September, 1828, at Perth, Lanark, Ontario, Canada. David Henry was the son of David Caldwell, who was born at Belfast, Ireland in 1781, and of Mary Ann Vaughn, who was born in 1791 at Glasgow, Scotland. His paternal grandparents were John Caldwell and Nancy Wooden, born at Belfast, Ireland (date not known). His parents in early married life, left Scotland and emigrated to Canada, located near Perth, then upper Canada, now Ontario. Here he became a prosperous farmer, tilling 200 acres of land, with the assistance of his three sons. This being the personal record of one of them. The family was noted for their thrift, honesty and fair dealings. They did not, however, belong to any church, but through their simple and clean mode of life, being unprejudiced and unbiased in their opinions, the message of the restored gospel as presented to them by Elder John Barrowman, appealed to them. Thus after due investigation they accepted the gospel and were baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the year 1843. The entire family of nine, with the exception of one married sister was baptized. Another case where, in the words of the Master, "My sheep hear my voice and follow me." After this their home became a haven of rest for the missionaries and a place where meetings were often held. Shortly after this they became very desirous of uniting with the members of the church, the headquarters of which were then at Nauvoo, Ill. Thus in the year 1846, they sold their property in Canada and in company with a group of friends and neighbors of the same faith, set out for Nauvoo. About this time, his father's health failed and they were compelled to stop at Monroe, in the state of Michigan, where they resided for several years. Here his father died and was buried in 1849. Though the family, for several years, was without the good influence of a church organization, the subject of this sketch kept himself aloof from the contaminating influences of the world, was very zealous in observing the gospel laws and, while there, was ordained a teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood. In the spring of 1852, David Henry, in company with two younger brothers (Abraham Vaughn and Isaac James) made preparation to emigrate to Salt Lake Valley in the Rocky Mountains where the headquarters of the church were now established. These three young men had not only the responsibility of an aged and widowed mother but also that of an older and widowed sister, Caroline C. Neddo and her son Isaac. Also, two children of their deceased sister Jane C. Leonard. Their names were David Henry and Anne Leonard. Meeting with so many difficulties, they were compelled to spend the winter of 1852-53 in St. Louis, Missouri. However, in the spring of 1853, they were successful in connecting with a fifty-wagon emigrant company at Winter Quarters, Missouri, who were bound for the same destination. The captain of the company was Moses Clawson. For that day and time, the Caldwell's had what was considered good equipment for the journey. Two wagons drawn by two span of horses and three yoke of oxen. Also had two cows and ample provisions. In fact, they had the only horse in the company of fifty-eight wagons. With the exception of an occasional stampede of their animals and the coming into their camp, one night, of two mountaineers who, for safety, were put under guard until morning, nothing of a startling nature happened during their journey across the plains. This company arrived at their destination, Salt Lake Valley, on the 17th day of September, 1853. After his arrival, David Henry located at English Fort, later known as Taylorsville, for about three years. Here he met the lady who was to become his life's companion, Fanny Catherine Johnson. And on the 24th day of January, 1856, they became husband and wife. This record would be entirely incomplete if it did not contain a biographical sketch of the wonderful lady who became the wife of this good man. She who stood by his side through the years, sharing his joys and sorrows. With the heart and hand of one, they fought life's battles. And here we leave it for you of the future who may read this record, to judge for yourselves whether or not they were successful. Fanny Catherine Johnson, born 24th November, 1840, at Kirtland, Ohio, daughter of Luke S. Johnson and Susan Arminda Poteet. She spent the first six years of her life in Kirtland, where she said she often played in the shade of the temple erected by the church of which they were members. Her father being a member of the first Quorum of Twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the year 1846, she, with her parents and five brothers and sisters, left Kirtland for Council Bluffs, Iowa. During the journey, her mother became ill and died, and was buried in the woods in an unmarked grave. This left father to continue the journey with six small, motherless children. This incident, of great sorrow, my mother often spoke of with great emotion. After this, the family continued their journey to Council Bluffs where they resided for about seven years. During this time, her father became a member and attending physician of the first company of Mormon immigrants who entered the Salt Lake Valley, 24 July, 1847. Returning to Council Bluffs some time later, preparations were commenced for the family, along with other members of the church, to migrate to the newly discovered haven of rest in the Rocky Mountains. Accordingly, in the spring of 1853, they commenced the long trek across the plains. Arriving at their destination in the autumn of that year, mother often spoke of a feat performed by she and her elder sister, Eliza, that of driving cows the entire distance on foot, without shoes. As stated above, on January the 24th, 1856, Fanny Catherine became the wife of David Henry Caldwell and from here this record will deal with that union. Their first place of residence was Taylorsville, Utah, where he, in company with others, dug a canal from the Jordan River through which to procure water to irrigate their land. But, owing to the fact that there was so much alkali in the land, they were unable to make a bank of the Canal hold. After losing their crops or the greater portion thereof for several years, they decided to change their place of residence. Thus in the spring of 1857, they took their little daughter, Emily Maria, who had come to bless their home, and moved to Shambip, later known as Clover Creek in Rush Valley, Tooele County, in the state of Utah. Here again, they encountered the trials and troubles incident to pioneer life. Their household effects were of a very humble nature, mostly being home made. Their tools and implements were crude indeed. Yet with the scrubbing board, home made tallow candles, scythe, hand rake, cradle and flail, they went forward. The sage brush and other things that infested the land, the grasshoppers, crickets and other pests, had to yield to their indomitable will. The virgin soil was brought under cultivation, water was diverted from its' natural course to irrigate the parched ground. With such tools as they were able to procure, the land was prepared and crops planted, sown by hand, harvested with a cradle, bound in bundles by hand, threshed with a flail. Hay cut with a scythe, raced by hand. Surely God foresaw the faith, courage and perseverance that men and women of their day and time would possess when he said through his prophet Isaiah, "The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose." Not the least of these good peoples troubles and fears were the Indians, who then were very treacherous. They would often lie in ambush until the men were gone to work and would come to the house and frighten the women. Of these conditions, David Henry had this to say; "When we first settled Rush Valley, the Indians were very troublesome. Often after our day's work was done, we would have to stand guard at night in order to protect our families and live stock. The men taking turns as sentinels. After all our precautions, they stole many of our animals and slaughtered them. I have been on three expeditions to recover animals they had stolen. The first one in May 1858, to recover the body of Joseph Vernon, who had been killed by the Redskins, near the town of Vernon, which bears his name. Luke S. Johnson was captain of this expedition. The last, with myself in command, when we recovered all our stolen cattle except one. We were shot at many times and one horse I was riding was shot." No doubt the experience Captain Caldwell had previously as a commanding officer in the Utah Militia fitted him for this work. The sword he carried on these expeditions may be seen with other relics, in the Utah State Capital. When a boy, I heard my mother relate this story; "Old Narricut, a very treacherous Goshute, stealthily walked into the house and demanded the pan of potatoes I was preparing for dinner. These he took and asked for more. When I told him I had no more, which was correct, he became very angry and threw one at me, barely missing my head and smashed to pieces against the log wall." During these Indian troubles, David and Fanny used the good sense and judgement, where possible, of feeding rather than fighting them. And thus among the Goshutes they became known as "Uncle Dave" and "Aunt Panny." As a boy I saw Dick Mooneye and five other braves ride into our yard and Dick called out, "Aunt Panny, breakfast for six, please!" The reply; "All right Dick!", and in a little more time than it takes to tell it, the order was filled and so were the Indians and the braves were on their way. Author: Walter Herbert Caldwell, 11th child of David and Fanny, See a more complete history under memories at this site. Addendum: David Henry was sealed to Harriet Staples for a brief time. Print: By Michael R. Caldwell g-g grandson.

Photos and Memories (39)

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Family Time Line

David Henry Caldwell
Fanny Catherine Johnson
Marriage: 24 January 1855
Emily Maria Caldwell
David Henry Caldwell Jr
Alice Arminda Caldwell
Fanny Adeline Caldwell
Caroline Elizabeth Caldwell
Susan Vashtia Caldwell
James Albert Caldwell
John Edgar Caldwell
Abraham Alvin Caldwell
Orson Luke Caldwell
Walter Herbert Caldwell
Mary Ann Caldwell
Ida Virginia Caldwell
Joseph Howard Caldwell
Elsie Eliza Caldwell
Sarah Ethel Caldwell

Sources (30)

  • David H Caldwell in entry for Virginia C Jordan, "California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994"
  • David H Caldwell, "United States Census, 1870"
  • D. H. Caldwell in entry for Alexander Fleming and Elsie Eliza Caldwell, "Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950"

Spouse and Children

  • Marriage
    24 January 1855Taylorsville, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
  • Children (16)

    +11 More Children

    Parents and Siblings

    Siblings (10)

    +5 More Children

    World Events (8)

    1830 · The Second Great Awakening

    Age 2

    Being a second spiritual and religious awakening, like the First Great Awakening, many Churches began to spring up from other denominations. Many people began to rapidly join the Baptist and Methodist congregations. Many converts to these religions believed that the Awakening was the precursor of a new millennial age.

    1830 · The Oregon Trail

    Age 2

    Many people started their 2,170-mile West trek to settle the land found by Louis and Clark. They used large-wheeled wagons to pack most of their belongings and were guided by trails that were made by the previous trappers and traders who walked the area. Over time the trail needed annual improvements to make the trip faster and safer. Most of Interstate 80 and 84 cover most of the ground that was the original trail.


    Age 20

    Historical Boundaries: 1848: Mexican Cession, United States 1850: Utah Territory, United States 1851: Davis, Utah Territory, United States 1896: Davis, Utah, United States

    Name Meaning

    English, Scottish, and northern Irish: habitational name from any of several places in England and Scotland, variously spelled, that are named with Old English ceald ‘cold’ + well(a) ‘spring, stream’. Caldwell in North Yorkshire is one major source of the surname; Caldwell in Renfrewshire in Scotland another. Possibly also from Caldwell (Warwickshire), Caldwall (Worcestershire), Cauldwell (Bedfordshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire), Caudle Green (Gloucestershire), Caudle Ditch or Cawdle Fen (Cambridgeshire), Chadwell (Essex, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire, Wiltshire), Chardwell (Essex), or Chardle Ditch (Cambridgeshire, early recorded as Kadewelle).

    Irish: when not the English surname, this is an Anglicized form of Ó Fuarghuis or Ó hUarghusa ‘descendant of (F)uarghus’, a personal name whose literal sense ‘cold’ + ‘choice’ was reinterpreted as coming from fuaruisce ‘cold water’.

    History: Several Caldwells emigrated from Scotland to America by way of Ireland in the 18th century. James Caldwell (1734–81), a son of settler John Caldwell, was born in Charlotte County, VA, and was a militant clergyman during the revolutionary war. Andrew Caldwell, a Scottish farmer, emigrated to North America in 1718 and started a family in Lancaster County, PA. His son David was a Presbyterian clergyman and well-known revolutionary war patriot.

    Dictionary of American Family Names © Patrick Hanks 2003, 2006.

    Possible Related Names

    Story Highlight

    David Henry and Fanny Caldwell Grandparents of Samuel

    David Henry Caldwell, born the 12th day of September, 1828, at Perth, Lanark, Ontario, Canada. David Henry was the son of David Caldwell, who was born at Belfast, Ireland in 1781, and of Mar …

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