Biography of John Henry Caldwell
The members of the Henry-Caldwell family are descended from ancient families of England, France, and Ireland.
Judge John Henry, head of the Henry-Caldwell family in Hawkinsville, was born June 12, in Belfast, Ireland. At the age of five years he came with his parents to this country, locating at Westfield, New York, and coming to Georgia as a very young man. For several years he lived at Hayneville, in Houston County, where he married Miss Civility Coates Kendrick, a descendant of some of the first families of Virginia, who served with distinction during the Colonial and Revolutionary periods.
Just after the War Between the States, Judge and Mrs. Henry, with their two children, Edwin and Amanda, moved to Hawkinsville.
Judge Henry was a man of broad vision, clear insight, and shrewd judgment in business. By his intelligence, thrift, and sound judgment, he acquired large holdings in farm lands, city property, stock in many business enterprises, and was one of the wealthiest. men in Pulaski County. He was one of the four men who organized the Hawkinsville Bank & Trust Company, one of the first banks in this section, which he served as vice president and director. He was one of the largest stockholders and depositors until his death on December 12, 1898. He served many years as county judge, during which time the present courthouse building was erected. In order to save the county the expense of an architect, Judge Henry drew the plans for this building and personally selected and supervised the planting of the elm trees which now give it such a beautiful setting. When the county funds were not sufficient to pay the jurors and other necessary court expenses, Judge Henry, out of his loyalty to the county, would advance the necessary amount, without interest.
He was never so absorbed in business as to neglect his religious duties. It was through his efforts and influence that St. Luke’s Episcopal Church was erected. He served as senior warden until his death, and was the largest contributor to the expenses of the church. All of his descendants have served this church either as officers, lay leaders, organists, or choir leaders. The large Colonial home of Judge Henry, one of the two oldest homes in the city, was noted for its hospitality. Many prominent Georgians were entertained there.
Mr. Edwin J. Henry, son of Judge and Mrs. Henry, was a leading spirit in the business, civic and religious affairs of the city and county. He held many positions of trust. He was president of the Hawkinsville Bank & Trust Company and was a large property owner. He was instrumental in organizing the public school system in Hawkinsville, and was a member of the first Board of Education, which position he held for many years. He was an officer in high Masonic orders, and was noted in this county as a public benefactor. It was through his efforts that the Henry Cotton Mill was erected. He was born December 24, 1852, and died November 13, 1932. His wife was Miss Clara May Russell. They left no issue.
Judge Henry’s daughter, Miss Amanda Henry, received her education at Wesleyan College, in Macon, later attending St. Mary’s College, Raleigh, N. C. She married Mr. S. M. Caldwell, son of Dr. William Caldwell and Mrs. Harriet Huff Caldwell, of Butler, Ga. Mr. Caldwell was a well-known business man of Hawkinsville and a man of honesty and integrity. He possessed many sterling qualities and faithfully discharged all private and public trusts. For many years he was superintendent of St. Luke’s Episcopal Sunday school. Mrs. Caldwell was a typical gentlewoman of the old South and a woman of broad intelligence and education. One of her outstanding traits was her loyalty to her church.
The lives of Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell exemplified the graces and virtues of the true Christian religion. They never neglected their duty to others, and were always ready to give sympathy and -assistance to others, especially those less fortunate.
The Caldwell family includes five children: John Henry, Emma Adele, May Louise, Effie Kendrick, and William Edwin, all of whom are now living, and several of whom are known in the business world as well as in musical and literary circles.
After finishing the Hawkinsville schools they were educated at Georgia colleges. John Henry Caldwell attended college at G. M. C., at Milledgeville. In business, he was cashier of the Hawkinsville Bank & Trust Company for years, and is at present associated with a South Carolina firm. On July 14, 1910, he married Annie Tennent, of Spartanburg, S. C.
Emma was educated at Brenau College, Gainesville, Ga., and May is a graduate of the same college, and is supervisor of music in the Cedartown, Ga., public school. Effie, who is gifted as a singer, studied at Mount de Sales Academy at Macon, Ga., and specialized in voice training in Atlanta.
William Edwin served with distinction overseas as a first lieutenant during the World War. He is now in business in Rome, Ga. He married Frances Randle, Rome, Ga., on March 14, 1931.