MARY'S GENEALOGY TREASURES
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Caldwell

Chief Mountain Country
page 61

The village of Caldwell was named for the family of David Henry and Sarah Caldwell. They came with 10 covered wagons and 50 horses from Utah, in 1898, and settled in that area. There were 47 people in the company, all relatives. At one time Caldwell had a population of over 300. There was a store operated by C. A. Perry, a church, a school and a post office. The Caldwell ward of the L.D.S. Church was organized in 1899 and existed until 1911. David Henry Caldwell was the first bishop, his son Henry Caldwell Jr. the second, and Isaac Allred was bishop when the ward dissolved. By 1911 the families all moved away, many of them to the U.l.D. Hillspring moving their houses to their new locations. A church house, a tithing barn and a school house were buildings left there. In 1978 the church house is still there but it has been converted into a barn. The tithing barn burned down and the school house was torn down. The land was bought by Bradshaw and Jacobs in 1910 and is now owned by Mervyn and Guy Jacobs, sons of the original owner. There is only one house still in existence of Dennis and Diana Jacobs.

The history of the Caldwell school No. 584 is one of a struggle to survive. There had to be school facilities provided for the children. Dahl Caldwell remembers the loads of lumber that were hauled from Fort Macleod by team, in the winter of 1899 and 1900. He remembers the celebration next summer when the building was completed, which was used for a church and a school at first. The desks were wide boards hinged to the wall that could be folded out of the way on Sunday. The school house was built a block from the church house, a typical red, single room, country school. By 1911 the school was closed because of too few students. In 1913 there were 5 children old enough for school in the district. In order to get a government grant there had to be at least 6 students enrolled so a five year old started school and this filled that requirement. The school continued until 1921 with never more than 12 students. Those starting in 1913 were now through grade eight and the school wasn't qualified to teach grade nine as that was considered the first year of High School. In 1921 the district consolidated with Mountain View making it possible to have a teacher for high school. In 1927 there were enough students in the Caldwell area to have a school again in the district, so they withdrew from the consolidation. The first part of the 1927-28 school year was taught in a room of the Nor- ton home until the new school was finished. For the next eight years the school carried on until it was finally closed again for lack of students. In 1935-36 it became part of the Mountain View District.

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Ghost Towns of Southern Alberta

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup