Weed Historic Lumber Town Museum

Cemetery Studies

William “Bub” Anthony Caldwell

by Deb Wilson, 2010

veterinary trunk

Inside Dr. Caldwell's Veterinary Trunk
(click on image to see larger picture)


William “Bub” Anthony Caldwell

Born: September 25, 1869 in Siskiyou County, California.

Parents are Andrew Jackson “Jack” and Leona (Arbaugh) Caldwell. Bub never married.

Died: July 22, 1941. Buried in Edgewood with family members.


Andrew and John Caldwell - click to see larger imageIt seems that William and his siblings were all born at the homestead of Andrew and Leona which is now the “Mole-Richardson” Ranch just off of old Hwy 99 outside of Edgewood. His older brother John, who was born June 6, 1868, died October 7, 1890 at the age of 22. Andrew, their dad, died June 22, 1889 only a year before, at age 58. That left William as the oldest living child to help his mom Leona with the ranch. His other siblings are:

Andrew Jackson Caldwell: born April 9, 1871

Harry A. Caldwell: born Jan.3, 1874

Mattie Ann Caldwell: born Feb. 3, 1876

Edward Harrison Caldwell: born June 9, 1878

The ranch was first homesteaded for a blacksmith shop by Clarkson and Raynes in 1852, then sold to John Sissel. Sissel then sold it to Andrew Caldwell. The residence was built in 1859. Andrew and Leona were married January 1, 1867 by the Honorable A.W. Rosborough. More land was purchased which made their estate over 800 acres, along with water rights. They planted large gardens and were well known for the cherry trees. Besides cattle they raised horses and mules. It seems Andrew had a special hand with horses and he seems to have passed this on to his son “Bub“. Andrew learned the trade of blacksmithing in Illinois.

Census 1880 shows William going to Cedar Park School, which no longer exists, in the Edgewood Township.

William went to Galesburg, Illinois to Browns Business College and returned home a few years later (circa 1891).

The 1900 U.S. Census shows William in Edgewood, age 30, single and a farmer.

His San Francisco Veterinary College year book shows him as a graduate in 1906-1907. The college went through the big earthquake of 1906, and closed in 1918, and had a total of 330 graduates. William is immediately hired by the State of California as a sheep inspector. He worked in the Red Bluff area for two years before returning home to Edgewood. He was the first Veterinarian in Siskiyou County.

San Francisco Veterinary College year book, 1906-1907
William Caldwell is in the back row, second from the left


In the 1910 U.S. Census he is a Veterinary Surgeon age 38 and works at and from home. Dr. Caldwell specialized in horses and was a qualified surgeon. He took care of the Weed/Long Bell and McCloud Lumber Company horses, to name a few. There was no phone on the ranch so the calls to Dr. Caldwell were sent to Ed Cavanaugh’s Store in Edgewood, who would see that the message was sent to the ranch.

veterinary trunk veterinary trunk

Dr. Caldwell's Veterinary Trunk at the Weed Historic Lumber Town Museum
(click on image to see larger picture)

The 1920 U.S. Census shows William Caldwell as single and a general farmer (they must have forgot to include he was a veterinarian). His mom Leona decides to sell the ranch in 1920 to Mr. Clark from Los Angeles. She was in her 70s and no one in the family was able to take it over.

In 1924 Dr. Caldwell was called to work for the State of California again for an epidemic of “hoof and mouth” disease that had broken out. He was in Redding, California for six months inspecting and quarantining animals. He was glad to be able to return to Edgewood, where he lived with his brother Edward’s family. His mother Leona was living there as well. There he continued with his veterinarian business. Edward’s son, Willard, was very fond of his Uncle “Bub” and learned the trade of being a vet as an apprentice.

I remember interviewing Ernie Bridwell from Gazelle and I mentioned something about the Caldwells. He said “All those Caldwell men were vets.” Ernie would call Willard to tend his horses when it was needed.

The 1930 U.S. Census shows Bud still living with his brother Ed Caldwell off of the the Stage Road north of Weed, and practicing his D.V.S. Because of the Depression and animals not being needed as much for logging and ranching, he devoted much of his time to smaller animals. He is remembered by people of this area for never refusing to care for a sick animal, even though he did not always receive payment.

On July 22, 1941, Dr. William Anthony Caldwell died from the effects of a sun stroke at age 72. The following year, December 14, 1943 his mom, Leona, passed away at the age of 94. Sister, Mattie Ann Caldwell (she never married), died May 20, 1944 at age 72. They are buried with the family in Edgewood.

Edgewood Cemetery

Caldwell family plot in the Edgewood Cemetery

William Caldwell (1869-1941) Leona (1848-1943) and Mattie (1876-1944) Caldwell


Information from:

History Siskiyou County California by Harry L. Wells, 1881

Siskiyou Pioneer, 1991

George Washington Arbaugh by Linda J. Yobonsky

The San Francisco Veterinary College Quarterly Bulletin, 1906

Interview with Ernest Bridwell at his home in Gazelle, 2001