______; in 1840, 1,458; in 1850 2,316; in 1860, 5,034; 1870 11,371; of who 11,106 were
white, 384 colored; 5,959 male and 5,431 female; 10,625 native, and 675 foreign born.
The population at present is about 14,000.
Caldwell County is twenty-four miles in length, east and west, and eighteen miles in
breadth. Shoal Creek is its principal stream. It runs very nearly throughout
the central part of the County, from west to east, and empties into Grand river, about
four miles east of Utica. Its principal tributaries are Log, Long, Mud, Brush, Goose,
Mill, Poor Tom, Cottonwood and Turkey creeks. Crooked river drains the south-western
part of the County. These streams afford an abundant supply of water to all portions
of the County, for agricultural and mechanical purposes. Shoal creek has sufficient
fall to furnish fair water power. The banks of these streams are usually high and
bluffy, and are covered with timber. But the body of the Country, except in the
vicinity of these streams, is composed of undulating prairies, not so flat as to be
unhealthy, nor so steep as to be difficult of cultivation.
Soil & Products
The soil is deep, and a dark sandy loam, of great fertility. The chief
agricultural productions are corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, buck-wheat, sweet and Irish
potatoes, flax, timothy, clover, and millet. Blue grass seems to spring up
spontaneously. As soon as the prairies are closely pastured it supplants the prairie
grass. For pasturage our County is equal to the far-famed blue grass region of
The banks of the stream are covered with timber, which is very well distributed over
the County. The supply is ample for all reasonable wants. The kinds most
common are oak, elm, ash, hickory, cottonwood, walnut, crabapple, papaw and locust.
The soil and climate are well adapted to fruit growing. Melons of the finest
quality are produced in abundance. Orchard, bearing fine apples, peaches, plums and
cherries, are raised with but little trouble. Currants and gooseberries "seem
to the manor born," and cannot be excelled for size, quantity and quality. many
are beginning to turn their attention to the cultivation of grapes, and there are a number
of vineyards in the County which produce an excellent quality of luscious wine. Wild
grapes, blackberries and raspberries are abundant.
The Climate is variable. In the winter the thermometer sinks below zero, and the
creeks are frozen so as to admit the passage of horses and wagons on the ice; while the
summers are hot. The atmosphere is pure and dry. The climate is milder than
that of the same latitudes East of the Mississippi Valley, and the winters are through
severs, are drier and shorter. The spring and autumn are almost uniformly delightful
and salubrious. The last frost in spring usually occurs about April 1st, and the
earliest autumnal frost sets in about November.
Caldwell County has a good court-house and jail, and five good substantial bridges
across Shoal Creek, and is out of debt.
Underlying all the County there are immense beds of limestone, easily worked, and
furnishing an abundant supply of the best building material. Considerable quantities
of it are shipped to the cities and towns along the H. and St. Jo. Railroad. At some
future day these quarries are sure to be the source of a large income to the County.
According to Professor Swallow, State Geologist, who made a geological survey of the
section, the County falls within the coal fields which abound in the state.
According to his theory, there is under all this region of country immense deposits of
coal awaiting development to minister to the wants and comforts of the inhabitants.
A small amount of capital and pluck [sic] would obtain a rich reward, if devoted to
exploring and opening up thse mines. In the bluffs, near the junction of Log and
Shoal Creek, a very fine quality of sand-stone, rivaling the quarries of Carroll County,
for building and mechanical purposes, may be found in inexhaustible quantities.
Change of County Seat
Burning of Records
Since the War
Soil & Products