"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"


Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.

Biography of


Caldwell, Robert Dorland, who came to Rhinelander at an early date in its history and made his home in this city until his recent death at the age of 62 years, was one of the best known lumbermen in the Northwest. He was born in Brighton, Ontario, July 14, 1860, son of Robert and Sarah (MACDONALD) CALDWELL, and was educated in his native province, remaining at home until he was 17 years of age. In 1878 he corssed the border into the United States, and locating in Michigan, where he began his career as a lumber worker and entered the employ of F. S. ROBBINS. It was in 1888 that he came to Rhinelander, six years after the founding of the village, and here he found himself in a congenial atmosphere. He became a trusted employee of the Brown & Robbins Lumber Company, for whom until 1919 he operated camps in Wisconsin and Michigan. He then entered the employ of the Thunder Lake Lumber Company and was placed in charge of their logging and railroad operations. In that capacity he was serving until the time of his death, which occurred at his home in Rhinelander, after a brief illness, March 4, 1923. Having spent practically all his life at logging, Mr. CALDWELL was regarded as one of the most efficient men in the industry, and was an active man for his age, enjoying outdoor exertion. He possessed the rare ability to handle large numbers of men successfully, and held the respect and confidence of those under his supervision, who knew that he was never unregardful of their welfare. He was vice president of the Robbins Lumber Co. and a stockholder in several important industrial concerns in Rhinelander, while fraternally he was affiliated with Rhinelander Lodge No. 598, B.P.O.E. He took great comfort in his home life, was a supporter of the best interests of the city, and had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, including most, if not all, of the prominent lumbermen of this region. Mr. CALDWELL was married March 26, 1888 to Etta BERGER, daughter of Henry and Marcella (ROBBINS) BERGER. Her parents were among the first settlers of Osceola, Mich. Mr. and Mrs. CALDWELL had two children, Robert L. and James M. the latter of whom is given separate mention in this volume. Robert L. CALDWELL, like his father, became connected with the lumber industry and for many years was in the employ of the Robbins Lumber Company. When the C. C. Collins company purchased the mill from Mr. ROBBINS in 1917 he remained there, transferring his service, and he now holds the position of general superintendent. He married Lucille BISHOP. The passing of Robert D. CALDWELL makes another broken link in the long change of events pertaining to a great industry which had more to do than any other with building up the great Northwest. In addition to his wife and the two sons mentioned, Mr. CALDWELL left two brothers, William D. CALDWELL of Brighton, Ontario, and James T. CALDWELL of Chicago. On the afternoon when his last remains were confided to earth, the Thunder Lake Lumber Co. stopped logging operations and closed its mills so that its employees could attend the funeral.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 216 (with picture), History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co.

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