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Cadwell, Franklin
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Cadwell, Franklin
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 388-390


In the death of Franklin Cadwell at his home in Griggsville on the 28th of January, 1906, the county lost one of its pioneer settlers, who assisted in laying the foundation for the upbuilding of western Illinois. His last years were spent in retirement from labor in his Griggsville home, but at one time he was successfully and extensively engaged in fruit-growing and his business interests resulted in the acquirement of a capital that now enables him to rest in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil. He was born in Kentucky, October 4, 1828, and came to Illinois in 1835 with his parents, William and Elizabeth (McFarland) Cadwell. In the father's family were seven children, of whom two are living: Addison, who resides in Pittsfield and has served as assessor and collector of the county; and Lucinda, the wife of George Crumb, a resident of Los Angeles, California. The father became one of the pioneer settlers of Pike county, arriving in Illinois in 1835. He secured a tract of land and began farming, following that occupation until his death in his sixty-fifth year. His wife survived him and died in her seventieth year. Mr. Cadwell was a Jeffersonian democrat and was one of the esteemed and worthy early settlers of this portion of the state. He aided in reclaiming the wild land for the purposes of civilization and took a helpful part in every movement calculated to benefit the county and produce modern progress.

Franklin Cadwell was but seven years of age when brought to Pike county by his parents and was here reared amid the wild scenes, conditions and environments of pioneer life, sharing with the family in all the hardships and trials incident to the establishment of a home upon the frontier. He attended the primitive schools of that period until he reached the age of young manhood, when he learned the carpenter's trade under Alfred Bissell, of Pittsfield, and was identified with that pursuit for several years, during which time he built a number of houses now standing in Griggsville. In 1850, attracted by the discovery of gold in California, he went to the far west, where he remained until 1855, when he returned to Illinois. The same year he was married and removed to Greene county, where he engaged in farming with success, accumulating a large tract of land. On returning to Griggsville he turned his attention to merchandising as a member of the firm of Cadwell & Bonnell, the junior partner being Albert Bonnell. Owing to the fact that Mr. Cadwell was not able to give to the business his entire personal attention this venture was not entirely successful and the business was closed out. Mr. Cadwell concentrating his entire energies upon his farming interests in Greene county. In this line he prospered and not only recovered the losses he had sustained by his previous venture but accumulated a competency. In a few years he returned with his family to Pike county and built the fine brick residence east of Griggsville, now owned by his son George. As his financial resources increased he added to his property holdings until at one time he owned eight hundred acres, a part of which was covered with timber. He had an orchard of one hundred and sixty acres, and for forty years he devoted his time and attention largely to the cultivation of fruit, being the most extensive fruit-grower in the county. He made a specialty of apples, becoming one of the largest and most successful orchardists in this part of the state. Together with his sons, William and George, he owned at one time over one thousand acres of apple orchards. He made large shipments and as he produced fruit only of the best varieties all of the products of his place found a ready sale on the market. He had an orchard of sixteen acres on the old homestead in Griggsville township, while the remainder of his property he had divided among his children. In 1802 he and his wife removed to the city of Griggsville, where he remained up to the time of his death. He led a very active and busy life up to within five years of his demise, after which he largely lived retired.

Mr. Cadwell was married to Miss Jemima C. Pond, who was born April 27, 1836, the marriage being celebrated October 25, 1855. Her parents were Edward and Charlotte (Stearns) Pond, both of whom were natives of Massachusetts, born near Boston. A great-grandfather of Mrs. Cadwell was one of the heroes of the Revolutionary war and was taken prisoner by the British troops during the period of hostilities. Her father was a school teacher for thirty years or more. Both he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church in early life but afterward became identified with the Congregational church. Mr. Pond gave his political allegiance to the whig party and was a man of broad intellectuality, whose influence was a potent element for good in every community where he lived and labored. He died at the age of sixty-six years, while his wife passed away at the age of eighty-eight years.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Cadwell were born seven children, of whom five are now living: William E., born June 26, 1858, is a fruit-grower and business man of Griggsville. George F., born August 27, 1862, is engaged in the fruit business in Griggsville. Carrie Belle, born April 14, 1865, is the wife of A. L. McClay, a resident of Hillville, Illinois. Ollie J., born September 28, 1874, is also living in Griggsville. Alfred Addison, born December 28, 1876, makes his home in the same city. All of the sons are fruit-growers and shippers and the family have made an excellent reputation in connection with this line of business.

Mr. Cadwell led too busy a life to hold public office but was a supporter of many progressive movements for the general welfare. He was made a member of Griggsville lodge, No. 45, A. F. & A. M., in 1867, and he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church for many years, while his wife is a Congregationalist. He took a very active and helpful interest in the work of the church of which he was an honored member for many years and his activities therein ceased only with his increasing illness. He voted with the democratic party, and was interested in the material, intellectual, and moral progress of the community. He and his wife spent many winters in the, south, both in Florida and Texas, and also in California, traveling extensively in many portions of the country for the benefit of Mr. Cadwell’s health. He passed the seventy-seventh milestone on life's journey and in a review of this long record many sterling traits of character stand strongly forth, his energy and enterprise being salient features in his success. He was always honorable in his methods, considerate in his dealings with his fellowmen and commanded respect and confidence by reason of a life record that will bear the closest investigation and scrutiny.

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