Judge John Dee Caldwell

Entered office: January 01, 1925 | Left office: January 01, 1927
Date of birth: April 28, 1861 in New Hope, Dallas County, Texas
Date of death: September 26, 1944 in Austin, Travis County, Texas
Place of burial: City of Lubbock Cemetery, Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas

"Judge Caldwell was always referred to as 'J.D.' but in fact his name was John Dee Caldwell. His family called him 'Dee'.
J.D. grew up farming with his father in New Hope, Dallas County, Texas. Drawn by the prospects of cheap land and the family's pioneer spirit he and his bride packed up and headed west. He opened his first store JD Caldwell Farm & Ranch Supply in Estacado near the current town of Idalou in 1887.The Caldwell & Potter Dry Goods & Groceries was moved from Estacado to its new location in Yellow House Canyon now the city of Lubbock. He put his carpenter skills to good use helping many build their homes, and because the young population in the area did not require an undertaker, he also made coffins when the occasion arose. In March 1891, the first county election was held, and J.D. Caldwell was elected one of the three county commissioners. he also held the office of president of The First National Bank of Lubbock and Justice of the Peace. John's days in Lubbock are revealed in the History of Lubbock by edited by Lawrence L. Graves. Before 1920 J.D. and Sally separated, he remained in Lubbock and she moved permanently to San Antonio. In 1924 J.D. bought property and moved to the newly formed Cochran County. The C.C. Slaughter Cattle Company held most of the land in the county and controlled the politics during the first commissioners court. The county was formed in 1923, the second county election was held in November 1924, and J.D. was elected County Judge. A colorful account and description of the early days establishing Cochran County including the conflicts at the new court house and part that Judge J. D. Caldwell's played are chronicled in Texas' Last Frontier "A History of Cochran County Texas" by Elvis Eugene Fleming published in 1965. By 1930 J.D. had returned to Lubbock and lived with his daughter and son-in-law. As a result of his days and Justice of the Peace in Lubbock County and County Judge of Cochran County he was always known as Judge Caldwell by the locals. He died in Austin ( Sept. 1944). His death at the age of 83 dominated the front page of the Lubbock Avalanche reflecting on his contributions and involvement, during the early years in Lubbock. He is buried in the Lubbock City Cemetery."

"JD's father, Solomon, came to Texas in 1840 and his Uncle, Matthew H. Caldwell, arrived in 1831 where he was granted land in the DeWitt colony. He was an Indian fighter and one of the first Texas Rangers. Matthew was a commander in several historic battles and activities in the days of the Republic. He signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. He was at the Battle of Gonzales, Commander at Battle of Salado Creek, a leader in the Battle of Plum Creek, wounded at the Council House Fight in San Antonio, captured in the Santa Fe Expedition and imprisoned in Mexico. Caldwell, Texas and Caldwell County are named in his honor."

Biography & Images Source: Michael Dee Caldwell, grandson of J.D. Caldwell

Caldwell & Porter Dry Goods & Groceries

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2013-2017 Mary Helen McKnight.
Materials on this site are provided for the free use of individuals who are researching their family history and/or the history of Cochran County. Data may be freely used by non-commercial entities and individuals, as long as this message remains on all copied material. Any commercial/for profit use of any material on this site without prior permission of the coordinator/author IS PROHIBITED! The electronic pages on this site may not be reproduced in any format for profit. You may NOT copy and paste information from this site on another website without first obtaining permission; this copyright notice must be included. Contributions to this site remain the property of the submitter and will not be sold or distributed without prior consent. Persons wanting to use information from this site on another are required to obtain written permission from the original submitter.