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Jabez Bunting Caswell (1858-?)
Native of New York, moved to Bay City, MI, in 1882.

1900 biography. (Added Mar., 2009).

Michigan Biographical Sketches, 1870-1900 - Page 141


The Caswell family, of which Jabez Bunting Caswell is a member, lived for many generations in the Mohawk valley of New York state, and it was in Herkimer county of that state that on December 10, 1858, the subject of this sketch was born.

At the age of 4 his family moved to Rome, New York. He attended the Rome academy until he reached the age of 17, and then found employment in a shoe store. When he became of age he started west for the Dakotas with the intention of going into business, but stopped on the way to visit a brother in Indianapolis. He went from there to St. Louis, Mo. The Iron Mountain Express was being organized then and the young man was tendered a position with that company. He was bill clerk for one year, and then was made a messenger, running between St. Louis and Texarkana, afterwards on the Texas Pacific railroad from Texarkana to Abileen. These were days when train robbers flourished, and when to be an express messenger meant taking one's life in one's hands. Mr Caswell was lucky, however, and did not meet with train robbers.

The Iron Mountain Company was finally merged into the Pacific Express Company, and in 1882 Mr. Caswell came to Michigan, visiting a friend in Bay City. The friend was in the restaurant business, so all that winter Mr. Caswell took the management of this establishment. The next season, as he had always been a lover of the great American game, he organized the Bay City base ball team. The next season he helped organize the Northwestern League, which at one time was a promising organization. He broke his arm in a game that season and was forced to quit the sport. He then drifted into politics and held many minor city offices in Bay City.

He was constable for several years, after which he was made sidewalk inspector by a republican common council, and a democratic mayor vetoed the appointment. He continued, however, as sidewalk inspector and the council voted him his salary, which the mayor promptly vetoed, but the Supreme Court sustained the council's action. He was afterwards appointed assistant street commissioner by the common council and held that position for three years. Mr. Caswell is one of the first Pingree men in Bay county, and was made salt inspector January 26, 1897. He still occupies this position, having been re-appointed by Gov. Pingree January 26, 1899.

February 28, 1895, he married Clara Worth at Bay City, and Warren, aged two years, is their child. Mr. Caswell as a member of the B. P. O. E., the K. P. and the Modern Woodmen of America. He is popular with his party, and he may justly feel a pride in his official record. He has always had an independent spirit, even when a boy, having on two occasions left home to learn a trade, first that of a printer, but was sent back too school by his parents. On another occasion he started to learn the business of an auctioneer, but not liking it, he returned home. "Of all the difficult positions I have held the hardest was that of reporting the first exposition in Detroit for The Detroit News," Mr. Caswell said.

Michigan Biographical Sketches, 1870-1900 - Page 141


Born December 10, 1858, in Mohawk Valley, Herkimer county, NY. He came to Bay City in 1882 and worked as the manager of a restaurant own by a friend. The following year he organized the My. A year later he helped organize the Northwestern League. He broke his arm a game that season and was forced to quit the sport.

Bunting was employed as a constable for several years, then became a sidewalk inspector being appointed this position by the republican common council, but the mayor, a democrat vetoed the appointment. The council not willing to let the mayor’s veto stand, made an appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court who over ruled the mayor’s veto. Later, the council appointed him assistant street commisioner, a position he held for three years. He was one of the first Pingree men in Bay County. In 1897 he was appointed salt inspect by the Pingree. He married Clara Worth at Bay City. They had a child named Warren.

Additional Notes:

    1891 Bay City Directory:

    Caswell, Jabez B, constable 110 Center ave., rms cor. Adams & 6th.

    1895 Marriage Record:

    Jabez's parents: William A. Caswell & Harriet G. Huster(?).
    Clara's parents: August Worth & unknown.
    Pastor: J.H.P. Partinfelder
    Witnesses: Frank W. King & Mrs. Mary King.

    1898 Birth Record:

    Warren Caswell, born 29 Jun 1898, Bay City, MI; parents Jabes and Clara Casell.

    1900 Census - Bay City:

    James B. & Clara Caswell, son Warren.

Related Pages/Notes

Jabez B. Caswell

Related Pages:
Early Baseball
People Referenced
Caswell, Jabez B. (Subject)
Caswell, Warren (son)
Caswell, William A.
Huster, Harriet G.
King, Frank W.
King, Mary Mrs.
Partinfender, J.H.P Rev.
Pingree, Gov.
Worth, August
Worth, Clara (wife)
Subjects Referenced
Abileen, TX
Bay City, MI
Bay City Baseball
Detroit, MI
Detroit News
Herkimer Co, NY
Indianapolis, IN
Iron Mountain Express Co.
MI Supreme Court
Mohawk Valley, NY
Northwestern League
Pacific Express Co.
Pingree men
Rome, NY
St. Louis, MO
Texarkana, TX
Texas Pacific R.R.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.