century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

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John Caldwell

Treasurer, Westinghouse Air Brake Company

Centurion, 1897–1909

Born 22 July 1839 in Ireland

Died 23 November 1909 in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania

Buried Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Proposed by Charles Paine and Beverly Chew

Elected 6 March 1897 at age fifty-seven

Archivist’s Note: Father-in-law of Gerard Fountain; grandfather of Gerard Fountain

Century Memorial

John Caldwell was born seventy years ago in a remote hamlet of Western Ireland and was literally educated on the Bible and Paradise Lost, with the little assistance his hardworking clergyman father could afford. He migrated to America, and two years later enlisted under Lincoln’s first call for volunteers, continuing in the service until mustered out as captain at the end of the war. He saw the fiercest fighting and was once captured, but only to be rescued by Sheridan. A Pittsburgher by adoption he entered on the career of its great industry, but though successful he neglected to grow rich, preferring the collection of books and pictures and the cultivation of his mind as a student of art for which he had innate talent. Rising steadily in the esteem of his fellows, he held the highest trusts of every sort, and was at least as influential as any other in the upbuilding of Pittsburgh’s great galleries and educational institutions. He will be remembered as kindly, helpful and ever active for broadening and strengthening the aesthetic life of his community. He possessed one of the best collections of Whistler’s etchings, a folio of Shakespeare, and many priceless incunabula, but his treasures were for others’ use and inspiration even more than for his own.

William Milligan Sloane
1910 Century Association Yearbook