Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Thomas H. Caley 1848-1921

I am not related to Mr. Caley, but many of my relatives lived in and around Princeton, Minnesota and probably knew him.  And Fred Elsner worked at the Caley Hardware store for a while.
The Princeton Union, Oct. 20, 1921, pg. 1
 Passes Away Without Warning at His
Home During the Noon Hour
on Friday, Oct. 14.


Was a Veteran of the Civil War, a
  Progressive Business Man and
       a Man of Honor.

  Thomas H. Caley, prominent busi-nessman,  progressive American citizen and veteran of the civil war, is no more.  He passed away suddenly at his home on Friday, October 14, at 12:30, shortly before
the time for his midday meal.  He was conversing with his wife and Mrs. Chas. Rines, when he collapsed, his head drooped upon his breast and his life went out.
  Mr. Caley had not been in good health since he fell on an icy sidewalk, the result of which incapacitated him for many months.  But when called by death he appeared to be fast regaining his usual health and was at his usual place of business every day, being one of the first to
reach there in the morning.  He knew, however, that he suffered from an ailment of the heart and more than once expressed
a desire to pass from earth in the manner in which he did.
  When the news of his death was circulated in Princeton it cast a deep gloom over the village, for Mr. Caley was generally held in the highest esteem-esteem which he well merited for the public spirit and generosity which he displayed during his 52 years residence in this village.  He was at all times progressive and had the interest of the village at heart.  He did his part, in fact a great share, toward placing Princeton in so prominent a position on the map as it is today, advocating and enhancing public improvements which he considered would benefit the village and the surrounding territory.  He was generous, contributing to the churches and charitable organizations, and a hundred per cent American citizen.  In his home life he was kind and affectionate and at all times strove to make his family happy.
  The passing of Thomas H. Caley means a heavy loss to the village of Princeton and county of Mille Lacs, and for many a year his presence will be missed, but his memory will be revered.
  Funeral services were conducted at the family residence on Sunday afternoon by Rev. Besselievre of the Congregational church, who delivered a short sermon setting forth the sterling qualities and worth of deceased and which was imbued with comforting words for his relatives and business associates.  Mrs. George Ross sang two hymnal selections during the progress of the ceremony.  Hundreds of people were in attendance at the obsequies and followed the remains to their last resting place in Oak Knoll cemetery.  The pallbearers were S. S. Petterson, J. F. Petterson, E. K. Evens, A. E. Allen, E. L. McMillan, Jas. Hartman, Fred Newton and Ben Soule.
  Among those present from out of town were C. J. and W. H. Birch, nephews of Mr. Caley, Duluth; Lloyd Mallette, nephew, St. Paul; Mother Madeline, niece of deceased, Minneapolis; Sister Aquinas, Minneapolis; Sister Bernadine, St. Paul; Miss Elizabeth Nelson, Miss Morrison, Miss Nellie Larkin, Dr. and Mrs. Card, Mr. and Mrs. Satterlee, Minneapolis; Carl Tarbox, Anoka; Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Allen, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Morneau, Wm. Haggman, Milaca; A. E. Williams, John Grahek, Mora.
  Thomas H. Caley was born at Carleton Place, Canada, in 1848, and at the age of 6 years moved to Janesville, Wis.  When 16 years of age he enlisted in the Thirty-seventh Wisconsin infantry and served until the end of the war, entering into the following engagements during this period: Cold Harbor, Va.; siege of Petersburg; assault on Petersburg, June 17, 1864; Mine explosion, Va.; Weldon railroad, Ream's station, Poplar Spring church, Hatcher's Run, assault on Fort Steadman, assault on Petersburg April 2, 1865.  He came to Princeton in 1869 and engaged in business with his brother, Daniel, under the firm name of Caley Bros.  Shortly afterward the partnership was dissolved and
he entered into business on his own account, which has continued for 52 years in the same location under the name and style of the Caley Hardware company. - In 1874 he was married to Mary Applegate and two children were born of this union, Clair and Glen, the latter being dead.  Mr. Caley's wife died in 1889 and in 1891 he married Mary Ward, who survives him as well as two sons -
Harold and Thomas - born of this marriage.  Deceased was engaged in many enterprises, being vice president of the Rudd Lumber company, a director in the First National bank of Princeton, and was interested in several hardware stores.  At one time he owned the Princeton Starch factory, which was sold to the R. L. Pitcher Co. a few years ago.  In the early days he was president of the village council 12 years and councilman six years.  There never was a more progressive man in that body than Thomas H. Caley.

The Princeton Union-Eagle online newspaper has an article titled "Legacy of Princeton pioneer T.H. Caley draws group tour" about a group that came to Princeton on April 29, 2012 to tour the sites related to Mr. T.H. Caley.  There is a picture of the old Caley House too. (Click on the title of the online news article to read all about it.)

Newspaper clipping is from the Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers site:

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