Biography of Charles F. Caswell

Now wedded to his profession of the law and very successful in the practice of it, but at one time disposed to ride his led horse as a miner, Charles F. Caswell, one of the leading attorneys of western Colorado, illustrates in his experience the common lot of mankind, but has shown superiority to vast numbers of his fellow men by realizing practically that the favors of fortune are generally to be won only by systematic application to a chosen pursuit and steadfast resistance to all the dreams of life. He was born at Strafford, New Hampshire, on May 10, 1851, and is the son of Cornelius E. and Betsey T.C. (Chase) Caswell, also natives of New Hampshire. The father was a farmer and during the greater part of his mature life was the superintendent of the county farm and insane asylum of Strafford county. He also farmed extensively on his own account and was largely engaged in raising stock, especially horses of the best strains and quality. In his later life he moved to Dover, where he died soon afterward in 1881. His widow survived him a number of years, dying at the same place in 1898. Charles, the fourth of their five children, received his preparatory education in the district schools and Franklin Academy at Dover. He also attended the excellent seminary at Northwood, in his native state, and in 1870 entered Dartmouth College, from which he was graduated in 1874. He then went to Lynn, Massachusetts, and read law with N.M. Hawkes, Esq., a prominent attorney of that city. He was admitted to the bar at Salem, the county seat, in 1877. He practiced at Lynn from September of that year to the spring of 1880, and was as successful then as at any period of his life. The discovery of gold at Leadville awakened the miner’s fever in him and brought him west toward that promising field, for which he started after several months of deliberation, but he never got there. Instead he joined the stampede to Middle Park, where he secured many promising locations and prospects, but found it necessary to practice law to make a living, although he had previously made up his mind to quit the law and become a mining king. He remained in the Middle Park region until November, 1885, then abandoned all attempts at further mining operations, and, coming to Grand Junction, formed a partnership for the practice of law with C.W. Burris, now a resident of Salt Lake City. The partnership lasted two years and a half, and at the end of that time was dissolved by the retirement and removal of Mr. Burris. Since then Mr. Caswell has practiced alone. He has been at the head of the profession in his section of the state for years, and has an extensive practice in all state courts and the federal courts. His ability has been demonstrated in many renowned causes and in almost every forum in this party of the country. During the last fifteen years he has been counsel for the Grand Valley Irrigating Company and several other large corporations. Always a stanch Republican in politics, and always giving to the affairs of his party the most active, zealous and effective support, he has yet steadfastly declined on all occasions to allow the use of his name as a candidate for a public office of any kind. For twenty-one years he served as chairman of his delegation in the state conventions and for a long time as a member of the state central committee, but his most ardent devotion has been to his profession, and that has rewarded his loyalty in a measure commensurate with his fidelity and constancy.

Fraternally he belongs to the Masonic Lodge and Royal Arch chapter at Grand Junction. On May 7, 1891, he was married to Miss Jessie Tenney Gray, of Kansas City, Kansas, where the marriage occurred. Mrs. Caswell is the daughter of Judge B. and Mary (Tenney) Gray, of that city. She is an accomplished lady, having been highly educated at Wellesley College, and enters with appreciative and helpful spirit into the plans and ambitions of her husband. In addition to his professional interests Mr. Caswell has had a large interest in the production of fruit in the valley, having been one of the original fruit-growers of the section, starting his orchard in 1886. In this enterprise he has a partner, Hon. A.B. Hoyt, who gives the industry his personal attention and is an accomplished man in the business. And having a love of the beautiful in appearance and action, Mr. Caswell is also a lover of good horses, and is pleasantly occupied in breeding them, owning a fine ranch for the purpose. He has an active and productive mind which exerts itself in all lines of public progress and all elements of cultivation, good taste and elevating enjoyment. An all-round man, his influence in the community has been felt as a stimulus in every department of fruitful thought and activity, and he is correspondingly esteemed as one of the county’s best counselors and most representative citizens.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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