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Charles Chester Caddy Papers - MS 219 mf

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Content | Series DescriptionOrder of Microfilming


The papers of Charles Chester Caddy date from 1852 to 1897. The life and activities of this itinerant Methodist minister are reflected in his two volumes of journals and one volume entitled "Miscellany."

The Caddy papers were loaned for microfilming in February 1982 through the cooperation of Robert J. Peckinpaugh, Leipsic, Ohio, a descendant of Caddy's, and Paul Yon, Associate Director of the Center for Archival Collections. Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purpose of scholarly research. The register was prepared by Paulette J. Weiser, Graduate Assistant, in March 1982.

Biographical Sketch

Charles Chester Caddy was born to James (ca. 1787-ca. 1814) and Ann Outebridge (ca. 1789-1864) Caddy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 19, 1813. His father died of dysentery serving as a navigator on a ship returning from Havana, Cuba, when Caddy was a year and a half old. Two years later, his mother married William Edwards (1791-1847), a friend of his father who had been a prisoner of the British during the War of 1812. The marriage produced Isaac (also a Methodist minister), James, Mary Ann, and Hester Ann, who died at nine years of age.

The family moved to the Cincinnati, Ohio area when Caddy was about ten years old. Caddy made a couple of trips back East before settling down as a teacher in Olive, Noble (now Morgan) County, Ohio. At age seventeen, he married Mary Ann Dyer (1815-1888) on March 10, 1831. They had thirteen children: Mary Jane (1832-1907), William Edward (1833-1886), Ancel Bassett (1835-1862), Robert Dyer (1837-1863), Elizabeth Ann (1840-1927), Hester Ann (1843-?), Charles Chester, Jr. (1844-1920), Julia Francis (1846-1931), James McClain (May-August 1848), Milton (1849-?), Eva (1852-1867), Urania (1855-1875), and James (1856-?).

The Caddys lived in Cincinnati for a time, then moved to Dayton, where Charles learned coopering. In 1836 he was licensed to preach in the Methodist Protestant Church. He taught school, coopered, and preached in the Cincinnati and Olive, Ohio areas until 1838, when he was ordained a deacon and appointed to Woodfield Circuit of the Pittsburgh Conference. Between 1840 and 1846 he served the Mt. Vernon, Grand River, Tuscarawas, Pleasant Hill, and Vienna Circuits. In 1847 Caddy transferred to the Ohio Conference, where he spent most of the remainder of his ministry serving such Circuits as Gilboa, Miami, Cincinnati, Springfield, Lima, and Mount Blanchard. He also spent a few years in the Indiana Conference and a brief time in the Michigan Conference. Caddy took one year off to write a biography of the Rev. Robert Dobbins, served two years as president of the Ohio Conference, and spent one year lecturing and selling Bibles in Kentucky.

The Caddys lost their son Ancel from wounds suffered in the Battle at Fort Holt, Tennessee, in March 1862. Their son Robert died at Chickamauga in 1863. Charles was wounded, discharged, served again, was wounded again at the Battle of Franklin in 1864, captured and sent to Andersonville Prison before escaping and returning home. Daughters Eva and Urania died at fifteen and twenty, respectively, the latter four months after her marriage. William, a doctor, also predeceased his parents at age fifty-three. The Caddys retired to a home in Lima, Ohio, where Mary Ann died in June 1888, after a long illness and paralysis in her final year. Caddy spent his remaining life traveling to visit his children, grandchildren, and friends, preaching occasionally, attending annual meetings of the Ohio Conference, corresponding with family and friends, writing essays, and fighting the headaches and illnesses that had plagued him throughout his adult life. He died at ninety on April 21, 1904.

Scope and Content

The journals and "Miscellany" volume of Charles Caddy are invaluable in documenting the life of an itinerant Methodist minister in Ohio from the mid-1830s to the late 1890s.

Caddy's journals are full of notations on such social and moral issues and activities as war, abolition, temperance, dancing, and traveling shows; theological issues and his work in the ministry; nature, the weather, and astronomical phenomena; biographical sketches, primarily of fellow ministers, including several women; political events, such as local presidential elections and "Coxey's Army;" the Civil War and its effect on his family and friends; traveling and travel conditions; lists of books read and references to writers or poets he especially admired; lists of letters written and received; holidays and public celebrations; the opening of Lima College; the food eaten; and the events of births, illnesses, marriages, his children's education and apprenticeships, and deaths within his family and among friends.

The volume entitled "Miscellany" includes sermons he gave; lectures, particularly for school commencements and public holidays; essays on religion, moral and social issues, education, holidays, the Civil War and recovering his son Ancel's body from Tennessee; poetry about his sons and daughters, particularly those who died young, nature, death and family occasions, his headaches, and verses and acrostics for autograph albums; song lyrics; memorials to deceased ministers and national figures; and recollections by his wife, Mary Ann Dyer Caddy.

Caddy's papers are notable not only for his recording of information on a wide variety of topics, but for his personal comments and reactions to many issues and events, particularly the Civil War and secessionism, religion, illness and death, travel, and his family members and friends.

Series Description


January 1852-October 1897.
Arranged chronologically, for the most part.
Contains an autobiography up to January 1, 1852, when Caddy began his almost daily journal entries on religious, social, moral, political, literary, occupational, health, and fmaily topics.

March 1855-October 1892.
Arranged chronologically, for the most part.
Contains sermons, lectures, essays, poetry, song lyrics, and memorials, plus recollections by his wife Mary Ann Dyer Caddy.

Order of Microfilming

Roll 1

  1. Journal with autobiography, January 1852-September 1876
  2. Jounral, November 1876-October 1897
  3. "Miscellany" March 1855-October 1892

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