William Caswell


Death of William Caswell at His Residence Early Sunday Morning of Paralysis.


Sustaining a stroke of paralysis on Nov. 25 last (1909), and ever since lingering between life and death, William Caswell, one of Grand Forks’ pioneer residents and most esteemed citizens for almost a third of a century, passed away at an early hour on Sunday morning (February 27, 1910) at the family residence on North Third street, where he had lived since Grand Forks was but a mere hamlet.  He had been failing steadily for several days before his demise and the end was not unexpected.  He was a native of Lynn, Ontario, and was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Caswell.  He began his business career in early manhood at Ogdensburg, N. Y., remaining there for a number of years.  Removing to Duluth, Minn., he took an active part in the early development of the city and was prominent in business and social circles.  The financial crash which overwhelmed Duluth and its aspirations just then left him with no resource but to begin life all over again.  Shortly thereafter he removed to Winnipeg, where he remained about one year.  He then came to Grand Forks and resided here ever since.

While living in Duluth Mr. Caswell was married to Miss Charlotte Atkinson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson, of Detroit, Mich.  One son, born to them at Duluth, William Atkinson Caswell, is now in business at Qu’ Appelle, Sask.  He arrived here, accompanied by his wife, just a few days before his father’s death.  A second son, born to Mr. and Mrs. Caswell, died in infancy.  Besides the bereaved widow and son, the deceased is survived by two brothers, Charles Stephen Caswell of Chicago, and James Caswell of Qu’ Appelle, Sask., and one sister, Mrs. Augusta McIntyre of St. Thomas, Ont.

Of a modest and retiring disposition, Mr. Caswell’s life in Grand Forks has been a lesson in uprightness and integrity.  He had been a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal church since its foundation and had been constant in his efforts for the uplift of mankind.

The funeral will take place from St. Paul’s Episcopal church at 2 p. m. on Wednesday.  The remains may be viewed at the family home from 9 to 12:30 Wednesday.

Grand Forks Daily Herald
Tuesday Morning, March 1, 1910
Volume XXIX, Number 103, Page 7


Born:  November 20, 1838, location unknown

Died:  February 27, 1910 in Grand Forks, North Dakota

Spouse:  Charlotte Atkinson

Children:  William Atkinson Caswell


  • Partnered with William H. Davy at Duluth, Minnesota, in the mid 1870s.
  • Partnered with Simon Duffin at Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in the late 1870s.
  • Photographed the historic 1882 Red River Flood, including the steamboat Selkirk docked on Third street (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Sunday, April 23, 1882, Page 1)
  • Photographed city views for the New York Daily Graphic (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Thursday, October 5, 1882, Page 1)
  • $80,000 GONE UP IN SMOKE IN A FEW SHORT HOURS.  Twelve Fine Stores in the Heart of the City Laid to Ashes.  The fire was first discovered (after 11 p.m., December 18, 1882), after it had gained considerable headway, issuing from the roof of Caswell & Blackburn’s photograph gallery, over the Ottawa saloon.  Mr. Blackburn left a fire at five o’clock and went home.  On returning after supper he found it had gone out.  He believes it must have originated from the red-hot pipe (from the saloon below) coming in contact with woodwork in the floor.  Caswell & Blackburn, photographers, Loss $1,200, insured for $600, in the German, of Newport, Ill.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Tuesday, December 19, 1882, Page 1)
  • W. Caswell has returned from his farm and will re-open a photograph gallery over the Ontario Store, on 3rd Street and DeMers avenue, where he will be pleased to see all his old friends and new ones.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Saturday, January 20, 1883, Page 1)
  • New Art Gallery.  A visit to the new art gallery of Mr. W. Caswell, over the Ontario store, corner of DeMers avenue and Third street, Grand Forks, is sure to invite repetition with pleasure and profit.  Mr. Caswell is the pioneer of photography in Grand Forks, having come here six years ago and passed the vicissitudes of growth and the ordeal of fire, coming out always at the front of enterprise.  His new gallery gives every evidence of convenience, taste and excellence in the art of picture making in all its departments.  His instruments are of the best make, with patent instantaneous shutter, the skylight very favorable, and he is prepared to make all styles and sizes of photos at the most reasonable figures.  The waiting room is nicely furnished and comfortable, and will be arrayed like a veritable art gallery.  It is convenient to the business portion of the city and easy of access.  If you want artistic photographs, or pictures of any kind, call on Caswell.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Saturday Evening, November 15, 1884, Volume 7, Number 13, Page 1)
  • Caswell’s Grove Burned Down.  The lurid sky off to the northwest of the city last night, was caused by a ruthless prairie fire which consumed Artist Caswell’s ten acre grove of beautiful trees, his hay stack, stable and some of the farm machinery, entailing a heavy loss.  The barn was not worth more $100, but the trees were quite valuable, having attained a height of from 10 to 15 feet and they constituted a beautiful grove, affording shelter from the wind.  His farm is about 7 miles from the city.  It was his intention to go out Monday and commence spring operations.  Naturally he feels the loss very keenly.  He says he would not have taken $1,000 for the trees.  It seems that the fire crept up from the west.  There had been a fire break plowed around, but he supposes that the wind had scattered wisps of hay from the stack and the fire communicated from one to another, until it got into the dead grass of the grove.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Wednesday, April 20, 1887, Page 1)


Caswell Ad
Grand Forks and North Dakota Manual for 1885


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