John Caldwell


John Caldwell (1835–1917) was a mason and house-builder, who entered his father Peter's building company in Largs in the 1850s, where he spent his entire working life. 1 In 1861, he was supporting his widowed mother, while employing 15 masons, eight labourers and six boys, and by 1881, he had married Mary Paton, had six children, and had expanded to employ 30 men. 2 In 1882, he was contracted to build the charitably-funded Clark Hospital in Largs. 3 Almost a decade later Caldwell built the Largs house of one of the new hospital's building advisors, Dr Robert Kirkwood. In 1899, Caldwell was described was a 'retired builder' and gave evidence against the building of a new rail line, which he believed would 'spoil the amenity' of the town. 4 His company continued to trade as stonemasons from John Street, Largs in 1912. 5


1: Glasgow Herald, 8 January 1917, p. 1.

2: Census information, [accessed 10 December 2011].

3: Glasgow Herald, 29 September 1882, p. 9.

4: Scotsman, 10 May 1899.

5: Ayr Post Office General and Trades Directory, 1911–12.