Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 344 - 345
James Baldwin was one of the well-known early settlers of the town of Plymouth. He was born on the Isle of Wight,
being a son of Thomas and Sarah (Dory) Baldwin. His mother died on the Isle of Wight, and about 1844 his father
emigrated to the United States, and after living a year at Baltimore, removed to Virginia. After the death of his
second wife, he went to Wilkes Barre, Pa., and in 1847 came to Sheboygan County, accompanied by his son James. There
he passed the remainder of his days, dying at the home of his son Joseph P. in 1864, in the eighty-eighth year of
his age. His seven children were all born on the Isle of Wight, of the first marriage. Three came to the United
States, but only one survives, Joseph P., who was born September 13, 1813. He married in Kent, England, Mercy
Rogers, who was born in Portsmouth, England, December 26, 1819. They emigrated to this country in 1845, and to the
town of Plymouth four years later, where their home has been ever since.
In this county James Baldwin married Laura Chapin, a native of South Brookfield, Madison County, N. Y., born July
13, 1829. Her father, Dr. Chapin, was born in Washington County, same State, September 8, 1789, and married Hannah
Crandall, who was born in Connecticut, January 25, 1796, and with her parents emigrated to the State of New York,
where her marriage to Dr. Chapin was celebrated September 1, 1816. Dr. Chapin continued to practice medicine until
a few years before his death, which occurred in Madison County in 1834. In 1848, Mrs. Chapin with her four children
came to Sheboygan County and settled on the farm where Mrs. James Baldwin now resides. No clearing had then been
done, and only the walls of a log house marked the place where their home was to be. Indian trails and blazed paths
were all the roads they had. On that farm the wife of Dr. Chapin died October 13, 1877. Her only son, Darius, died
September 26 of the same year; a daughter, Fannie Chapin, died April 5, 1884; another daughter, Mary, wedded M. G.
Mann, and died October 14, 1891. Mrs. Baldwin is therefore the only surviving member of that family. Upon
marriage, James Baldwin located upon a tract of timbered land on section 18 in the town of Plymouth.
Politically, Mr. Baldwin was a Democrat, and in religious faith was a Catholic. After only four days' suffering
with diphtheria, he died September 20, 1861. His son George died the 12th of the same month, and his daughter
Sarah passed away the 7th of October following, all dying within twenty-five days. Two children of this family are
still living. James, who was educated in the district schools, and now carries on the home farm, is a
Prohibitionist in political faith; Lottie assists her mother in caring for the household. Mrs. Baldwin and her
children are members of the Seventh-Day Baptist Church.
James Baldwin was also a strong temperance man, and it would be of interest to many to know that he, Darius Chapin
and others organized in 1850 the first temperance society in this section, known as the "West Plymouth Washingtonian
Temperance Society." The first officers elected were C. B. Dawley, President; O. D. Andrews, Vice-President; and
James Baldwin, Secretary. The good work done by that society is still yielding fruit, though the society itself has
passed away and has almost been forgotten.
Copyright 1997 - 2009 by Debie Blindauer
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