Judge George Baldwin

The following is taken verbatim from Thomas Henry Ryan's History of Outagamie County, Wisconsin, [1911?], Part 15

"HON. GEORGE BALDWIN, deceased, was one of the foremost men of his day in Appleton and a prominent figure in State affairs for many years. He was a son of Jonathan Baldwin, and grandson of Nathan Baldwin, the former born in 1798 and the latter in 1758. Nathan Baldwin enlisted January 16, 1777, from Stonington, Connecticut, as a corporal of Captain DeVarnajoul's Company, second regiment, Light Dragoons Continental Troops, commanded by Colonel Elisha Sheldon, Revolutionary War, and he was discharged March 15, 1778. Nathan Baldwin with his wife, one son and six daughters moved to Rehobath, Massachusetts, to St. Johnsbury, Vermont, in 1807. Nathan Baldwin died in 1844 in his 86th year. George Baldwin, the son of Jonathan Baldwin, the subject of this sketch, was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, January 22, 1830, his father having died in 1842 while he was still a boy, and his mother died some years before his father. His literary schooling was completed in St. Johnsbury Academy, succeeding which he took a course in the Law School at Balston Springs, New York, which school was later moved to Poughkeepsie. For one year following his graduation he was connected with the Custom House at Derbyline, Vermont. In 1851, concluding that better opportunities for success were to be found in the west, he came to Wisconsin and established himself in the practice of his profession at Stockbridge, Calumet county, his monetary possesionsat that time amounting to about ten dollars. Natural ability, energy and perseverance led to his success. In 1853 he moved to Chilton in Calumet county, where he continued in active legal practice until 1875, when he was compelled to abandon it because of his extensive real estate interests. While living in Chilton Mr. Baldwin was repeatedly honored by his fellow citizens. He served as Mayor of Chilton, District Attorney, County Probate Judge, and in 1866 was elected a member of the Wisconsin State General Assembly. In 1870 he was elected to the State Senate, in which position he served two terms. Judge Baldwin moved to Appleton in 1885 and here he devoted his remaining years to an extensive real estate business, principally in the Dakotas, Michigan, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. He died December 7, 1907, and was buried at St. Mary's Cemetery. A friend of Judge Baldwin had this to say of his character and accomplishments: "One of his marked characteristics was his retiring disposition, a trait which would not permit of his accepting publicity in any form. He was a thorough born business man, had accumulated large wealth, was a philanthropist in an unostentatious way, a loyal citizen and an advocate of all essential matters towards the upbuilding and betterment of the city in which he lived."

"In 1874 Judge Baldwin married Miss Catherine M. Plunkett, daughter of Peter T. and Anna Plunkett, the former a native of Dublin, Ireland, and the latter of English descent. Peter T. Plunkett owned and operated a grist mill at Chilton, Wisconsin, up to the time of his death, which occurred in the fore part of January, 1864, at about the age of 48 years, and Anna Plunkett died in the latter part of January of the same year at about 50 years of age. Two children were born to them in East Troy, New York, namely: John A. and Catherine M. Plunkett, the former on December 22, 1847, and the latter on the 16th day of March, 1850. John A. Pluikett served in the Civil War.

"Three children were born to the marriage of Judge Baldwin and Catherine Plunkett, namely: George B., Charles F. and one who died in infancy."

The altar at St. Mary's Catholic Church is dedicated to him. Sons Charles F. Baldwin and George Benjamin Baldwin followed in their father's footsteps, managing the family's assets and practicing law.

The fortunes of Judge George Baldwin made the building of his Tudor Revival mansion at 393 State (now 707 S. State St.) possible in 1891. Historians speculate that Baldwin may have built his home on the site of an old boarding house.