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 William Herbert Baldwin

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William Herbert Baldwin

  • Birth 23 Feb 1854 Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Death 28 Aug 1905 Manila, Metro Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines
  • Burial Romansville, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Memorial ID 59691757

Thirty-Eighth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, June 13th, 1907.
William Herbert Baldwin was born in West Bradford Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, on February 23rd, 1854. His father, John R. Baldwin, is living on the homestead. His mother was Esther Walter. Both parents were descended from the early Swedish, Welsh and English settlers along the Delaware. They had received instruction at an Academy at Unionville, Pennsylvania, and before marriage had been. successful teachers.

The boyhood of the subject of this sketch was full of activity. Brothers and sisters furnished plenty of emulation and he was never at a loss to find ways of adopting the material found on the farm so that fun and diversion were obtained. As the children grew older specific duties were assigned to each partly to get the farm work done and partly to direct surplus energy into right habits. To William and his twin brother were assigned the feeding of cattle at a barn some distance away. After a time their father noted that one steer was not gaining weight. Suspecting negligence on the part of these two sons he came upon them at feeding time and found them practicing the arts of the equestrian and the cavalryman mounted on the steer. Wrestling, boxing, swimming, corner ball, fox hunting and catching fish with the hands or with a spear were sports that William liked. It may be noted that a prominent feature in these sports is the putting forth of special effort at an opportune moment.

He attended a country school until his sixteenth year when he was sent to an academy for six months. After teaching for a few months he chose pharmacy as a profession. The method of preparation was practical and utilitarian. The candidate handled and compounded drugs under the direction of a preceptor, and then helped to sell them.

When a competitive examination to select a candidate for a cadetship at the United States Military Academy was announced by Mr. Townsend, Congressman of the Seventh District of Pennsylvania in the summer of 1873 it was farwell to my boke and my devocion to pharmacy. He had two weeks left to brush up his knowledge after appointment before he reported at West Point.

During the period at the Academy and afterward he held the interest of those who knew him at this time. He was thoroughly loyal to old associations. He graduated with the Class of 1877. Except for four months with his wife in Europe his leaves of absence were spent among the scenes of his youth.

He was married to Julia, daughter of James Thorne and Hannah Cromwell Townsend, of Cornwall, New York on January 13th, 1881.

Colonel Baldwin had five sons. Only two survive him. The first, John Townsend, was born March 7th, 1882 at Fort Meade, Dakota and died at the same place on April 26th, 1885. The second son, Herbert, named for his father was born at Fort Meade, Dakota, on June 30th, 1885 and is living in San Francisco, California where he is engaged in business. He married Emilie Reed, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Whitney Reed of the same city on January 26th, 1905. Then came Marion, the third son, named for the Colonel's twin brother. He was born near Jessup, Iowa on October 4th, 1886 and died eleven years later in Berkeley, California on November 21st, 1897. The fourth son, James Cromwell, was born in Berkeley on August 31st, 1898 and died suddenly of diphtheria in San Jose, California while the Colonel was on duty in Manila. The fifth, named Julian, for his mother was born in Berkeley on July 11th, 1901 and is a fine active boy living with his mother, who is temporarily at her old home in Cornwall, New York.

The Colonel was a most devoted father and the loss of his boys was a series of crushing blows from which he never could quite recover.

His family joined him in Manila nearly a year before his death and the recollection of a very large man romping with a very small boy (then only three) on the Lunetta in the evenings must remain in the memory of those who happened to observe it as an unusual sight.

His wife was with him at every station often following with the children after he had prepared a home for them. She, with her two sons and a sister, accompanied the Colonel's remains from Manila to Pennsylvania. Colonel Baldwin was buried in the Bradford Friends' Meeting Cemetery with his three sons close by the place of his birth which he had shortly before his death prepared to purchase for a permanent dwelling against his retirement. As his home was the center of his life he contemplated with pleasure the day when the homestead would yield him that delight of age - the pivot of all family movements.

Colonel Baldwin had abundant strength and energy. He was pleased when an additional opportunity offered for enterprise in his line of duty. Real character in men absorbed his interest; efficiency in any one excited his admiration. His great vitality perhaps, caused him to act almost impulsively in favor of any one who had the least claim on his assistance. While in the Commissary Department he kept in mind the welfare of soldiers on expeditions or at distant stations. Often he referred to the facetious saying of soldiers, when a cannon ball passes to the rear and would add I don't want them to feel that way.

Family Members





  • Created by: SLGMSD
  • Added: 6 Oct 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 59691757
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Herbert Baldwin (23 Feb 1854–28 Aug 1905), Find A Grave Memorial no. 59691757, citing Romansville Friends Burying Ground, Romansville, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by SLGMSD (contributor 46825959) .