Remembered as one of Watertown's earliest settlers, arriving from Washington, Connecticut via the Mohawk Valley c. 1805, Chauncey Calhoun (1776-1856) worked as a carpenter and joiner on many of the village’s earliest structures. In 1810 he constructed the Jabez Foster house, future site of the Paddock Mansion. Serving briefly in the War of 1812, he later collaborated with hundreds of workers in Sackets Harbor to build the Ship House that sheltered the frigate New Orleans in 1815. In 1816 he was one of the three original carpenters for the Madison Barracks. Serving as Watertown village trustee in 1818-1819 and 1827-1828, he was a founder of Watertown’s Universalist Society in 1820.
Calhoun married Sarah Edwards Paddock, sister of John Paddock and Loveland Paddock. Their son John Calhoun (1808-1859) established Chicago’s first newspaper, the Chicago Democrat, in 1833. Calhoun was also a brother-in-law of early Watertown settler John Hathaway.
Chauncey Calhoun’s portrait was displayed among Watertown’s founders at The Armory in 1905 at the city’s centennial. His work as a builder on Court Street during the 1850’s was cited when Watertown’s Public Square was nominated for designation as an Historic District in 1984.
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