Caton family papers  1849-1886
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William Edward Caton (1846-1905) was born to William Penn Caton and Elizabeth Steele in Illinois. After completing his education at Grinnell College in the early 1860's, William Caton married Marion E. Shaw and began farming in Henry and Adair Counties, Iowa. In winter, he supplemented his income by running a small writing school. By 1872, he had decided to leave farming and, during the next 14 years, pursued a variety of endeavors. He worked as superintendent of public instruction in Adair County, as editor of the Adair County Register, as a salesman of safes for Diebold and Norris, and, following a move to the Dakota Territory, as a grain dealer and Indian trader with his partner C.W. Beggs. He also briefly served as the superintendent of public instruction for the entire Dakota Territory.

Albert Robert Caton (1857-1935), William Edward Caton's younger brother, began his career as a general commission merchant in Chicago before moving to Colorado for work in mining. He married Alice E. Scott in 1887.