David T. Caldwell

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David T. Caldwell​

Judge of the Louisiana 2nd Judicial District Court in Bienville, Claiborne, and Jackson parishes
In office
January 31, 1970​ – October 1, 1982​
Preceded by P. E. Brown​
Succeeded by Leon Whitten​

Born May 26, 1925​
Saline, Bienville Parish
Died May 7, 1993​
Shreveport, Louisiana
Resting place Garden of Memories Cemetery in Jonesboro, Louisiana
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) (1) Charlotte Barbour Dettor (1926-2010) [1]

(2) Betty Sims Caldwell (wife at his death)​

Children From first wife:

James D. Caldwell​
Steven Brent Caldwell
​ Randall Barbour Caldwell
From second wife:
David M. Caldwell
D. B. and Bertha Kolb Caldwell​

Residence Jonesboro, Jackson Parish
Alma mater Saline High School

Bradley University
Louisiana State University Law Center​

Occupation Attorney, Judge
Religion United Methodist

David T. Caldwell (May 6, 1925 – May 7, 1993)[2] was a 2nd Judicial District Court judge based in Jonesboro in Jackson Parish in north Louisiana. He was initially appointed to his position on January 31, 1970, by Governor John J. McKeithen to succeed Judge P. E. Brown, who had reached the mandatory retirement age. Caldwell, a Democrat, was then elected on November 3, 1970, and he served until October 1, 1982.

The Second Judicial District also includes Bienville and Claiborne parishes; each parish in the district has a separate judge based in Jonesboro, Arcadia in Bienville Parish and Homer in Claiborne Parish.[3]

Life and career

Caldwell was born in rural Saline in Bienville Parish to D. B. Caldwell and the former Bertha Kolb (1897–1978).[4] He was divorced from the former Charlotte Barbour Dettor, formerly of Peoria, Illinois, who died in 2010 in Herndon, Virginia. His second marriage was to the former Betty Sims (born 1939), formerly of Natchez, Mississippi. He had four sons, James David Caldwell, Steven B. Caldwell, Randall B. Caldwell, and David M. Caldwell.[3]

After graduation in 1942 from Saline High School, Caldwell served for some three years​ in the United States Army Air Corps, forerunner of the Air Force. In 1945, he studied civil engineering at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. In 1948, he entered the Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge, at which he obtained his law degree in 1951. He then began his private law practice in Jonesboro and for a short time in Baton Rouge. At the time of his court appointment, he was a partner in the law firm of Caldwell and Whitten in Jonesboro. Leon Whitten, who succeeded Caldwell in the judgeship, was his former law partner.[3]

Prior to becoming judge, Caldwell had been the assistant district attorney for the same2nd Judicial District. He was affiliated with the American, Louisiana, and Jackson Parish bar associations. He was a member of the Masonic lodge. He taught the men's Bible class at the Jonesboro United Methodist Church.[3]​ He died in a Shreveport hospital[5] and is interred at Garden of Memories Cemetery in Jonesboro.[2]

Son James David "Jimmy" Caldwell (1946-2015)[6] was a practicing attorney in Shreveport. The second Mrs. Caldwell has relocated from Jonesboro to Marietta, Georgia, where their son, David M. Caldwell (born 1965), also resides.

Judge Caldwell was not related to former Louisiana Attorney General James D. "Buddy" Caldwell of Tallulah in Madison Parish.​


  1. Charlotte Barbour Dettor obituary. Peoria (Illinois) Journal Star (March 28, 2010). Retrieved on May 8, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 David T. Caldwell. findagrave.com. Retrieved on May 28, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Judge David T. Caldwell" in J. Cleveland Fruge, Biographies of Louisiana Judges. files.usgwarchives.net, Louisiana District Judges Association, 1971. Retrieved on May 28, 2010.
  4. Social Security Death Index. ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved on May 28, 2010.
  5. Confirmed by the office of the 2nd Judicial District Court in Jonesboro, Louisiana, where Caldwell had been a judge.
  6. James D. Caldwell obituary. The Shreveport Times (August 11, 2015). Retrieved on April 3, 2019.