Charles W. Waldron  "The Erotic and Erratic Banker"

C.W. Waldron was an extremely wealthy banker from Hillsdale, Michigan.  Born in 1855, he was left a fortune by his father, banker William Waldron and uncle,  Congressman Henry Waldron.  The city of Waldron, Michigan, and  Waldron Street in Hillsdale are named after Waldron's Uncle Henry.   The Waldron family history claims that Waldron Island is also named after Henry, but this appears to be story and not fact.

 
 C.W. Waldron arrived in Fairhaven in the Fall of 1889, not long after his release from a Michigan jail.  Waldron was serving time for adultery.   it had been a tumultuous year, packed with sensational and scandalous details, all captured in newspaper headlines throughout the United States.    Even the New York Times took notice of Waldron's escapades.

The story of Waldron-Gone-Wrong has been recounted on the Hillsdale County Historical Society website:
Scandals   (Waldron is Scandal #2)
 

 
 
The drama began on August 28, 1888 with the headline THIEF and GAY LOTHARIO.  (A reminder of how words change their meaning over the years.)

In a nutshell, Waldron had gone to Canada with another man's wife and, more importantly, assets from the bank.   
 
To calculate how much a dollar amount in 1888 would be today, (or any other year) go to the West Egg Inflation Calculator.
 
 The story unfolds below, captured by the dramatic headlines of the day.
  
 Headlines of 1888
Aug. 29
                                 
    
THAT RASCAL WALDRON -- HE SEEMS TO HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH $500,000    A MICHIGAN BANKER GOES WRONG
Note:  $500,000 in 1889 compares to almost $13 million today.
Aug.  30

BIG DROP IN THE FIGURES--WALDRON NOW SAID TO HAVE ONLY CARRIED OFF $80,000
 Sept.  4

CRIME: WICKED WALDRON 
 Sept. 27

THE HILLSDALE EMBEZZLERS
 Sept. 29

WALDRON IN ENGLAND
Has Tired of Pretty Nellie--He Will Return and Straighten Matters

 Oct. 5

WALDRON IN LONDON
The Hillsdale Michigan Absconder Located in the Old Country
Oct. 27

 AN OFFER FROM WALDRON THE THIEF
Oct. 28

 A SCOUNDREL'S NERVE
Nov. 18

 BANKER WALDRON PAYS HIS DEBTS
Nov. 28

REMORSE
Bankers Can Take a Lesson from C.W. Waldron the Hillsdale Scamp
 Dec. 5
 
CAN NOT COMPROMISE WITH HIS WIFE
 
 
 Continued Headlines of 1889
 Apr. 18
  WALDRON A PRISONER
The Erotic and Erratic Banker of Hillsdale, Michigan arrested in New York
 Apr. 19
   HOME AT HILLSDALE, EX-BANKER WALDRON NOW IN JAIL ON THE CHARGE OF ADULTERY
 Apr. 20
   A BAD BANKER BAGGED --    ALL ROUND RASCAL IN JAIL
 Apr. 21
  THE DAYS SENSATIONS -- WICKED WALDRON
 Apr. 30
   PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO THE CHARGE OF CRIMINAL INTIMACY WITH MRS. BIDWELL
 Aug. 23
   "C.W. Waldron the Hillsdale banker has gone to Seattle to locate.
 Sep. 14
  WALDRON CASE DISCONTINUED.  MRS. WALDRON WITHDRAWS SUIT
 
WALDRON NOT SEEN IN CITY FOR WEEKS, LIKELY WILL NOT RETURN

Epilogue: 
 
This was not the last time Waldron would made sensational news in the headlines.  When his Bank of Fairhaven went through difficulty in later years, he would make headlines once again.
 
It is unknown if Waldron returned for a visit to Michigan. 
 
By 1900, Alice Waldron had joined her husband in Fairhaven along with their daughter Grace Frances.   (The name Frances would become a common Waldron name.  
Alice died at the age of 49 in 1908.
 
 C.W. Waldron would return to Europe on a grand tour for his honeymoon in 1924.  His second wife, Frances McDonald Waldron was 21; C.W. Waldron was 69.
 Frances would call her husband "Mr. Waldron".
 

Waldron became a father again at 71, when daughter Frances was born in 1926.  
 
Waldron spent his later years in Seattle and opened Waldron's Rugs, the largest carpet store west of the Mississippi.   He was known to be fond of his pet parrot, who would speak in a vulgar manner to Waldron's customers.  When his wife Frances took over the store after Waldron's death in 1930, the parrot was gone.
 
Daughter Frances Waldron Barber attended the 2008 "re-grand opening" of 1890 Waldron Building when it was extensively renovated into luxury condos.  A bank was once again opened below her father's name, which still remains on the corner of the building.
 

 

 

 
 
 

 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 


 
 

 

 

  April 18, 1889

Waldron a Prisoner
The Erotic and Erratic Banker of Hillsdale, Michigan arrested in New York
 
 Jackson Citizen Patriot:  April 19, 1889
HOME AT HILLSDALE, EX-BANKER WALDRON NOW IN JAIL ON THE CHARGE OF ADULTRY
 
April 20, 1889
A BAD BANKER BAGGED
 
ALL ROUND RASCAL IN JAIL
 
Evansville Courier:  April 21, 1889
CAUGHT AND BROUGHT BACK
 
April 21, 1889
THE DAYS SENSATIONS
WICKED WALDRON
 
 
April 30, 1889
 PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO THE CHARGE OF CRIMINAL INTIMACY WITH MRS BIDWELL
 
 
 
August 23, 1889
 "C.W. Waldron the Hillsdale banker  has gone to Seattle to locate.
 
 
September 14, 1889
 
The Waldron CAse Discontinued.  Mrs. Waldron withdraws Suits
Waldron Not Seen in City for Weeks, Likely will not Return
 
WILL NOT PROSECUTE
Kindness on her part likely cost Waldron a very Pretty Penny