The original Calddwell monument now marks the grave of Wilson Caldwell and commemorates three others, but was originally constructed to commemorate the first president of the University of North Carolina, Joseph Caldwell, at another location on the University of North Carolina campus.
The original monument was either left at its original site or stored somewhere on campus until 1910 (as Kemp Battle wrote in 1907 that the marker “is to be re-erected in the part of the City cemetery”), when part of it was moved to the African American section of the old Chapel Hill Cemetery by alumni of the UNC class of 1891 as a monument to four black university workers and/or former slaves of university professors: Wilson Caldwell (born 1843, died 1898), November Caldwell (born 1791, died 1872), David Barham (born ?, died ?), and Henry Smith (born 1860, died 1916). Only Wilson Caldwell is actually buried at the monument, with the three others buried elsewhere in the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery.
The inscription on the monument states:
"Members of the Class of 1891 Place This Stone
To The Memory of
Wilson Swain Caldwell
(Who Lies Here)
David Barham and
Who Served the University Faithfully"