Yesterday, I went to the annual Callaway-Holder reunion in Clark Co., AR.
From one of my cousins, I learned how one of our other cousins had been very badly injured while employed in the office of the Pulaski County Circuit Clerk in 1892.
Sterling Roseberry Brown was the son of Emily Owsley Callaway. She was the daughter of Jonathan Owsley Callaway and Emily Hemphill. (Cousins of my generation, we descend from Jonathan Owsley Callaway's younger brother, Nathaniel C. Callaway.)
A TERRIBLE FALL
Ex-Chancery Clerk S. R. Brown Meets With An Awful Accident
He falls asleep while sitting in a window and plunges headforemost on a stone copingS.R. Brown, an ex-Chancery Clerk, who has been employed recently in the Circuit Clerk's office, met with an accident about 2 o'clock this morning which is likely to prove fatal.
He had been working in the office since 8 o'clock, copying deeds.
He finished his work about 2 o'clock this morning and took a seat in the window on the north side of the building.
He fell asleep and fell out of the window, striking his head against the stone coping below, cutting a large gash in his head over the left eye. Employees in the office picked him up in an unconscious condition, and there being no hacks on the stand, the patrol wagon was called for, and he was taken to his uncle's residence on Nineteenth and Louisiana streets.
His body was cold and rigid, and from a hasty examination it appeared that his skull had been badly fractured. Arkansas Gazette,
Tuesday, 19 Jul 1892A CRITICAL CASE
Condition of S.R. Brown Who Fell Out of the Court-house WindowMr. S.R. Brown, who fell from a window in the Circuit Clerk's office early yesterday morning, is very seriously hurt. His skull was fractured and was trephined1 by his physicians early yesterday morning. At a late hour last night he was resting as well as could be expected.
The operation was performed several hours after the accident occurred, and although well performed, may not prove successful in saving the young man's life. Mr. Brown was kept under the influence of opiates during the day, and although he was able to understand what was spoken, he could only make answers to questions asked of him by a nod of the head.
With the exception of a partial paralysis he appears to suffer in no part of his body except the head. He has free use of his limbs and there is no evidence of bruises on his body, which increase the hope of his friends that he has received no internal injuries, and that he may be able to recover.
Several small bones were taken from the skull about two inches above the left eye, the opening being covered by a silver plate about the size of a quarter. Had the accident occurred the time of day when prompt surgical treatment could have been rendered, the chances for recovery would have been much better than under the present circumstances. His injury and his present symptoms are almost identically the same as those of the late Judge Martin, who lost his life recently in Oklahoma, O.T. Arkansas Gazette,
Wednesday, 20 Jul 1892Fearful AccidentMr. S.R. Brown, of Little Rock, who has many friends and relatives here, will be pained to read the following from the Little Rock Gazette, of Wednesday last
[text substantially the same as 19 Jul 1892 Arkansas Gazette
article, with the following exception]...He was taken to the residence of his uncle, Maj. J.W. Caloway
(sic) where he lies in a critical condition.The Southern Standard,
Friday, 22 Jul 1892
It appears that Roseberry Brown recovered and went on to live for eighteen more years.Sterling Roseberry BrownSterling Roseberry Brown, 50 years old, died at 8:30 o'clock last night at the home of his aunt, Mrs. J.W. Calloway
(sic) 1900 Louisiana street.
Mr. Brown was born in Arkadelphia, where he lived until 1877, when he came to Little Rock. He lived here until 1906, when he moved to Lake Village to accept a position as deputy county clerk of Chicot County. He returned to Little Rock the first part of May and lived here until his death. During his former residence in this city, he was chancery clerk of Pulaski county for two terms. He was a member of the Royal Arcanum, Knights of Pythias and the Masonic lodge.
The body will be sent to Arkadelphia for burial.Arkansas Gazette,
Saturday, 21 May 1910Death of Roseberry BrownSterling Roseberry Brown, aged 50 years, died at 6:30 o'clock on Friday night, the 20th of May at the home of his aunt, Mrs. J.W. Callaway2 in Little Rock. The remains were shipped to this place, his former home and placed in charge of Undertaker Newberry, and on Monday morning carried to Mt. Pisgah Cemetery3 and interred...His health failed him and then three weeks ago he returned to Little Rock.The Southern Standard,
Thursday, 26 May 1910
Sterling Roseberry Brown was buried beside his mother, Emily Owsley Callaway Brown, and shares a gravestone with her.
So now for my musings...
Here's what the north side of the Pulaski County Courthouse looks like:
*I think in order to have hit his head on stone coping, Roseberry fell from a third story window. I'd love to know which one was the one where the Circuit Clerks slaved away copying deeds. You know they put the lowest of the low highest in the Courthouse to suffer through the summer heat...ETA 30 Jun 2015:
A commenter on Facebook noted that the white stone annex was not added to the Pulaski County Courthouse until 1913. So, Roseberry would have fallen from a window on the north side of the original red stone courthouse.
*It's incredible to me that 27 years after he surrendered to Union troops at Shreveport, and "walked the whole distance back to Arkadelphia," Jonathan Wilson Callaway still called himself "Major." He did not die in the service of the Confederate States of America, nor were there career opportunities for him in the CSA after his surrender. I think that probably says a lot about his attitude toward black Americans afterward.
*I know journalism was different back then, but can you say "run on sentence?"
noun 1. a hole saw used in surgery to remove a circle of tissue or bone.
verb 1. operate on with a trephine.2
Annie Vickers Callaway, widow of Jonathan Wilson Callaway.3
Mt. Pisgah Cemetery is now known as Arnold Cemetery.