May. 20th, 2016

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Nearly five years ago, one of my Callaway cousins asked me to find out if we were related to Elihu Francis, who murdered his wife and three young children and then set fire to his house to cover up his crimes.

And we Callaway descendants are related, but only by the marriage of one of Elihu's older brothers, Marian.

I had heard that Elihu died in 1916 in the insane asylum at Little Rock (now called the Arkansas State Hospital) of tuberculosis, but had no independent confirmation. I even knew where he was quietly buried after he died. Earlier this week, I went in search of media coverage. I found an article in the Southern Standard.
Elihu Francis Died In Insane Asylum Where He had Been for Observation

An important criminal case of Clark county was settled last week when the principal, Elihu Francis, died in the Hospital for Nervous Diseases at Little Rock.

It will be remembered that Francis was arrested in April of 1914 charged with the murder of his wife and three small children, whose charred remains were recovered form the ruins of their burned dwelling in Long Creek township, and that when he was arraigned for trial at the succeeding August term of the court he so appeared to be insane that the court ordered him to be taken to the insane asylum and there placed under the observation of the physicians to determine as to whether he was insane or only pretending insanity. At the next term of the court he was returned here for trial, but it still was not decided as to whether he was insane and he was sent back to Little Rock, where he remained until his death.

He died on Wednesday of last week of tuberculosis and the remains were brough here and interred near his old home in Long Creek township.

Source: Southern Standard, Thursday, 10 Feb 1916
Joe, Elihu is buried in Golden Cemetery.

I created his Find a Grave memorial when I found him listed in the Clark County cemetery books. I don't know if there's a stone, but I doubt there is. Here's the link to the memorial.

If you find a stone, please get us a photo.


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Dee Burris Blakley

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