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dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, December 4th, 2010 03:26 pm
If you are like me, and are trying to cut down on the volume of paper that naturally comes with genealogy (I'm scanning as fast as I can), then you probably leap at the chance to get historic documents in a digitized format. Especially when long texts are searchable...

If you are an Arkansas researcher, or know one, I have two Arkansas Goodspeed CDs that came to me by mistake from Arkansas Research, Inc.

I ordered one set of CDs, and what I got was two others, Goodspeed's A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region, and Goodspeed's History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, etc. Counties of Arkansas, which were destined for a woman in Utah.

I contacted the owner of ARI, Desmond Walls Allen, as soon as I realized what happened. My name was on the priority mail envelope, but the Utah order was inside.

I asked her how to go about getting the Utah order to its destination. Desmond told me not to worry - it was her mistake and she'd fix it. She said if I had no use for the CDs to donate them. I already have all the Goodspeed everything-that-was-ever-written-about -Arkansas CDs.

My order arrived two days later.

I've offered these CDs to the Arkansas History Commission, and since they have not replied to my email, I am offering them here.

If you are not familiar with the Goodspeed Publishing Co., here's the Wiki page on it.

They are a hoot - besides providing some really good historical background and biographical sketches of the movers and shakers of designated areas of the US in the 1880's, the flowery writing style of the time just cracks me up.

Anyway, if someone wants the CDs, leave a comment and we'll figure out a way for me to get your snail mail address without breaching your privacy...

ETA: The CDs have been claimed. They will have a good home.

I just love it when that happens.
dee_burris: (Default)
Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 05:23 pm
It was there by itself.

A child's stone, which over time was wrapped in the shelter of the roots of a tree.

I couldn't find the grave of S A McGehee, his mother. His father's grave was several feet away.

Photobucket
Benjamin Scott McGehee, 25 Mar 1862-29 Apr 1862
Crooked Bayou Cemetery, McGehee, Desha County, AR
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, November 28th, 2010 09:16 am
Last spring, my dad called me and said there was going to be a tour of the old McCarley family cemetery on Saturday, March 27. The cemetery is abandoned now - I think the last grave dug in there was before 1900. The first one I know of was in 1847, when Moses McCarley's wife, Elizabeth P Griffin, died. As the crow flies, the cemetery is less than 3 miles from Dad's house.

There are at least 50 (mostly unmarked) graves. Some of our ancestors who came to Arkansas from Lawrence County, TN in 1838 are buried there, including my g-g-g-grandfather. I've been bugging Dad for years to tell me how to get down there, but it would have meant getting mixed up in a family feud.

The land where the cemetery is located now belongs to a third cousin-in-law of mine, and he has most of it fenced. We have a healthy respect for the symbolism of fences in the south, and honorable people ask if they can cross to the other side.

In my cousin-in-law's case, that means asking to open (and close behind you) a lot of gates.

And then, there was that matter of the feud...they are serious stuff down here.  )

Because they have stories. And we are the story-tellers.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, November 28th, 2010 09:05 am

Two years ago, my youngest sister asked me if I knew about the graves on the side of the road. She and her son had seen them as they drove down Arkansas Highway 5 to run errands in a growing town that has almost swallowed up the countryside.

I went to go check them out.  )
dee_burris: (Default)
Friday, November 19th, 2010 06:19 pm
The Baldings in my family came originally from New York, but made a stop to beget several generations in Vigo County, IN before coming to Arkansas.

James Henry Balding was born on 11 Jul 1841 in Sunfish, Pike Co., OH to Henry Balding and Hannah Morrell. I think Hannah was at least partly responsible for that leg of the Balding family coming to Arkansas, because Morrells came too, including her younger brother, John Clement (known as J C) Morrell.

In any event, after Henry Balding's death in 1843 in Vigo Co., IN, I found Hannah in the 1850 census, living with James Henry (her youngest child) and her younger brother, John and his wife and young son, in Memphis, Shelby County, TN.

By September 1854, the whole clan had settled in Des Arc, Prairie Co., AR, and J C Morrell had established and was editor of the Des Arc Citizen, a local newspaper that served the area until at least 1866.

James Henry Balding served in the Civil War, as a musician in the 15th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Josey's). On 6 Aug 1862, by order of Brig General Cleburne, he was detailed to Polk's Brigade Band. He mustered out of Granbury's Texas Brigade (Confederate) in accordance with terms set out in a Military Covention between Gen Joseph E Johnston and Maj Gen W T Sherman, entered into on 26 Apr 1865. He was paroled at Greensboro, NC. He came back home to Prairie Co., AR.

On 26 May 1868, James Henry Balding married Ann Elizabeth "Bettie" Booth in Prairie County. They had a daughter, Hannah Amelia Balding, who died in 1870, when she was about a year old. A second daughter, also named Amelia, was born on 26 May 1871 in DeValls Bluff, and Bettie Balding died, possibly during or shortly after Amelia's birth.

James remarried to Laura Isabella Cunningham on 27 Nov 1873 in DeValls Bluff. Their first son, Victor Claude Balding, was born in Prairie County on 9 Mar 1874, followed by Nelly Ione on 5 Jan 1876, James Ernest on 2 Mar 1878, and Ethel Clare on 16 May 1881. Amelia Balding died in 1879 when the family lived in Newport, Jackson Co., AR.

It must have been at his uncle J C Morrell's knee that James Henry Balding learned the newspaper trade. By 10 Jun 1874, the Arkansas Gazette reported that he was a member of the Arkansas Press Association, representing the DeValls Bluff Journal. In 1876, he was a member of the same association, but representing the Beebe Magnet.

By 1880 James and Laura had moved to Little Rock in Pulaski County, AR., and James was employed as a printer. Ethel Clare died in Little Rock on 11 Oct 1890.

By 1900, Laura was living with Victor, Nelly and James (Ernest) in Little Rock, and James Henry was listed as an "inmate" in the Arkansas Confederate Soldier's Home, established by the Arkansas Legislature in 1890 for Confederate veterans. In 1905, the Legislature opened admissions to the home to also include mothers, wives and widows of Confederate veterans. He was also listed on the home's 1910 census.

Laura Isabella Balding died on 16 Jun 1910 in Little Rock. She is buried in Oakland Cemetery there. James Henry Balding died on 21 May 1917 and is buried in the Confederate veterans section of the Little Rock National Cemetery.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 06:20 pm
Photobucket
Barkman House, 406 N 10th Street, Arkadelphia


According to the Arkadelphia Area Chamber of Commerce, the Barkman House was "originally owned by J.E.M. Barkman, son of early Clark County settler Jacob Barkman, this house was constructed by Madison Griffin, who built Magnolia Manor as well. Its ornamentation is known as "Steamboat" or "Carpenter's Gothic." The house was not completely finished when the Civil War began, and local legend reports that piles of lumber were taken from the front yard to build Confederate fortifications. Now owned by Henderson State University, the Barkman House is included in the National Register of Historic Places."

Photobucket
Captain Henderson House Bed and Breakfast, 349 N 10th Street, Arkadelphia


According to the B&B's website, the 9,000 square foot Victorian era home was once home to Captain Charles C Henderson, and began as a small cottage built in 1876. In 1906, the cottage was incorporated into what became known as "The Big House," and was further enlarged in the 1920s.
dee_burris: (Default)
Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 05:57 pm
I never knew him. I never knew his parents, George Washington and Frances Margaret (Young) Burris.

But in my mind's eye, I can almost picture 17 year old Thurman Burris valiantly trying to save his parents from the flood waters in The Great Flood of 1927, when the mighty Mississippi overran her banks and breached levees in states all long the river.

Newspapers all over the country carried coverage of the flooding, including this bit in the 17 Apr 1927 Aberdeen (SD) American News, which ironically is the only obit I can find for Thurman:

Angry Mississippi Storms at Levees
...Here and there the sweeping waters claimed additional lives and tonight the death toll stood at eleven for the week. Seven deaths were reported today. Thurman Burris 17, was drowned at Atkins, Ark., while trying to rescue his father and mother...

If someone knows if and where he was buried, please let me know.
dee_burris: (Default)
Monday, November 15th, 2010 06:36 pm
The old Callaway family cemetery in Clark Co., AR is now abandoned. The pine woods of Clark County have reclaimed it.


A few of the stones are still legible, including the one for Laura "Isibelle" (Holder) Callaway.


Photobucket


Isibelle was the daughter of Andrew Jackson and Elvira (Huckleberry) Holder, born on 6 Nov 1858, probably not far from where she was laid to rest on 6 Oct 1900.

She married Thomas Nathaniel Callaway on 13 Dec 1876 in Clark County. My great great granddad, Allen Mason Lowery Callaway, who was Thomas' older brother, signed the marriage license giving his underage brother permission to marry Isibelle.

Although she preceded Thomas in death by 33 years, they raised eleven children together, most of whom lived to adulthood, and who loved, married, and died in Clark County, too.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 08:11 pm
The one that gutted the business district of Russellville, Pope Co., AR.

The headline in the January 17, 1906 Russellville Courier Democrat sure got my attention.



Photobucket

Click here for a transcription of the article, which appeared the day following the fire and was written by J B Lemley. )
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, November 7th, 2010 09:38 am
Generally speaking, we love to love our Callaways.

But some of our male Callaways were a rowdy bunch, particularly in the early days of settling the various territories and towns where they lived.

Especially the line of Callaway men who descended from John S T Callaway. Several of them settled their disputes with their fists, were arrested and found guilty of assault, and then went on to hold elected office (Sheriff) in their towns. Go figure - I guess people felt safe with a man who was good in a fistfight, as long as they weren't on the receiving end.

Jonathan Wilson Callaway was John S T's grandson. His parents were Jonathan Owsley Callaway and Emily Hemphill.

Jonathan first married Harriet Jane Beall, daughter of Asa B and Sarah Ann Beall, on 28 Jan 1858 in Clark Co., AR. She was 16 years old. Harriet died on 23 Apr 1859 in Clark Co. - I suspect in childbirth, but have not be able to prove that.

Then, he married Ann E Vickers, daughter of E R Vickers, in 1867 after the Civil War. They had three daughters, Lizzie Callaway, Mary E Callaway High, and Julia Estelle Callaway.

From Goodspeed's Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Central Arkansas, (publ. 1889) at page 427, the following:

He was appointed first lieutenant in Capt. Flanagin's Company (E), McIntosh's regiment, later being made commissary of subsistence in the regimental brigade and division. He was afterward assigned to duty as assistant to the chief of the bureau of subsistence for the Trans-Mississippi Department, with headquarters at Shreveport, La., and Marshall, Tex. His final surrender was made with the Confederate forces, at Shreveport, at the close of the war, in May, 1865, following which he walked the whole distance back to Arkadelphia.

After the war, Jonathan moved around a lot, always in connection with his business interests. He also had political aspirations, according to Goodspeed's narrative:

In October, 1865, Mr. Callaway embarked in the commission business at Camden, Ark., which he continued until 1872, a part of the time residing at New Orleans in connection with his business interests. In 1874 he was elected clerk of the State senate, and in 1876 received the nomination of the Democratic State Convention for clerk of the chancery court, to which position he was elected. Removing to Little Rock he held the office for five terms, or ten years, then voluntarily retiring, much to the regret of those whose interests he had so well and faithfully served. The year 1867 witnessed his marriage with Miss Annie Vickers, and to their union three children have been born: Lizzie, Mary and Estelle. Mr. Callaway occasionally acts as commissioner or receiver of the Pulaski Chancery Court, and is lending his valuable assistance in populating Arkansas with immigrants and developing the immense resources of the county and State. He enjoys a wide acquaintance and the respect and esteem of a host of friends.

However, apparently not everyone thought so highly of him. An interesting news clipping from the Arkansas Gazette, dated 15 May 1884 about an item in the Arkansas Democrat:
"Mr. Callaway, candidate for chancery clerk, who now has 'nothing to say against the amendment,' once carried a pair of scissors in his pocket about the polls at Little Rock, and, while urging the negroes to vote against the measure, clipped 'for amendment' off the tickets, and palmed those bob-tailed tickets off on voters who could not read. Furthermore, his charges in the matter of the fees of his office are not above the severest criticism. Amendment men, honest Democrats of Sebastian county, what do you think about nominating this man?"

"I denounce the above statement of the Fort Smith Tribune and The Democrat as maliciously false in every item and essential particular and assert the belief that its author, E C Johnson, (as heretofore demonstrated) has not the manliness to submit the question of veracity here raised to any fair and honorable test. J W Callaway, May 15, 1884"


There was a response the next day in the Arkansas Gazette:
J W Callaway, in the Arkansas Democrat yesterday, denies that he 'clipped tickets,' and urged the negroes to vote against the amendment in the election of 1880. This adds to his list of infamies the additional one of a falsifier, as I will prove in due time. I will be in the city until 12 p.m. today (Friday) - longer if necessary. E C Johnson, Little Rock, May 16, 1884.

The "amendment" spoken of in both news items was one authored by William Meade Fishback, who became concerned with the issue of repudiation of Arkansas's debt. He believed that some of the state's debt was created by fraudulent means, and some was the result of Reconstruction. He argued that only "just" debt should be repaid. He introduced what is known as the "Fishback Amendment" to the state constitution, which prohibited the state authorities from paying the Holford bonds (results of Arkansas's prewar credit troubles), railroad aid and levee bonds (both challenged because the funds did not produce measurable results). Though the proposed amendment failed to pass in 1880, it was finally approved by voters in the 1884 general election, and adopted as the first amendment to the constitution in January 1885.

Kinda sounds like E C Johnson was calling Jonathan out to me...I never could find out if they actually dueled.

Jonathan Wilson Callaway died in Pulaski Co., AR in 1894.