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The Clark County Historical Association has photos and narratives of what it calls the Trigg place - an old homestead that was moved from its original location closer to the town of Arkadelphia.

For years, my Callaway cousin Joe has been trying to set the record straight.

The old Trigg place was first the old Callaway place. Just like my great grandma Julia Ann Callaway McBrayer Herrington said. (Her father, Mace Callaway, was Nathaniel's oldest son.)

Joe and I wondered when and how Nathaniel Callaway's land passed out of our family into the Trigg family.

Joe found the deed.

...Know all men by these presents that...J W Callaway and S A Callaway his wife and Thomas Callaway and Isabella Callaway his wife and Allen Holder and Caddo Holder his wife of the County of Clark and State of Arkansas for and in consideration of the sum of three hundred dollars to us in hand to be paid by T P Trigg...the following lands lying in the County of Clark and the State of Arkansas, to wit:
...this 4th day of November AD 1881.

A total of just under 200 acres.

They all signed with their marks.

Until I saw the deed, I never knew none of them could write.
One hundred bucks each for Nathaniel's surviving children - John Wingfield, Thomas and Caddo. That's worth $2,176.79 today.

Mace died in 1877, and his daughter, Julia Ann, got nothing. At least as far as we know.

Julia Ann's mother, Mary Dunn, remarried to David Williams in 1878. Did her aunt and uncles decide to disinherit her on the spot?

But Julia Ann knew the house - she knew that the fireplace had the date the home was built carved into it - way up high. According to my cousin Joe, Julia Ann told several of the old-timers about the Callaway homeplace, and that there were family graves out behind it.

Marked with rocks.

When the Triggs moved the home, the graves were forgotten. Over the years, development of the land has covered them up with water.
The Callaway/Holder family reunion is the last Sunday this month.

I've offered to be the traveling electronics roadshow.

I have the scans of the deed given to me by Joe on my computer.

Should make for interesting conversation with our Holder cousin who's an officer in the Clark County Historical Association...
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The Callaway-Holder annual reunion is next month.

A couple of months ago I sent an email to the reunion organizer, proposing that I bring my electronics and a bunch of blank CDs to make sharing information easier.

At the time, I got a rather cool response.

Apparently, someone's warming to the idea.

I got a recent email asking if I was still willing to do that.

Of course I am.

I like sharing.
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An Old Citizen of Hollywood Dies

On Tuesday, April 9 God in His infinite wisdom removed from our midst our friend and neighbor, Mrs. Sarah A. Callaway, who resided on a farm near Hollywood.

Mrs. Callaway merited the esteem and confidence of all who knew her and whereas we desire to give some feeble expression to the feelings that stir within us.

Mrs. Callaway was born in Hot Spring county, December 25th, 1860, and later moved to Clark county where she was married to John Callaway.

To this union was born four daughters and a son. Surviving are three daughters, Mrs. Marion Francis of Mena, Miss Maude Callaway who lived with her mother, Mrs. Homer Francis of Amity, and a son, Johnnie Callaway of the Mt. Olive Community.

In addition to the immediate family, she is survived by two granddaughters, a niece and several cousins.

Mrs. Callaway had been a member of the Missionary Baptist church from early girlhood, having joined the Mt. Olive Baptist church soon after it was organized.

At the age of 32 she was left a widow with four small children, the youngest being only four weeks old.

Those days, with the care and support of her little ones, were perhaps her darkest days. Mrs. Callaway labored early and late. She knew no defeat. There were times when crop failures were evident, either from overflows or from insects, many gloomy days hovering over the Callaway home, but she never gave up. She fought her battle bravely, serenely and came out victorious every year.

Her love of out-door life was evidenced by the work she performed on her farm. All of her work was performed with an inspiring quality of faith, charity and intelligence. She made an effort to view life and its conditions from the brightest angle and she was able to live comfortably in her declining years.

Mrs. Callaway was a kind hearted, clean souled woman, whose sturdy womanhood made her the example of all who in their hearts love the thing that is right.

As a neighbor she was agreeable. As a friend she possessed love to mankind and a desire to promote their prosperity and happiness. As a Christian, she remained true to her plighted faith, duty and love for her Master. As a mother she was patient, kind and devoted.

To the bereaved ones whose hearts are burdened with grief which no tongue can tell we wish to say:
"When with our loved one we're parted,
Never to meet here again,
Anguished of soul broken hearted,
Seems that we can't bear the pain,
Till we remember that Jesus
Promised us life over there,
Death is the door to release us
From earthly sorrow and care."

A friend.

Originally published in the Southern Standard, 11 Apr 1929

Note: I believe the obit is in error on the year of her birth. In the 1860 census for Greenville Twp, Clark Co., AR, she was shown as a six month old child. The census was recorded on 28 Jun 1860.
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In observance of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War on 12 Apr 1861, this blogging challenge was issued by Bill West, of West in New England.

As regular readers of this blog know, I am a southerner. I still live in the South.

It has been a common occurrence for me to find slave-owners in my family history. I refuse to glorify that word with whatever politically correct substitute phrasing is in vogue these days.

Some of my Southern ancestors - most notably my Callaway and Meek ancestors - bought and sold other human beings and treated them as their property. They willed some of those same human beings to their heirs, and fought for the right to keep on doing it.

Some others of my Southern ancestors didn't.

And the two sets of ancestors intermarried before, during and after the Civil War.

Must have made for some interesting dinner table discussions.

I have a many-times-removed Bowden cousin who is getting on in years, but who regularly sends me information about the Bowden line, even though there were relatively few Bowdens who married into my direct ancestral line. Where he feels it relevant, he tells me which ones fought in the War of Northern Aggression. I've told him I thought I recalled from my history books that the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, not the other way around.

I definitely would have been one of those damned Yankees. The sight of the Confederate flag flying today sickens me, and makes me want to personally tear it down.

Because the good ole boys flying it have to know - don't they? - that the South ain't gonna rise again.

Not the way they want it to.
No matter which side they were on, there is ample evidence that the Civil War changed the lives of my ancestors.

In many cases, it ended it.

In two cases I know of, the war had to have divided families - with brother fighting against brother.

It could have been Samuel Ashmore's suggestion, but for some reason I think not...he and his youngest brother, Robert D. Ashmore, enlisted at the same time at Dover, AR on 20 Jun 1862, in the 35th Arkansas Infantry, Co I, fighting for the Confederate States of America. Robert was 19 years old. Samuel was 30.

By 8 Jan 1863, Robert apparently had enough. He went AWOL. Twenty days later, his big brother Samuel died in the service of the CSA. Robert "deserted to the enemy" on 10 Sep 1863, enlisting in the 4th Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry, Co. H, United States of America.

Robert came home, Samuel did not. I don't know where Samuel is buried.

Cynthia Ann Ashmore, the widow of John Burris, was probably lucky that she did not know the grief the war would vist on her household.

All three of her sons went off to war. Franklin Buchanan and John Crockett enlisted at Dover in the CSA, 35th Arkansas Infantry on 20 Jun 1862, with Franklin serving in Company H and John in Company I.

Her oldest son, William James Burris, fought for the USA in the 3rd Arkansas Cavalry, Co. A.

Franklin died first, on the White River on 28 Oct 1862. His brother, John, deserted on 24 Aug 1863.

William died of typhoid on 1 Aug 1864. He was buried in the National Cemetery in Little Rock.

I can't imagine that the family was able during wartime to visit his grave. I don't know where Franklin is buried.

And I wonder if Cynthia did.

The Brannon brothers, Benjamin and James, were Tennesseans by birth, but Yankees in their hearts, as was their father, John.

All three enlisted together on 15 Aug 1862 in the Arkansas 1st Cavalry Regiment, Company L at Springtown, AR in Washington County.

All three lived to tell about it, although James was discharged on 23 Nov 1863, with the surgeon saying his deafness had worsened during the war, and he had a lung disease. Benjamin was discharged on disability in August 1864.

All three lived out their lives in Benton County, AR, where James was a respected physician and merchant.

There was no question about the Rev. Jefferson John Meek's loyalty to the Confederacy. He had much to lose if the South did not win the war. In the decade between the 1850 and 1860 census, he had doubled the number of slaves he owned.

He created his own infantry unit at Panola Co., MS on 27 Mar 1862. It was the 42nd Regiment, Mississippi Infantry, and Rev. Meek became Captain of it. He was 52 years old.

Capt. J J Meek had two sons old enough to serve, James Alexander, and Robert. James served in his father's regiment. Robert and Capt. Meek's son-in-law, William Waldron, served in the 2nd Mississippi Rangers, Company K.

Capt. Meek considered the war our holy cause. However, according to his letter of resignation dated 5 Aug 1863, he had found out just how much that cause was costing him.

Excerpted from the letter:
My son in law and my two sons have perished in our holy cause and my now aged and infirm wife has been left with no male members of the family to provide and care for her...

He was right about his son-in-law, William Waldron, who died on 3 Jul 1863. Capt. Meek's son, Robert, died of smallpox a month earlier in a POW camp in Alton, IL.

And when he heard of James' wounding and capture during the Battle of Gettysburg on 8 Jul 1863, he probably had every reason to believe that he was dead, too.

But James survived and spent the remainder of the war in the POW camp for Confederate soldiers at Fort Delaware, on Pea Patch Island, until he signed his oath of allegiance to the United States and was released on 11 Jun 1865.

Then he came back home to Mississippi to his wife and son, buried an infant daughter in 1867, had another daughter, and his marriage fell apart.

The Civil War nearly bankrupted his father.

Virtually all of the Callaway men old enough to tote a gun served the Confederacy. Only recently, I discovered that my Callaway and Clark County Williams lines probably had their first interactions during the war, when Allen Mason Lowery Callaway and David Andrew Williams served together in the 10th Arkansas Cavalry Regiment, at least two years before either of them married the Dunn sisters, Martha and Mary.

There is very little available information about this regiment on the internet. From a cached website, you can find the following:
Newton turned command of the 5th Cavalry over to Colonel Thomas Morgan on December 24, 1863 (whereupon the regiment was renamed as Morgan's 2nd Arkansas Cavalry), and assumed command of a small cavalry brigade [Note: This "small calvary brigade" was the 10th Arkansas Cavalry] which he led for the remainder of the war. On January 14, 1865, Newton's brigade in company with the brigades of Colonels William H. Brooks and Ras Stirman conducted an attack on Union forces on the Arkansas River near Dardanelle, which was repulsed. They next chased a fleet of steamboats down the Arkansas River, ambushing and sinking several of them near Ivey's Ford. Following this campaign, the Confederate force returned to the stronghold of southwestern Arkansas where they stood mostly in defense or garrison duty until the surrender of the Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi on May 26, 1865. (Source: Archive Wayback)

And having now learned that, I wonder if Mace and David's Civil War service had anything to do with their very early deaths - Mace in 1877, and David in 1888.

Mace's father, Nathaniel C. Callaway, died in the service of the Confederacy of typhoid on 7 May 1862 in Shelby County, TN, when Mace was 15. Mace's mother, Julia Wingfield, was left with three children under the age of 10 to raise. Until I discovered last summer that Nathaniel was buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, I don't think anyone in the family knew. Nathaniel just went off to war, and never came home.

Mace's first cousin, Jonathan Wilson Callaway, survived the war, and as reported by Goodspeed,...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. (Source: Goodspeed's Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Central Arkansas, (publ. 1889) at page 427)

Jonathan Wilson Callaway went on to be a fairly prominent political figure in Pulaski County, AR after the war, and died there in 1894. He is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock.

There is no question that the Civil War changed the lives of everyone who lived and died during that era in history, not the least of whom were the black Americans - slaves and free -who even after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, still did not receive the full measure of their American citizenship until nearly a century later.

As I study and make continuous discoveries about my ancestors who lived during that time, I always wonder what made them choose the side they did, and how those choices affected the lives of their families and others around them.

I guess I'll ask them on the other side...
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Thomas' older brother, A M Callaway, was my g-g-grandfather, Allen Mason "Mace" Callaway, and gave permission for the marriage, as well as serving as bondsman for his little brother. As the nearest living relative of the said Thomas Callaway I hereby consent to the marriage of the above parties.


Perhaps other family members felt Thomas and Isibelle were too young to marry. They were both barely 18 years old.

The marriage took place on 17 Dec 1876, and Thomas and Isibelle were married for 24 years, until her death on 6 Oct 1900. They had 13 children, and many of their descendants still live in Clark County, AR.
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I found copies of the letters of administration and a better copy of the order of the Clark County Probate Court at the Arkansas History Commission. (John Callaway was my 4th great-grandfather.)

The documents below are recorded at pages 36, 37, 160, 172 and 173 of Probate Book A of the Territory of Arkansas.

Where something is illegible, I'll use question marks. I've retained the same spelling as in the original documents.

Click on the images to make them appear larger.


Page 36

United States of America.)Clark County
Territory of Arkansas.......) Court in Vacation
County of Clark.............) January 6th AD 1835

To all whom these presents shall come greeting
Whereas John Callaway as It is said hath late died
intestate having whilst living and at the time of
his Death goods and Chattels rights and credits
within said Territory wherefore by the laws of this
Territory the granting administration, and also
the auditing and finally Settling the accounts of
the administration of the estate of the said John
Callaway unto us doth appertain, Wherefore
there is hereby granted unto Amy Callaway
widow and relict of the said John Callaway deceased
and John S T Callaway ample and complete
power to take into their charge and possession by
proper and legal means all and singular the
goods and Chattels rights and credits which did
appertain unto the said John Callaway deceased
at the time of his death and the law directs and
the same to dispose of according to Law and to
make Settlement of the administration at the


Page 37
times and in the manner prescribed by law.
In testimony where of I have hereunto set
my hand as Clerk and affixed the Seal
of Office this 6th day of January AD 1835
and of the Independence of the United
States of America the 59th

Isaac Ward Clerk

Territory of Arkansas..)
.......................) SS
County of Clark........)

I Isaac Ward Clerk of the County court
of the County aforesaid and ex officio recorder
therefor do hereby Certify that the foregoing
letters of administration granted Amy Callaway
and John S T Callaway, on the estate of John
Callaway deceased was this day by me Recorded
in my office before the same was delivered to
the said aministrators - Witness my hand
as Clerk aforesaid this 6th day of January 1835

Isaac Ward Clerk &
Ex officio recorder


Page 160
Territory of Arkansas; County of Clark
Clark County Court in vacation
January 6th AD 1835

This day came Amy Callaway and John S
T Callaway in their own proper persons
to my office and on their motion letters of
Administration is granted them on the estate
of John Callaway deceased upon their
entering into Bond with two or more good and suff-
icient securities conditioned as the Law directs
in the ?? sum of eight thousand dollars
which was done accordingly & thereupon took
the Oath prescribed by law as administrators
of the estate of John Callaway deceased, and on
motion of John S T Callaway, administrator
as aforesaid I do hereby appoint David Mobley
Archibald Huddleston and Adam Stroud
appraisers to appraise the slaves and other
personal estate of the said John Callaway
deceased & such part thereof as may be pro-
duced to them by the said administrators.

Isaac Ward Clk


Page 172
Appraised Bill of Property of the estate of
John Callaway Deceased, CO Adam Stroud
Archibald Huddleston and David Mobley appraisers
of the estate of John Callaway Deceased do appraise
the property as follows to Viz

1 negro woman named Lal............350.00
1 negro Boy Tim....................500.00
1 named Bill.......................400.00
1 Girl named Minnie................300.00
1 Boy named Morel..................300.00
1 Do named Harrison................200.00
1 named Bob........................175.00
1 named Ped........................150.00
1 named Buck........................87.50
1 named Rosie & child..............550.00
1 Clock.............................20.00
1 Buro..............................30.00
1 Dining Table.......................4.00
1 Bed and furniture.................20.00
1 Saddle.............................2.00
1 Bed and Bedstead..................15.00
1 Bed and Bedstead..................30.00
1 Cupboard..........................25.00
1 fall leaf table...................10.00
11 chairs............................5.50
1 Rifle gun.........................15.00
1 Bed and Bedstead..................15.00
1 Yoke of oxen......................30.00
7 ?? of Pot Mettle..................13.50
1 Horse Mill.......................125.00
1 Lot of Hogs.......................20.00
1 Bay Mare Jinny....................20.00
1 Mare Mariah.......................30.00
1 Dunn Mare.........................25.00
A Sorrel Horse......................30.00
1 Bay Horse Henry...................15.00
1 Bay Horse Archy...................25.00
1 Dunn Colt.........................15.00
1 Muly Cow and Calf.................80.00


Page 173

2 Cows and Calfs....................15.00
Amount Brought Over...............3825.50
3 head of young cattle..............10.00
20 head of geese.....................7.50
7 yoke of oxen......................30.00
1 Loom...............................4.00
1 lot of Ploughs.....................7.00
2 Balls..............................1.00
1 ?? of iron.........................5.00
1 ax and hoc.........................2.00
1 hand saw...........................2.00
1 Dima John..........................1.50
2 Horse Collars......................2.00
2 Balls..............................2.00
1 act on ???........................15.00
1 Do on John F??....................21.00
1 note on Green Davis...............13.00
1 Plough.............................4.00

Archibald Huddleston...)
David Mobley...........)Appraisers
A Stroud...............)

Sworn and subscribed to before this 2nd day
of March AD 1835

? H Rutherford

Territory of Arkansas..)
.......................) SS
County of Clark........)

I James I Ward Clerk of the Circuit
Court of said County do hereby certify that the
foregoing Inventory and appraisement of the
Estate of John Callaway deceased are truly and
completely recorded from this original now on file
in my office. Witness my hand as Clerk of aforesaid
This 9th day of May 1835.

Isaac Ward Clerk

A $3,900 personal property valuation in 1835 would be worth $98,000 in 2009. Not exactly chump change.

Of course, it bugs the hell out of me that the bulk of his "personal property" was other human beings.

Trying to keep it in context...
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Comparing church and military records for the Dunns, Callaways and Williamses...

In July 1863, Julia Ann (Wingfield) Callway and her son, Mason, joined Bethel Union Baptist Church in Clark County.

In 1865, Mary Dunn was a member of New Hope Methodist Church in Clark County.
In 1866, Mary and Martha Dunn were members of New Hope Methodist Church. (Lucinda Hitchcock, mother of David Andrew Williams, was also a member, although I didn't find David in the membership list, but it's a fragmented one.)

A M Callaway and D A Williams appeared on a muster roll dated from 31 Oct 1864 through 28 Feb 1865 in the 10th Arkansas Cavalry Regiment, commanded first by Reuben C Reed, and finally by Col. Robert C Newton.

On 8 Sep 1866, Mary Dunn and Allen Mason "Mace" Callaway were married by an itinerant Cumberland Presbyterian minister in Clark County.

In August 1867, Martha Dunn, Mary Callaway and James Dunn joined Bethel Union Baptist Church in Clark County.

On 27 Jun 1869, Martha Dunn and David Andrew Williams were married by a Methodist minister in Clark County.

On 2 Nov 1876, Martha Dunn Williams died of tuberculosis in Clark County.

On 15 Feb 1877, Mace Callaway died - we presume in Clark County.

On 13 Jul 1878, David Andrew Williams and Mary Dunn Callaway were married by Isom Langley, a clergyman, in Clark County.

And all the while, Robert James Dunn was living two farms over...

And my cousin Jason tells me...Capt Nat M Jones and Pvt. L. O. Ross are the ones that signed the proof of service forms for Mary to apply for her Civil War widow's pension.
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Which seems to be known variously as Capt Reuben C Reed's "old company," which was company A. (I have also seen variant spellings of his first name of Rubin and Ruben.)

Below is transcription of an article originally appearing in the Southern Standard, on 2 Apr 1908, and which was re-published by the Clark County Historical Association in its 1998 Journal.

I have been unable to find much information at all on the internet about this company, and Footnote searches for several of the men whose names are included in my family tree reveal no CSA muster roll records for them.

From another CCHA Journal article in the same 1998 publication, I saw a note that the enrolling officer for the regiment was Capt. M Crary, and the unit was comprised of mounted volunteers.

The men of most interest to me in the article below are A M Calloway (sic) and D A Williams.

Tenth Arkansas Regiment of Cavalry
Little Rock, Ark.
March 3, 1908

Editor Southern Standard:
Complying with a wish of some of the members of Capt. Reuben C Reed's old company, which was company "A" of the 10th Arkansas Regiment of Cavalry commanded by Col. Robert C. Newton, said company being raised in Clark County, some of whom are yet alive, I send you for publication the list copied from Muster Roll of October 31st 1864, now on file with General Jonathan Kellogg, Secretary of Historical Society.

The list is well preserved and is written in a good hand writing very plain and is as follows:
Reuben C. Reed, Capt.; N.M. Jones, 1st Lieut; James T. Sloan, 2nd Lieut.; W.R. Harris, 3rd Lieut.; A.G. Hearn, 1st Serg't.; K.R. Jones, 2nd Serg't.; Sterling Elder, 3rd Serg't.; W.F. Holder, 4th Serg't.; A.E. Rambo, 5th Serg't.; J.B. Smith, 1st Corp.; E.O. Rogers, 2nd Corp.; James Kellogg, 3rd Corp.; H.T. Harris, 4th Corp.

Bates, H. M.; Logan, John C.; Berry, Levi A.; Logan, T.J.; Bethea, J.B.; Lawley, John; Bettis, Lauson; Lawley, William; Billingsley, C.C.; Mackey, J.W.; Brown, E. L.; Marsh, H.C.; Brown, V.O.; May, S.B.; Buck, James; Moon, H.D.; Calloway, A.M.; Osborn, G.C.; Carlee, John Z.; Pride, T.J.; Crump, W.H.; Ross, L.O.; Davis, John H.; Ross, W.D.; Drummins, Thomas; Ross, W.P.; Fite, A.J.; Rudisill, R.M.; Fite, John D.; Russell, A.J.; Gibson, John S.; Sloan, Donald; Gates, W.W.; Sloan, W.J.; Harris, W.K.; Stafford, J.W.; Hart, G.W.; Stafford, T.J.; Harvey, W.W.; Stevenson, J.T.; Heard, T.A.; Stoval, John; Holder, T.B.; Stroope, W.S.; Holmes, H.G.L.; Wallace, J.; Huie, R.W.; Watson, John; Hunter, R.W.; West, J.R.; Jones, D.E.; Williams, D.A.; Jordan, Alex; Williams, J.H.; Littlejohn, A. W.; Williams, P.H.; Wingfield, John.

It is probable that some names with "J" as an initial should be an "I" as all are made above the line and for that reason it is immpossable (sic) to distinguish the "I's" from the "J's".

There is interesting data in connection with many names, among which is the record of those who were on a scout with Lieut. Harris to Burton, I will mention them: Lieut. W.R. Harris, E.O. Rogers, E.L. Brown, Thomas Drummins, H.G.L. Holmes, J.C. Logan, G.C. Osburne, T.J. Pride, D.A. Williams, and B.H. Williams.

In noticing more carefully I see that this report comes from October 31st, 1864 to Feb. 28th, 1865. Lieut. Joe Sloan is reported as acting Adjutant of Regiment pro tem since Feb. 19th, 1865. R.W. Huie is reported as "scout as courier to Arkadelphia." Donald Sloan is reported sick at home in Clark Co., Ark. since Dec. 25, 1864. W.J. Sloan is reported sick in hospital in Washington, Ark. Feb. 25, 1865. I might continue this almost indefinitely.

All of the above names are familiar ones in Clark County, some of whom are alive and residents of the county now. Some few of them were from Dallas county. This list of names ought to be placed on record in the clerk's office of each county: when the companies were organized for reference and for presentation, as the state will probably never do anything toward their presentation, judging by the failure of every effort to have it do something on that line, under the administrations of the last eight years.

I am appealed too often to ascertain the company and the regiment to which certain men belonged in order that the wife of some confederate soldier may be placed on the pension roll, or the soldier himself seeks the names of comrades in order to establish his service in the Confederate army. It always affords me pleasure to investigate as far as possible for them, but I am often unable to find anything because of the incompleteness of many company rolls.

Stan C. Harley
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Frankly, I was disappointed with the offerings at Ouachita Baptist University's Special Collections Section.

I did, however, make a few interesting discoveries.

A glance through the 1932 Southern Standard on microfilm did not yield an obituary I was looking for, but it did give up some interesting tidbits of local flavor about my Herrington relatives who lived in the tiny Clark County Arkansas community of DeGray.

I had never really considered it before, but what did you do for fun when you were dirt poor and the Great Depression sucked the life out of just about everything?

You went visiting...and it made the newspaper.

Searching through the conference minutes of the DeGray Baptist Church provided no information at all about where or how my g-g-grandfather, Mace Callaway died, or where he might be buried.

I asked for copies of all 17 pages of membership notes in the New Hope Methodist Church file for the years 1860-1869. There appear to be skips due to missing records, but they will be useful to my Williams cousin, Jason, and to a lesser degree, to me.

And while I was waiting for copies to be made, I scanned through the Clark County Historical Association's Journal index, and stumbled across a CSA Cavalry unit that seems to be unreported in the usual places, with alphabetized lists of troops who served.

Even more interesting is that it appears possible that Mace Callaway and David Andrew Williams may have served in that cavalry unit together, as shown on a muster roll covering the time from 31 Oct 1864 through 28 Feb 1865. (I'll transcribe that as a separate entry later.)

Another of the CCHA's journals provides more information about years in which Bob Dunn was mentioned in the minutes of the Red River Baptist Association.

So the CCHA made $45 off me today. I bought the 1991, 1993, and 1998 Journals.

Cousin Joe and I made an appalling discovery at the Clark County Courthouse.

We were looking for the letters of administration in the estate of one of our many greats grandpappies, John Callaway, who died intestate in 1834 in Clark County. Joe knew that John Callaway's estate was enumerated in an attachment to the letters of administration.

The probate clerk was able to provide us with a copy of the 6 Jan 1835 probate court order appointing John's widow, Amy, and his son, John S T, as co-administrators of the estate (they were, by the way, fined by the court in 1842 for failure to file an annual accounting of the estate - oops), but the clerk said we'd have to go to the books to look for the letters of administration.

So all three of us tromped over to the closet where the books are kept. 1840 was as far back as we could find.

So the clerk asked us if we wanted to take a look through the other books in storage.

In the attic.


Books with documents over 175 years old are IN THE ATTIC. With no climate control.

And not just in the attic...they were just dumped in the attic in hodge-podge, helter skelter fashion...many looking as if they were thrown in there by whomever was assigned the chore of moving them because before they had been IN THE BASEMENT - where they kept getting damp.

Joe and I kept grimacing at each other over the clerk's head as we looked, each of us righting a book here and there.

We did not find the letters of administration of the estate.

I'm hoping that book was rescued by the Arkansas History Commission and filmed.

So I'll be squinting at microfilm there tomorrow.

The journey is good.

And it continues...
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My office is undergoing renovation in stages.

There's a window of opportunity for me to try and fill in some pieces in the Bob, Mary, and Martha Dunn mystery.

It's time for the rubber to meet the road. Next Thursday and Friday, I'm taking leave from the office and going to Hot Spring and Clark counties to try and get some answers. My Callaway cousin, Joe, is going to shepherd me through the Special Collections section of Ouachita Baptist University.

I'm also going to be cold-calling a cousin who lives in Arkadelphia who has never heard of me. I understand he may have some answers - and maybe even some documents and pictures.

I can hardly wait...

You too can create a puzzle out of one of your own family photos by going here.
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William Hemphill Callaway "Big Bill"
His obituary, as printed in the Southern Standard, 10 Feb 1899, page 3, col. 4:
"Callaway, W H, died at his residence Wednesday night at 11 o'clock. He had been in feeble heath for several months. At the time of his death he was the coroner of this county. He was one of the oldest native citizens of the county, being in his 72nd year of age. He was somewhat of a remarkable character, and had a remarkable memory and could relate more early history of the county than probably any other citizen. "Big Bill" as he was called by his firends will be greatly missed on the streets."

William Arnett Callaway "Little Bill"
His obit from the Southern Standard, 2 Apr 1887:
"Callaway, William Arnott, died at his residence in Arkadelphia on the night of the 29th ult., County and Probate Judge of Clark Co., at the age of 63, after a lingering illness of rheumatic paralysis. The funeral services at his late residence on Wednesday afternoon, were officed by Rev. John McLauchlan, past of the Methodist Church of this place...Rose Hill Cemetery."

James Lawson Callaway
His obituary, as published in the Southern Standard, 7 Dec 1888, page 3, col. 4:
"Callaway, James L. Dr., of Hollywood, died very suddenly last Monday of paralysis of the heart. He had gone to the residence of Uncle Dick Wilson Monday morning to transact some business, and not finding Mr. Wilson at home, decided to wait for his return, but the time for his return had passed, and mounting his horse, started for home, but had gone but a few paces when he suddenly fell from his horse dead, and Mrs. Wilson hurriedly advanced to where he had fallen, stricken with death. We understand Dr. Callaway had been troubled with heart disease for some time. Dr. Callaway was well known here having been here all his life. His ancestors were among the first settlers of this county in the long ago."

Emily Ida Callaway
Her obituary, as published in the Southern Standard, 16 Aug 1873, page 2, col 6:
"Callaway, Emily Ida, died, daughter of W A and Emily L Callway, was born Sept. 1 1872 and died Aug. 10, 1873...for the eighth time, death has made requisition upon this home circle."
dee_burris: (Default)
He is descended from David Andrew Williams, and is my cousin by way of David's marriage to my great-great grandmother, Mary C Dunn.

And he has been burning the midnight oil, searching for Mary's kin. He found my blog entry with the photo of Bob Dunn and Mary during our recent record snowfall (when everyone was housebound), and ran with it.

He has some very intriguing thoughts about the possibility that Bob could have been Mary's brother.

And as with Mary, he can't find any parents for Bob either.

Maybe the two of us will, as he said in his very well-written and researched email, "figure it out one day."
dee_burris: (Default)
From the Gurdon Times, dated 24 Feb 1906:

Valentine Party
Mrs. Tom Callaway, in her charming manner, on last Saturday afternoon, from 3 to 5 o'clock, entertained the Kadohadacho Club with a Valentine party.

The weather was propitious and a large number of ladies were present.

The Valentine idea was carried out in the decorations, the house being artistically decorated in red and white hearts in the spirited contest in which all were so interested; also in the score cards, and last but not least in the delicious and dainty refreshments, after which we were served with most refreshing punch.

In the contest Mrs. Fitzgerald won first prize and Mrs. Kress won the booby prize.

The guests lingered and departed reluctantly, enthusiastic over the afternoon's pleasure and hoping Mrs. Callaway would entertain again at an early date.

Comment: The Kadohadacho Club was apparently the fledgling effort in Gurdon by women of the community to establish a library in their town. The Club was named for a local Indian tribe.

I do not know the identity of Mrs. Tom Callaway for sure - I suspect she may have been the former Mattie Estelle Moore, wife of Thomas F Callaway, who was the son of William "Little Bill" Callaway and Emily L Bevil.

But there are a bunch of Tom Callaways in the Clark County family tree around the same age. I eliminated the widowers...
dee_burris: (Default)
There are only the two photos in my collection of Madgie. In each, she is shown with one or both of her children.



Madgie had a twin sister, Maggie. They were one of three sets of twins in their extended McBrayer/Herrington family, and older half sisters of my grandmother, Addie Louise Herrington.

I don't know which sister was born first, but they arrived on a hot summer day in late July 1898 in Clark County, daughters of Julia Ann Callaway and Robert Bruce McBrayer.

Maggie died in 1965. Madgie barely made it out of her teens.

Madgie McBrayer married Homer Buck on 10 Jul 1913, just a couple of weeks short of her 15th birthday.

I don't know the names of either of Madgie's children, the youngest of whom died in 1918 also, and whose gravestone in DeGray Cemetery simply says "Baby Buck."


Madgie's stone was equally simple.


Her obituary appeared in the Southern Standard on 24 Oct 1918.

Mrs. Homer Buck died at her home in this city on Wednesday night of last week with pneumonia. The deceased was 20 years of age and leaves a husband and two children, besides father, mother, three sisters and three brothers. Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon and the remains were buried at DeGray Cemetery.

Madgie McBrayer died on 17 Oct 1918.
dee_burris: (Default)
The annual Callaway/Holder (or Holder/Callaway, depending on who your granddaddy was) reunion will be in late June again this year.

Like every year, so I hear. Last year was my first.

I bet I get pegged as an upstart.

'Cause I just sent an email to the reunion organizer - a many times removed cousin - suggesting that anyone who wanted to could swap digitized family information this year.

I'll bring the laptop, portable Flip-pal scanner and digital cameras, and a stack of blank CDs...

I'm curious as to how she will respond.
dee_burris: (Default)
Keep the secret or not...that is the question.

I've discovered secrets in my family - on both sides. Some of more gravity than others.

But yeah...I blog about them.

And in some instances, I have questions...why did so-and-so do thus-and-such?

In most cases, I will never know the answer to that question.

Because most of the time, I lack the context in which to frame the answer to this...gee, do I think that was right or wrong?

So I really ought not to judge, huh?

It's also good to remember that they were then just like we are now. Most of them dealt the hand they were played.

Some better than others.

Yes, I write about things that were kept quiet for years - things that I or others have discovered.

From multiply married and murderous Chapins, to Burrises with multiple families or the mid-19th century bad boy Callaway who died so young and had a mysterious wife named Mary, my family tree provides me with countless opportunities to mutter, well, would ya look at that?

My newest curiosity is over a mystery Burris child, whom I would not be at all surprised to find was another of James Littleton Burris' sons.

The discovery of the Mountain Meadows massacre was probably the most shocking surprise I had one Saturday morning in my slippers, with coffee and cigarette...

No one in my family for four generations ever mentioned that.

Maybe they were just trying to forget.

It worked.

Some of the family secrets and mysteries are having an effect on lives today.

I know firsthand of multiple individuals who have questions about true parentage. The people about whom they have questions have been dead for decades - in one case, for over a century.

If there's information out there to help them establish *who they are* - their identity - then, I won't be keeping secrets about my family, and hindering that.

I won't attempt to draw some moral conclusion about my ancestors without knowing the context of their situation. Did James and Adeline have an "understanding" that they didn't blab to everyone else because it was none of their business?

They could have. I don't know.

But I also don't know that they didn't. That's not the point.

The point is - someone out there needs the facts in order to find out who they are.

Good enough for me.
dee_burris: (Default)
I have a list in one of the genealogy folders on my computer.

It contains the names and burial locations of some of my relatives whose graves are unmarked.

That list bothers me. I'm doing my best to get rid of all the names on it.

Two of the names fell off the list today.

Nathaniel C Callaway - my g-g-g-grandfather, and Levi A Callaway, his cousin.

They are buried in Confederate Soldiers Rest in Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis.

My Callaway cousin, Joe, went with me to deliver the stones and watch them being set.



Todd Fox, the cemetery superintendent who set the stones for us, gave me the tops of the 125 year-old numbered concrete markers from the graves. Nathaniel's was 102, Levi's 140.

Two down - four to go.

Unless I find more...


Jan. 24th, 2011 10:51 am
dee_burris: (Default)
Got the call on my drive into the office this morning from UPS freight.

Tomorrow, they will deliver VA gravestones for my Callaway kin buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis.

I was so excited. Called my Callaway cousin (and partner in crime) in Clark County.

We're putting our heads together for a good time to take the stones to the cemetery and watch them being set. Western Tennessee will be hit by snow this week, so it will have to be later.

Then, we will get our photos...
dee_burris: (Default)
I imagine the surname McBrayer to have Scottish or Irish origins. I have only traced my McBrayers back to Cumberland Co., PA in 1764. William McBrayer, born in Cumberland County, married in 1788 in Rutherford Co., NC to Elizabeth Martin.

For the next three generations, McBrayers farmed the land of several North Carolina counties until around 1868, when Eli Wellington McBrayer and his younger brother Tilman (sons of Tilman W McBrayer and Elizabeth Amelia Bridges), removed to the fertile farmland of Clark County, AR and began farming there. In 1877, Tilman moved on to neighboring Pike County, AR.

Eli stayed put. On 8 Nov 1870, he married Harriet "Hattie" K Thornton, and the couple had three children with another on the way when brother Tilman moved on.

The first of those three children was a son - Robert Bruce McBrayer, born 10 Oct 1871, in Clark County. Robert was the first husband of my great grandmother, Julia Ann Callaway.

And although Robert is not related to me by blood, he was still family. As far as I know, McBrayer kids were just as much the kids of Jasper Monroe Herrington as Jasper's kids were Julia Ann Callaway's when they blended their families in 1907. And then went on to have six more.

Robert's parents were well-respected in their little Clark County community called DeGray.

Eli Wellington McBrayer and Hattie K Thornton had 11 children that I have been able to document. Eli was a leader in their church, DeGray Baptist (formerly Bethel Union Baptist). At least four of those children died before they reached the age of 20. DeGray Baptist Church Cemetery is the resting place of Eli, Hattie, and many of their descendants.

Among the photos I got on my recent successful visit to see my aunt was this one of Mary C (Dunn) Callaway Williams, and Hattie K (Thornton) McBrayer. According to the writing on the back, it was taken in the late 1800s.


This would have been a photo cherished by my great-grandmother Julia Ann Callaway McBrayer Herrington.

Her mother and her first mother-in-law, who surely had known each other for years. They were contemporaries and only born two years apart, Hattie being the younger. If the photo is from the late 1800s, then Robert McBrayer was still alive at the time it was taken. (He died in 1905.)

I think there may be a possibility that the names of the women on the photo were reversed. My aunt wrote that Hattie was on the left, and Mary on the right.

My cousin and I zoomed the photo on my laptop and compared it to the 3 known photos of Mary Dunn in my possession. (Took those suckers right off the wall, we did.) We believe Mary is the woman on the left.

And we have no reason to doubt that the women in the photo, regardless of their position, are Mary and Hattie.

I. Love. This.


Verna McBrayer Feimster

Verna was the daughter of Robert McBrayer and Julia Ann Callaway. Born on 5 Sep 1900, she was sixth of the eight children. She married William A "Bill" Feminster on 21 Jun 1928.

So I figure this was Verna's single gal, flapper look - before she married.

Most of Eli and Harriet's children stayed in and around Clark County all their lives.

So did most of their grandchildren, although two of Robert and Julia's sons moved to Texas (Larkin and Charlie).

That's still a long way from Scotland or Ireland...
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Took my Flip-pal on the road today. All of 15 minutes up the interstate to my aunt's house.

I have lots of aunts. But this is an aunt who has, for 30 years, had physical custody of every family photo, news clipping, obituary, letter, or court document belonging to her parents.

For safe-keeping. From her brother and sisters, it would appear. Kind of a gatekeeper, as it were.

Last summer, I thought it would be a good idea to get all the stuff she had and bring it home to scan. Another aunt let that idea come up in conversation.

It was a wonderful idea! For about 8 hours or so.

Then, it was not a good idea...well, not right now.

Last week, I decided it was time to get serious about getting the stuff copied - and now, I didn't have to move anything out of my aunt's house. Backing up my Flip-pal with two digital cameras, I was completely portable and self-sufficient.

It took a week and five lengthy phone conversations.

My aunt enjoyed herself. We took a lunch break and went into town to eat.

She is now very into the "sharing" of family history, and says she is sure there is other stuff tucked away in closets.

So I will be going back again.

And sharing what I think is a really cool photo I got today. Finally, a photo of Julia Ann (Callaway) McBrayer Herrington, without a kid sitting on her lap. Her husband, Jasper Monroe Herrington, is standing next to her. It's the only photo of him that I have.


They were my great-grandparents.

And another, different photo of my grandmother, Addie Louise (Herrington) Burris. (Her parents above.)


Happy dance...


dee_burris: (Default)
Dee Burris Blakley

August 2017

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