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.
Although Jonathan Callaway may have been universally respected and admired in his hometown of Arkadelphia, 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. But my guess is that Jonathan's "voluntary retirement" spoken of in Goodspeed's
may have been connected with this "infamy" alleged by E C Johnson.
Jonathan Wilson Callaway died in Pulaski Co., AR in 1894.