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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.)
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 coping

S.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 1892

Condition of S.R. Brown Who Fell Out of the Court-house Window

Mr. 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 1892

Fearful Accident
Mr. 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 Brown
Sterling 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 1910

Death of Roseberry Brown

Sterling 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.
 photo Arnold - Brown Sterling Roseberry and Emily Owsley Callaway.jpg

 photo Arnold - Brown Sterling Roseberry closer.jpg

So now for my musings...

Here's what the north side of the Pulaski County Courthouse looks like:
 photo North side Pulaski Co Courthouse.jpg

*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.
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*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.

2Annie Vickers Callaway, widow of Jonathan Wilson Callaway.

3Mt. Pisgah Cemetery is now known as Arnold Cemetery.
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This is so maddening.

Noodling around with searches to connect a bunch of Vernon Co., MO Callaways to mine.

Because I know they have to be descendants of Peter and not Thomas...

And then I find all these Burrises buried in the Callaway Cemetery in Vernon County.

And cannot connect any of them - there's a really well documented genealogy complete with links - to my Burrises.

And the men with the older records were born in North Carolina. We believe our William Burris came from North Carolina.

Just maddening...
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There is no intention of a slight to the members of my family whose stories do not appear here.

I have chosen to feature for this Memorial Day three members of my family - one a direct ancestor and the other two my cousins - who died far from home and family.
The first is probably the most poignant for me, for the location of my g-g-g grandfather's grave was unknown to any of his family for nearly a century and a half.

Nathaniel C Callaway (1819-1862) went off to fight for the Confederate States of America on 6 Mar 1862. He enlisted in his home town of Arkadelphia, in Clark County, AR. His youngest child had just celebrated his fourth birthday. Nathaniel and his wife, Julia Ann, had just buried their second child nine months earlier.

And he just never came back. Nathaniel died of typhoid fever on 7 May 1862 at Southern Mothers' Hospital in Memphis - an overburdened facility staffed by nurses who really were Southern mothers.

None of the descendants at the annual family reunion knew when or where he died or was buried. No one’s parents knew what happened to him.

It took me two years of looking off and on until I finally mis-spelled his surname badly enough for a Google search engine to give me some valid results.

And I finally found him at Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, TN. Not only that, but one of his cousins. They were buried in the section called Confederate Soldiers Rest.

So I rounded up a Callaway cousin and we came to see.

We discovered that Nathaniel C and Levi A Callaway’s graves were not formally marked, but had the numbered concrete markers installed on all the Confederate graves in 1886. So we ordered their military markers from the VA.

And waited. The gravestones were delivered to my workplace and carefully loaded by the truck driver into the back of my SUV. Joe and I could have had them delivered to Elmwood, but after 149 years, we just couldn't stand the thought that something might happen to them.

Joe and I were finally able to travel to Elmwood on 19 Feb 2011 to watch the stones being set on the graves.


Todd Fox, the cemetery superintendent, set the stones for us. It may sound hokey, but when Mr. Fox was preparing Nathaniel and Levi Callaway's gravesites to install their stones, and told me I could have the tops of the numbered concrete columns he took out to lay the markers...


I jumped on it. Nathaniel's was 102, Levi's 140.

So family, those weathered pieces of concrete at the bottom of the steps in the east garden?

They are priceless.

Woodrow L. Rainey, S. 1/c.
Woodrow L Rainey, S. 1/c., 28, was killed in action in the South Pacific, the Navy Department has advised his wife, Mrs. Myrtle Nolen Rainey. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Rainey of the Griffin Flat community.

Woodrow's parents were Edgar Clarence Rainey and Millie Mae Burris, making him my 4th cousin.

Woodrow died aboard the USS Kimberly, a Fletcher-class destroyer, in World War II. Departing San Pedro Bay on 21 March 1945 for radar picket duty, the destroyer, off the Ryūkyūs, was attacked 26 March by two Aichi D3A "Vals," dive bombers of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Despite accurate antiaircraft fire and numerous hits, one enemy plane, trailing fire and smoke, crashed into the aft gun mounts, killing 4 men and wounding 57.

His parents placed this stone in Appleton Cemetery in Pope County, AR in memory of him, although they were unable to bury his remains. Woodrow was buried at sea.
Woodrow Lyle Rainey, 1916-26 Mar 1945
Seaman, 1st Class USN

I knew there was a memorial wall - the memorial to veterans who died in World War II during the invasion of Pearl Harbor.

I looked for Woodrow's name, and found it.


(You can search for names of your family members on "The Wall" by clicking this link, but you will have to be a member of to see the images from the free index.)
John Elbert Burris was the son of Thomas Frank Burris and Winifred Brashear. He was only 20 years old when he was declared missing and presumed dead by the United States Navy on 1 Dec 1943. He was later classified as killed in action.

John was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.

He is memorialized on The Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. The names of those whose remains were recovered and identified afterwards are punctuated with rosettes.
 photo PhilippinesTabletsofMissing.jpg

 photo PhilippinesTabletsofMissing2.jpg

I do not know if John's remains were ever recovered. He was my third cousin, once removed.
I created memorials for each of my relatives at Find a Grave. You can leave virtual flowers on those memorials by clicking the links below:
Private Nathaniel C Callaway, CSA
Seaman First Class Woodrow Lyle Rainey
Seaman Second Class John Elbert Burris
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Mace Callaway to be specific.

He was my great great grandfather.

This is the only known photograph of him that exists in my family.

Allen Mason Lowery Callaway, 3 Jan 1847 - 15 Feb 1877

I know quite a few things about him.

It's the things I don't know that bug me, and even more, that I haven't a clue about how to figure them out.

Like where he's buried.

And if his death at age 30 was related to his service in the Civil War.

And how, since he already knew the man who was to become his widow's second husband as a result of their service in the same CSA cavalry unit - was there some kind of an agreement between the two of them that David Andrew Williams would take care of the young widow, Mary Dunn Callaway, and their daughter (my great grandmother), Julia Ann Callaway?

And why did Mace and Mary only have one child throughout the course of their eleven year marriage before his death?

My C is for Callaway challenge is a challenge in so many ways.

I am taking the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge, albeit starting a few months late.
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A photo of my paternal grandmother, Addie Louise Herrington (left) and her sister Florence.

Florence was the only daughter of the five born to Jasper Monroe Herrington and Julia Ann Callaway who *was not* a twin.

Photo circa 1925

This is a Sepia Saturday post. Head over there for a look at other wonderful old photos.
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She died nearly 7 years before I was born, so I never knew my paternal great-grandmother.

According to what my dad and his sister have told me, if I had only known her at the end of her life, I really wouldn't have known her at all. At the end of her life, Julia Ann Callaway McBrayer Herrington lived with her daughter, Addie Louise Herrington Burris, in the house at 8th and Crittenden in Arkadelphia. The place my dad called home.
Seen from the eyes of children, as my dad and aunt were when their grandmother died, Grandma Herrington had changed. Now, she had a sharp tongue and shrill disposition.

Not like the grandmother of their memories when they were younger.

And not like the memories of my grandmother, Louise Herrington Burris.

I don't have Julia Ann's death certificate. The State of Arkansas couldn't find it for me. So I don't know her official cause of death.

I do know that she died on Wednesday, 12 Dec 1951, at her daughter Inez's house, while my grandparents were on an errand. I don't know if her death was expected, but I also don't have the impression that she was on death's door when my grandparents took her to stay with Inez that day.

Maybe Julia decided, as I know of many others who have, to take her leave while the person who cared for her was away.

Maybe she didn't want my grandmother to see her die.
I can only speculate about Julia Ann's early life.

She was the daughter of my primo brick wall ancestors, Mary C Dunn, and Allen Mason Lowery "Mace" Callaway.

According to the historic records I've accumulated, Julia Ann was the only living child that Mary and Mace had in the 11 years of their marriage prior to Mace's death. She was only 4 years old when her father died, so I wonder how much of him she remembered. I wonder if surely, she knew where he was buried. (I haven't found his grave.)

Julia Ann couldn't have known her father as the man he was before he served in the Civil War. Neither could her mother have known *that* man, as Mary and Mace didn't marry until 1866.

In the 1880 census, Julia Ann was living with her mother, new step-father, David Andrew Williams, and her step-sister, Mary Etta Williams in Clark County.

I know nothing about how the two girls - 4 years apart in age, with Mary Etta the eldest - got along.

In 1881, the girls got a new brother, Rubin Ned Williams. Almost a year to the day afterward, they got another baby brother, William Andrew Williams.

A few years after Willie's birth, David Andrew Williams fell ill with an unknown disease that caused wasting of muscles and a great deal of pain. He died on 23 Jan 1888, when Julia Ann was 14 years old, and her little brothers were 6 and 5.

Her mother did not marry again.
On 13 Dec 1891, Julia Ann Callaway married for the first time to Robert Bruce McBrayer.

Robert's family would have been well known to Julia Ann and her mother. They lived in the DeGray community of Clark County, and both families attended the same church.

Julia Ann and Robert McBrayer had 8 children together, including a set of twin daughters and a child who was stillborn. Robert McBrayer died of "kidney trouble" on 1 Jun 1905 at the age of 34, leaving 32 year old Julia Ann with 7 children, the oldest of whom was 13.

I think Julia Ann must have mourned him. She did not remarry for over 2 years.

On 19 Oct 1907, Julia Ann McBrayer married a widower with 5 children. He was Jasper Monroe Herrington, and he and Julia Ann had 6 children together, including two sets of twins, one of whom was my grandmother. They lived in DeGray in what has been described to me as a dog-trot house with three bedrooms.

Altogether, Jasper and Julia Ann had 18 living children. That boggles my mind.

And as I listened to my grandmother, it was clear to me that Jasper and Julia Ann did not do "his" and "hers." All the kids were their kids - no favoritism, and no step-this and half-that.

Julia Ann Callaway and Jasper Monroe Herrington, in one of the only photos I have of her without a child on her lap

From left: Julia Ann, son Larkin Wellington McBrayer, grandson Robert McBrayer, and mother Mary C Dunn Callaway Williams.
Photo circa 1926/27. Julia's mother, Mary, was probably already blind.

Julia Ann's mother, Mary Dunn Callaway Herrington, died at Julia Ann's home on 9 Apr 1929. According to her obituary, Mary Williams had been blind for 7 years before her death, and unable to leave the house for the previous 2 years.

At least 4 of Julia Ann's children were still living at home at the time of Mary's death, including my grandmother. Jasper died in 1943, 8 years before Julia Ann's death.

Julia Ann learned much about loss from a very early age. Perhaps she was responsible - at least in part - for the attitude about death that I saw in my grandmother.

We live, we love, we lose. We remember and reminisce, and we go on.

It's the cycle of life.
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I know some folks whose family trees look very neat and tidy, with the names and vitals of only those folks who are their ancestors. I think perhaps they are more interested in pedigree than family history.

You couldn't fit all the people in my family tree on a neat and tidy chart, because I research the collateral lines also.

I care about the lives and times of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and the greats and grands before them.

I also care about the ones they married - the ones to whom I am not related by blood, but whose lives are inextricably interwoven into my family history.

Sometimes I get ragged on about that - from friends as well as family members.

So it was a little gratifying tonight to see why those collateral lines, and the spouses of the people represented by them, are important.
I opened my email and found my monthly Callaway Family Association e-newsletter.

I always look forward to this one. My great-grandmother was a Clark County Callaway, descended from the line of Peter I, who came to this country as an immigrant soon after his birth in 1640. His family settled in Somerset County MD when Maryland was still a colony.

As there usually is in each newsletter, there was a "mystery" Callaway for readers to chew on, to see if we could get a definitive identification.

Only as I read the letters to Cicero Marion Callaway, written in April and May of 1849 from the journey to the fields of the gold rush, I didn't have the same reaction as the newsletter writer.

The letters are real gems - very newsy and chatty - and are signed, "Rueben Son."

CM and Louisa Callaway had a son named Rueben all right - but he was born in 1850, and may not even have been a gleam in CM's eye at the time the letters were written.

So I sent an email to the newsletter writer, asking:
Could the Reuben who wrote to Cicero Callaway about the gold rush have been the brother of CM's wife, Louisa (Son) Callaway?

I got a very prompt reply.
Hi Dee,
I think he was signing it meaning "your son, Reuben". At least that's what it seems like to me.

And to that, I replied:
Okay, I just thought since Louisa had a brother named Rueben who was born in 1826, it was most likely him.

And I still do.

ETA: This evening (9/2), I received an email from the CFA newsletter writer saying she had contacted the Callaway descendant who donated the letters to the University of Mississippi. He confirmed that Rueben Son, who authored the letters to CM Callaway, was the brother of CM's wife, Louisa.

My research has shown that Rueben Son did go to the California gold mines as he told his brother-in-law he would in the 1849 letters. In the 1850 census, he was in a gold mining camp in Placerville, El Dorado Co., CA.

Various family trees say that Reuben Son died in Shasta, Shasta Co., CA two days after Christmas in 1857, at the age of 31.
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For details on my Callaway ancestry.

I need to do my dishes.

And I wanted to watch *all* of a Ken Burns documentary on PBS.

But that will have to wait.

Because I found the identities of three mothers, who previously appeared as Unknowns in my GEDCOM.

And now, they are known!

Not only that, but now I know details about the parents of one of the women.

I love it when that happens.
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Geneabloggers who have been blogging for any length of time know this to be true.

If you blog it, they will come.

Cousins you never knew you had will find your blog entries in searches on Google and other search engines.

In the case of several of mine, they will keep coming back.

They cheer me on.

They share photos and other interesting tidbits they discover in their own searches, and keep an eye out for surnames in my tree that aren't even in theirs.

My cup ran over this week.
First was Dixie, a new Balding cousin.

She found my Wedding Wednesday entry on Anson Balding and Ruth Woodrow.

She's a direct descendant. She gave me the names and other data on 5 of the 8 children born to them.

And thoughts about where some of those folks are buried - right here in Little Rock, in two of my favorite cemeteries.
My Callaway cousin, Joe, shared a photo I'd never seen before of Thomas Nathaniel Callaway and Laura Isibelle Holder. (They are his great grandparents.)


Thomas Callaway was the son of Nathaniel C Callaway, whose grave we'd never been able to find until a chance remark made to me at the annual Callaway/Holder family reunion in 2010 made me come home and give Google a real workout.

Joe and I went to Elmwood Cemetery in February last year, and finally placed proper markers on Nathaniel's grave and that of one of his cousins.
And bless her soul...

My Freeman cousin, Jennie, always keeps me in mind in her searches. She and I have deep ancestral roots in Pope Co., AR, and before that, in Tennessee.

My morning email had a note from her wondering if she had located the grave of Anne Parker, wife of William Stout. I had no dates of birth or death for either of them, and did not know where they were buried. Their son, John Wesley Stout, married Martha Jane Ashmore, my first cousin, 3 times removed.

The grave she found at Arkansas Gravestones wasn't the right one, but I did a little searching around and found both William Stout and Anne Parker's graves memorialized in Old Lake Cemetery, just outside Dover.

They were buried on their farm. A memorial plaque for William said he was assassinated at his farm on 4 December 1865.

There were a lot of bushwhackers from both the Union and Confederate sides back then.

So now, I'll wonder...

Did one or more of them surprise 56 year old William Stout as he fed his livestock or mended harness, or any one of many other winter chores?

Or could it have been one of his neighbors? Loyalties were deeply divided in Arkansas about the Civil War...
Keep up with your cousins, folks.
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Spent some time in the 1940 census yesterday, looking in Clark County, AR for my dad when he was a wee thing...

Found him, there on line 20.

Grandma gave the information to the census enumerator.


Granddaddy worked an average of 48 hours a week as the assistant postmaster, and made $2,000 a year - today's equivalent is $32,770.29.

He was supporting a wife and three kids, and almost exactly a year later, their last child, a daughter, was born.
I also found some Callaways not far from there and was able at last to connect Joe E Callaway to his parents.

Wonder if Grandma knew her second cousin was living a few streets over?
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Since my cousin, Joe, and I made the trip to Memphis to mark our 3rd great grandfather's grave.

I remember how happy we both were to get the photos and how satisfying it was to finally be able to mark his resting place.
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Like many other geneabloggers, I have some Google alerts delivered to my inbox in the never-ending quest to find relevant bits of information about my ancestors and collateral kin.

Today, I skimmed through the alerts in my inbox, and found a really interesting one.

The Tri-County Herald had a reprint of an article originally published on 6 Aug 1973, in which Alta Callaway reminisced about her arrival in Outlook, WA with her parents, and the first winter they spent there in 1910-1911.

The details made it so precious.

There were board sidewalks from the depot to the north end of Outlook. "When you stepped off you stepped into ankle deep dust," she said.

"Everyone carried water from the town well. My husband would carry water for me to do the wash before he would go to work," she said.

I cannot imagine having to carry water from town to do the wash.

And sidewalks were truly a necessity, if you were going to keep your skirt out of "ankle deep dust."
I did a little checking on Alta Callaway.

She was the second wife of Luman Callaway, who was descended from the same Callaway patriarch as I, meaning he was some many-times-removed cousin of mine. The Callaway Family Association Rootsweb file on Peter I's descendants has this entry on Luman Callaway.

Most days, the Google alerts get skimmed and deleted.

Today's was a keeper.
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While other people gaze longingly at classic works of art in galleries, you can find me searching through old city directories on Ancestry.

Like the 1893-1898 Little Rock city directories, looking for Callaways.

And finding that Julia Estelle Callaway, one of the old maid daughters of Jonathan Wilson Callaway and Ann E Vickers, was a school teacher at Little Rock's Fort Steele School from at least 1895-1898.

So then, I had to look for a photo and information about the school, which I found archived at the Little Rock School District's website.

Ft Steele School, Little Rock, AR

What a hoot.

Wonder if her classroom was up or down?
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This is just fascinating to me - that the records still exist.

I looked back in the blog and saw that I had not provided the survey documents for the land they owned in Louisiana Territory - Ste. Genevieve District, it was at the time.


Even more fascinating to me was their neighbor directly to the north - Jonathan Owsley.


He witnessed their marriage.

And they named their second son, Jonathan Owsley Callaway.

Maybe there were Owsleys on Amy's side of the family.
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In the air conditioned arts and crafts building at the Clark County Fairgrounds.

There was plenty to eat.

I understand the head count was 51.

I met some folks I hadn't seen last year, and one of them brought the neatest display, with several photos I did not have.


Clell descends from my 3rd great-granddaddy, Nathaniel, through his youngest son, Thomas Nathaniel.

Thomas N Callaway, 1858-1934

Clell and his wife, Troy, went to Elmwood to photograph Nathaniel and Levi's newly marked graves in March.

If you look closely at Clell's display above, you'll see him posing by Nathaniel's grave in the red sweatshirt.

He found the staff at Elmwood to be just as lovely as (our cousin) Joe and I did when we had the stones set in February.
I was able to share copies of some Civil War service records, marriage records, and land records of John and Amy Stamps Callaway's considerable holdings in Louisiana Territory (now parts of Francois and Bollinger counties in Missouri) with my Callaway kin.

One of our Holder cousins had unearthed a very lengthy 1915 article about John Callaway's move to Arkansas, and it had a huge section in it about our kinship to Daniel Boone.


Apparently, that fable has been reported in Callaway family history for at least a century.

Maybe we'll finally debunk it for good by the end of the second century.
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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.
dee_burris: (Default)
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...
dee_burris: (Default)

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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Dee Burris Blakley

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