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 photo MaryCDunnCallawayWilliams edit.jpg
Mary C Dunn, during the time of her marriage to Allen Mason Lowery Callaway, 1866-1877

She was my great great grandmother. Her name was Mary C Dunn. Over the years, I've documented her first and second marriages in Clark Co., AR, her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Even 4th great grandchildren. I know how and when she died. I know where she is buried.

But I could never find her parents. I tried. I talked to her portrait frequently, hoping to prompt some lucid dreaming that would show me some obvious thing I had overlooked.
Then, a few years after I started my search, I met a cousin through Mary's second marriage.

He was VERY helpful in finding information about Mary's younger brother, Bob Dunn, who came to see her from Texas. We were fortunate to have this very weird photo of the two of them standing in front of a bedsheet.
 photo BobDunnMaryCallaway enhanced.jpg

From time to time, I would search through census records in Floyd Co., GA, looking for Dunns that fit this family of three known siblings, Martha, Mary and Robert J Dunn. Floyd Co., GA is where Bob Dunn (or RJ, as he was called in many historic documents) was born, according to a birth certificate for one of his daughters.

I could find age appropriate combos of any two of those names, but not all of them together, when they had to be little kids.

In any event, Floyd Co., GA didn't cut it for any date after 8 Sep 1866, when Mary married my great great grandfather.

I ordered her death certificate, thinking since she died at her daughter's house, the information would be there.

Nope. Her son and informant for the certificate, Ruben Ned Williams, said her mother was unknown. And that her father was Mr. Dunn.

I did not believe that Mary had never talked about her parents to her children, even if she was separated from them by distance or death.

Highly irritating. I can trace my Callaways back to 1667 in Somerset Co., MD, when Maryland was Maryland Colony, because there was no United States of America.

But in Mary's case, I couldn't get back any farther than 5 Jan 1849, when she was born.
Over the weekend, I got an email from Jason Williams, who is the cousin who found all that Texas information on Bob Dunn. Jason had been looking at some DNA matches for his father, and was back in census records for Floyd Co., GA.

He wanted me to look at one from 1850.
 photo 1850 census Floyd Co GA pg1 crop1.jpg

There at the bottom of the page were a couple - E Dunn, age 28, and his wife, Sarah Ann Dunn, age 24. Both were born in Georgia.
 photo 1850 census Floyd Co GA pg1 crop2.jpg

E Dunn (whom we soon determined was Ezekiel Dunn) and Sarah Ann Dunn had four children, according to the transcription of the census. Sure enough, at the top of the next page were four children.
 photo 1850 census Floyd Co GA pg2 crop1.jpg

The census enumerator had written the first two names of the oldest child - 6 year old William Berry. Then s/he had enumerated the younger children, James E, Mary C, and Martha L. With a quote ("), sometimes seen as DO on census records, meaning same surname. S/he never carried the family surname, Dunn, over to the top of the second age for this family. It also looks to me as if the children had originally been enumerated as a separate household, someone realized the error later, and went back and scribbled out the house and family numbers at the far left of the first line.

So for a transcriptionist - all transcriptionists throughout all the years - the four children had become William Berry/Burry, James E Berry/Burry, Mary C Berry/Burry, and Martha L Berry/Burry.

Except for my eagle-eyed cousin, on what must have been his umpteenth pass through 1850 census records for FLoyd Co., GA. It didn't look right.

Obviously not. I knew Jason was on to something.
In case any of my first cousins are reading this, and wondering how a guy named Jason Williams is related to us, he's our third cousin. Mary was his great great grandmother through her second marriage to David Andrew Williams.

Mary C Dunn -> Ruben Ned Williams -> Howard Ruben Williams -> Jason's dad -> Jason
Many, many emails later, Jason (who has done almost all the work) and I have determined the following...

Ezekiel Dunn and Sarah Ann Meeks married on 8 Sep 1842 in Floyd Co., GA.

They had at least 6 children: William Berry Dunn, born 1844 in Floyd Co., GA, died before 1870 in Clark Co., AR; James Alexander Dunn, born 3 Feb 1846 in Floyd Co., GA, died 29 Mar 1908 in Searcy Co., AR; Martha L Dunn, who said she was born in 1848 in order to get her marriage license in Clark Co., AR in 1869 to marry David Andrew Williams, died 2 Nov 1876 from tuberculosis in Clark Co., AR; Mary C Dunn, born 5 Jan 1849 in Floyd Co., GA, died 9 Apr 1929 in Clark Co., AR; Robert J Dunn, born 3 Dec 1853 in Cave Spring, Floyd Co., GA, died 15 Dec 1926 in Sulphur Springs, Hunt Co., TX; and Ezekiel Dunn, born 1856 - probably in Floyd Co., GA, although there are records that say he was born in Arkansas.
Then we lose the children in 1860 - at least neither Jason or I have found them with other surnames yet.

But Sarah Ann Meeks Dunn was found in the 1860 census - with her new husband, David Benjamin Cagle - whom she married in Clark Co., AR on 13 May 1860. They were living in Greenville Twp., Clark Co., AR. None of Sarah's children are with the new couple, although several of David Benjamin Cagle's children are living with them.

Now, Mary's marriage record to Mace Callaway in 1866 made more sense to me:
Oct. 15th 1866 Clark Co Ark.

This is to certify that I, James Wilson, a regularly ordained minister of the gospel of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church did on the 8th of September 1866 solemnize the rights of matrimony between Mace Callaway, aged 20 years and wife Mary C Dunn, aged 17 years. He having no parent or guardian and her having no Father and the consent of her mother made her home with another family. In their presents (sic) was the right for [illegible]. Both residents of this county and State. My credentials recorded Batesville Independence County Ark. James Wilson

Sometime between 1856 and 1860, Sarah Ann Meeks had been widowed, and relocated to Clark Co., AR. Her six children had been placed with other families. In 1870, Jason found 14 year old Ezekiel Dunn living with Green Anderson Malcom and his wife, Susan, in Greenville Twp., Clark Co., AR.

Did David Benjamin Cagle refuse to allow his new wife to have her children with her? At the time of their marriage, her youngest was only 4 years old. Were the children with either Ezekiel or Sarah's families back in Floyd Co., GA until she could get settled and send for them? Was there just no room at the Cagle inn for them?
Sarah Ann Meeks and David Benjamin Cagle had two known children - Rufus Miles Cagle, born 7 Feb 1861 in Clark Co., AR, died 10 Jan 1929 in Clark Co., AR; and Henry E Cagle, born 1865 in Clark Co., AR.

In the 1900 census, Sarah Ann Meeks, having been widowed after the 1880 census, was living with her son, Rufus Miles Cagle, and his family in Caddo, Clark Co., AR. She said she was the mother of 9 children, 5 of whom were living at the time of the census. Jason and I have only documented 8 children. I think there was a Dunn child - probably her firstborn - who died at birth or in infancy.

And here's the kicker - in that 1900 census, Sarah Ann Meeks is living one home over from her widowed daughter, Mary C Dunn Callaway Williams, and Mary's two sons, Ruben Ned and Willie Williams.

So why didn't Ned Williams remember his grandmother 29 years later when he gave information for his mother's death certificate?

We will probably never know.
Naturally, the next steps are to flesh out as much information as we can about Mary's siblings and their families, and to try to keep going backward to find the parents of Ezekiel Dunn and Sarah Ann Meeks. Jason is hot on that trail, burning the midnight oil.

And the journey is good.
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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.
 photo 100_0804a.jpg

*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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Jasper and Julia Herrington house, Clark Co., AR
 photo HerringtonGroup2.jpg

George W Burris Jr. house, 8th and Crittenden, Arkadelphia, Clark Co., AR
 photo GEDC0068.jpg

Jo Desha and Maxie Williams house, Russellville, Pope Co., AR. Original construction.
 photo TheWilliamshouseinRussellvilleThanksgiving1899crop.jpg

First addition
 photo Williamshouse2.jpg

Last addition
 photo Williamshouse3.jpg

George W Burris Sr house, Russellville, Pope Co., AR. 500 Glenwood, after the family moved to town from the farm.
 photo GWBurrisSrfamilyat500GlenwoodRsvl.jpg

This is a Sepia Saturday post.

Head over there for more wonderful sepia memories.


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