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Goodspeed's Biographies

Martin P. Calaway, an old resident farmer and minister of the Baptist Church, was born in Georgia, May 2, 1835. His father, Martin K. Calaway, was born in Jasper County, Georgia, where he was raised and married to Miss Eliza Smith, a native of the same county, by whom he had ten children- seven boys and three girls - eight of whom - six boys and two girls - are living. Mr. Calaway, died in Calhoun County, Arkansas in May 1858. His widow died in September, 1887. His parents came to this county in 1847, when the subject of this sketch was but twelve years of age. Mr. Calaway, our subject, now owns a good, well-improved farm of 160 acres, about sixty acres under cultivation. He has been a member of the Masonic order since 1865, and has taken the degree of Royal Arch Mason. Himself and wife and all his children, except three, are members of the Baptist Church. He is the father of ten children, viz: Lucinda E., (wife of W. A. Quillan), Eliza C. (wife of William Mosley), James A., Pinkney N., Nancy J. (wife of Mr. Underwood), Columbia A. (wife of W. O. Thompson), Mary C. (wife of G. W. Sidle), Laura V., (wife of N. P. Johnson), Thomas J. and George M.. Mr. Calaway has preached the gospel for over thirty years. He organized the Mount Pleasant Church in Huey Township, near where he resides and was the first minister of this church over which he presided until 1885, when he was succeeded by Rev. L. O. Myers. He is a good, honest citizen, and resides about ten miles north of the county seat. [INDEX]


George Baker Chambers, farmer, of Jefferson Township, Chambersville post office, was born in Baldwin County, Georgia, November 22, 1841. His father, Thomas G. Chambers, a son of James Henry Chambers, a native of Virginia, was born in Halifax County, Virginia, July 14, 1802, and died in Dallas County, Arkansas, in 1875. Early in life he moved from Virginia to Georgia, where he engaged in merchandising and farming and was married at Milledgeville, in the latter State, to Miss Leodica M. Smith, a native of Virginia, born in Halifax County, in 1814. She was a daughter of Joel Smith, a soldier in the War of 1812. He was taken sick and died in the hospital during the war. They had a family of six children, but five of whom are living, of whom our subject is the fourth. Mrs. Chambers died December 18, 1887. When the subject of this sketch was but five years of age, his parents moved from Alabama, where they had lived for two years after leaving Georgia, and settled in what is now Calhoun County, Arkansas. Chambersville post office, which was established in 1846, was named in honor of Mr. Chambers. Here it was that our subject was reared and schooled, but owing to his limited educational advantages, his education was meager. Part of the time he rode seven miles to school. He resided with his parents until nineteen years of age, when he enlisted in the Confederate army in Talbot County, and served throughout the war. He was in the battles of Pleasant Hill (Louisiana) and Poison Springs (Arkansas). In 1866, he was married to Miss Catherine C. Councill, a native of Arkansas born in 1845. She is the daughter of Jesse and Harriett N. Councill, early settlers of Arkansas. This union was blessed with five children, but four of whom are living, viz: Thomas G., Harriet N., James H., and George B.. Mr. Chambers has been a resident of this county since 1848. [INDEX]


Eli Cornish is another prominent and successful farmer of Calhoun County, Summerville post office, Jackson Township, and was born in Drew County, Arkansas, on December 26, 1847. He was the fourth child born to Calvin and Elizabeth Cornish, who moved to Arkansas from Alabama, settling in Drew County, where our subject was raised and schooled. As he was growing up in war times, he received a very limited education, and began doing for himself at the age of fourteen years. His principal occupation has been farming, but he is also engaged in the saw-mill and ginning business, both sawing and ginning for the public. He owns a fine farm of 160 acres, with about seventy-five acres under an excellent state of cultivation. He erected his mill and gin in 1888, and has successfully run both since. Mr. Cornish was married in 1872, selecting as his companion for life, Miss Sara J. Benton, a native of Arkansas, and has six children living, two being dead, viz: Edward, Joseph, Calvin, Ruthie L., Erner, Eli, Effie and Robert. Joseph and Erner are dead. Mr. Cornish served in the late war, enlisting in the Confederate army in an independent company , under Capt. Robert Kidd, in 1862, and continued to serve as private until the close of the war, engaging in several skirmishes, but in no active battles. Mr. Cornish is a member of the Jackson Wheel (one of Calhoun County's subordinate wheels). He votes with the Democratic party, but does not take an active interest in politics. He is one of the substantial farmers of this section, and is a liberal subscriber to all worthy public enterprises. [INDEX]


William Jasper Craven is a resident of Calhoun County, Summerville post-office, Jackson Township, and was born June 29, 1849. His parents, George W. and Agnes M. (Webb) Craven, came from Bibb County, Alabama, to Union County, Arkansas about 1849, and here it was that our subject was born, the eldest of a family of five children, viz: William J., Elizabeth, Amanda, Mary Jane and Columbus. The latter died in July, 1863. The subject of this short sketch commenced doing for himself at the age of twenty-one years, selecting farming as his occupation. He owns a farm of 240 acres with eighty under cultivation. Mr. Craven was married in 1873 to Miss Martha L. Ricks, a daughter of J. D. and Martha M. Ricks, who came from North Carolina about 1848, and settled in Calhoun County. To this union have been born six children, all living, viz: Martha A., James David, William A., Annetta M., Robert J., and Carrie L.. Although taking no active part in the politics of his county, Mr. Craven is a staunch Democrat. He is at present serving as magistrate; was first elected in 1874 and has served ever since, with the exception of two years, when he was elected, but resigned. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, also of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union. Mr. Craven takes a deep interest in all things that concern the welfare of the community in which he resides. [INDEX]


Daniel West Dawson, a farmer of Jefferson Township, Chambersville post-office. The above named gentleman was born in Tennessee, November 27, 1832, son of Jonathan Dawson, a farmer, who was born and raised in Tennessee. He died in Mississippi, when the subject of this sketch was but a small boy. His wife, Elizabeth (West) Dawson, was born and raised in Alabama. When our subject was still quite small, his mother moved the family from Mississippi to Arkansas County, Arkansas, resided there a few years and then went to Hot Springs County, Arkansas, where she died in 1862. She was the mother of six children - five boys and one girl - but three of whom - two sons and the daughter - are now living. Our subject was the fourth child. He was mostly raised in Arkansas, in which State he was also educated, receiving only a small amount of schooling, as he was the oldest boy living at that time, and had to work to help his mother support the family. He resided with his mother, until he reached his majority, when he began farming for himself. In March, 1853, he married Miss M. C. Callaway, daughter of Martin and Eliza Callaway, born in Georgia, August 1, 1837. The result of this union was four children, all girls, all of whom are now living, viz: Martha A. (wife of T. J. McManus), Serena (wife of Joseph Jones), Susan C. (wife of William Cook), and Fanny (wife of W. R. Turner). In April 1862, our subject enlisted in the Confederate army, in McNally's Company, and served until the close of the war when he returned to his farm. Politically, our subject is and always ahs been a Democrat, casting his first vote for Buchanan. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He resides about eleven miles north of the county seat, and has been a resident of this county, since 1852. He has 360 acres of land about eighty of which are under cultivation. He is a good, honest citizen, taking an active interest in schools and all public enterprises. [INDEX] [Next Page]