Wednesday, June 20, 2012

JOHN ENEAS McCALLISTER: born in Henderson Co.Ky Oct. 14th, 1805

History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Edmund L. Starling, 1887 Reprinted
Unigraphic, Inc., Evansville, IN, 1965, pp 617-623.  Henderson Co

     JOHN ENEAS McCALLISTER was born in Henderson County October 14th,
1805.  His ancestors were of Scottish origin, and remarkable for their
personal courage.  His father, Eneas McCallister, was a native of
Pennsylvania; his mother, whose maiden name was Kinkead, was also from the
same State.  His great-grandfather, Samuel Kinkead, prior to Braddock’s
defeat, was tomahawked [sic] by the Indians on the Potomac River, in
Virginia, and his wife, two sons and a daughter, captured and carried away
to the territory of Ohio.  Samuel Kinkead, the oldest son, then about
fourteen years of age, effected his escape and afterwards joined
Washington’s army.  Mrs. Kinkead was separated from her children, some time
after their capture, and taken by the Indians to the territory of Illinois,
near the Mississippi River.  During this time a treaty had been effected
between the government and the Indians, and a large number of them came
into Pittsburg [sic].  With the Indians were the two Kinkead boys and their
sister, who had, during her captivity, become the wife of one of the
chiefs.  A short time after their arrival, the three were discovered by
their brother Sam, who was then a Captain in the American army.  He
persuaded the two boys to desert the Indians, but failed in all his efforts
to reclaim his sister, she refusing to give up her wild Indian life and
return among the whites.  The mother, who was a captive, as before stated,
in the Illinois territory, had often been importuned to marry one of the
chiefs, and had as often positively declined.  She offended one of the
chiefs in some way not known, and, for this reason, was ordered to be
burned at the stake.  The French, who then occupied the Missouri territory,
and had built the town of Kaskaskia on the opposite side of the
Mississippi, were on friendly terms and carried on a large trade with the
Indians.  A French merchant of Kaskaskia, named Larsh, was over among the
Indians, and, discovering a white woman packing fagots and sticks,
involuntarily made inquiries concerning her.  He soon learned her history,
and also that she was packing wood, whose leaping flames were that very
night to burn her mortal frame and waft her spirit into eternity. 
Horrified beyond measure, this Frenchman determined to thwart the decree of
the heartles [sic] monster and at the risk of his own life effect her
escape.  He met Mrs. Kinkead, and by signs and secret whispers, warned her
of her approaching fate, and begged that she fly with him.  This she
consented readily to do, and as good fortune would have it, the two
succeeded in reaching Kaskaskia.  Larsch [sic] was a man of considerable
means and unmarried.  Owing, perhaps, to the exciting and dangerous
incidents through which the two had passed, a mutual attachment sprung up
between them which ultimately resulted in their marriage according to the
rites and forms of the Catholic church.  Mrs. Kinkead had been raised a
Protestant, and, even after her marriage to Larsh, held to that faith.  By
some means, she managed throughout her entire captivity to save to herself
a Protestant Bible, which she read day by day.
     Kaskaskia was a Catholic settlement, and Larsh, her husband, was a
devoted member of the church; yet she held firm to her Bible and would read
it whenever an opportunity offered.  One day, while she was thus engaged, a
priest happened in, and, discovering her with the book, seized hold of it,
and, wrenching it from her hands, turned and threw it in the fire.  Her
husband was absent at the time, but upon his return, she told him what had
happened.  The story so enraged him that upon the return of the priest, he
rushed upon him and, denouncing him, said:  “I do you as you do my wife’s
book;” with this he seized the priest and threw him in the fire.  Larsh,
knowing the penalty that would be visited upon him and his wife when this
fact became known, seized a mattress from off of one of the beds and with
her retreated hurriedly to the river, where he improvised a raft, upon
which he placed the mattress, and the two made the perilous journey across
the Mississippi River, where they claimed the protection of General
Clarke’s army of Kentuckians, which had arrived in pursuit of the Indians.
Larsh, as before stated, was a man of considerable means, but, after his
flight, and discovery of what he had done, became known, every vestige of
property to which he set claim was confiscated by the French.  Captain
Samuel Kinkead, of the American army, then stationed at Pittsburgh, hearing
of his sister’s escape from the Indians and subsequent escape from
Kaskaskia, to General Clarke’s army, obtained a leave of absence and, in a
canoe, paddled down the Ohio to Cairo and thence up the Mississippi to
Clarke’s army, where he found his sister.  After relieving his fatigued
limbs, he, with his sister and Larsh, her husband, took passage in the
canoe and paddled down the Mississippi and up the Ohio to Pittsburgh, and,
although both banks of the Ohio at frequent places were occupied by
Indians, they made the journey successfully without encountering a single
Indian or meeting with any serious obstacle.  Larsh and his wife afterwards
removed to Ohio, where they raised a family of children who proved worthy
of their brave and noble parentage.  The Larsh boys became, in after years,
immensely wealthy, and one grandson died a leading man of Cincinnati
commercial and local circles.
     Captain Samuel Kinkead, who had braved all dangers for the relief of
his sister, whom he loved better than his own life, remained in the
American army until its disbandment, when he returned to Virginia and
married.  In the year 1794 or ’95, he immigrated with his family to
Lexington, Kentucky, where he remained about five years, then removing to
Livingston County, settling in that part of it which fell to Caldwell in
the formation of that county.  In the year 1804, Miss Jane, daughter of
Captain Samuel Kinkead, and Eneas McCallister, Jr., the father of the
subject of this sketch, met at one of those great religious camp meetings,
so frequently held in early times, and, at first sight, became victims to
that incomprehensible of all incomprehensibilities [sic], “love.”  Shortly
thereafter they were married and settled for life in Henderson County.
     As to the paternal ancestors of John E. McCallister, his grandfather,
Eneas McCallister, who was a wealthy man in the city of Pittsburgh, and not
only wealthy himself, but of close affinity with others of great wealth,
hearing glowing stories of the riches of the Cumberland River country,
determined to go hence and establish a mechanical village, he himself being
an expert blacksmith.  With that end in view, he loaded a keel-boat and,
with his family, embarked on the placid Ohio for the mouth of the
Cumberland River.  Reaching the mouth, he poled up to the point where
Clarksville is now situated, and there disembarked.  In 1809, he served as
Treasurer of the County of Montgomery, Tenn.  The Indian wars coming on,
and other reverses pressing hard upon him, he was forced to surrender to
the inevitable, after losing all that he had in the world.  Friends and
relations whom he left behind at Pittsburgh, urged him to return, and after
having lived ten years in that wild country, he concluded to do so.  Her
therefore procured him a large sized boat called a Perote, a boat made of
the largest sized tree, by digging out the center and rounded off its ends,
and in this he embarked with his wife and sons, John, Eneas, Jesse,
Archibald, Clark and Joseph, and daughters, Catharine, Polly, Betsy, and
Sally.  His boat he propelled with oars and poles.  The trip was not only a
dangerous one, but from the nature of circumstances, an exceedingly
fatiguing and worrysome [sic] one.  After weeks of hard work from the mouth
of the Cumberland, in stemming the current of the Ohio, the party succeeded
in reaching the “Red Banks,” now Henderson, where they were met by heavy
floating ice and compelled to take the bank.  Here he secured a vacant log
house on the river front and set to work to make himself and family
comfortable for the winter.  At the time of Mr. McCallister’s arrival at
the Red Banks, there were but few settlers, among the number being John
Husbands, John Kuykendall, John Haussman and Jake Sprinkle.  Mr.
McCallister was a man of great piety and very strict in his family
concerning the proper observance of the Sabbath.  He would not associate
himself nor permit his family to associate with any of the settlers on this
day.  As a consequence, Kuykendall and some of his friends, who had no
faith except that in accord with the devil and his works, determined to run
the old man off, and on a certain night secretly approached his cabin and
fired a volley into it.  They had mistaken their game, for their fire was
returned and they were forced to retreat.  During the winter, Eneas, Jr.,
the father of John E. McCallister, Esq., and his brother, Jesse, kept the
family well supplied with wild meat, frequently, when in search for buffalo
and bear, extending their hunt twenty miles out.  It was on one of these
excursions that they discovered a lick upon the bank of Highland Creek, and
this being reported to the father, determined him to give up his return to
Pittsburgh, and to remove in the spring with his family to that spot for
the purpose of opening a well for the manufacture of salt.  Mr. McCallister
did settle there, and for years manufactured salt at a great profit. 
During the time he located, entered and had patented large tracts of land
for himself and sons.
     Eneas McCallister, Jr., upon his marriage, settled the William C.
Green farm, one mile this side of Rock Spring, and two and a half miles
from Cairo, where the subject of this sketch, John E. McCallister, was born
October 14th, 1805.  Mr. McCallister raised seven children:  John E.,
Samuel, Eliza (who married Furna Cannon), Lorraine (who married Evans
Barnett), Orinda (who married Benjamin Talbott), William M. and Joseph. 
John E. and William M., who now live in Owensboro.
     Eneas McCallister, Sr., as before stated, was a devoted churchman and
for years was an Elder in the Rev. James McGready’s church.  In 1810 he was
appointed one of the Territorial Judges to the Indiana Territory, and,
removing there, held the first court for the counties of Vanderburg and
Warrick, in the town of Boonville.
     John Eneas McCallister was ambitious during his youth to obtain a
thorough education, but met with many obstacles in endeavoring to gratify
his early aspirations for knowledge.  He attended the common schools of his
home until he had mastered all the branches taught in the country schools
of those early days.  His father could not furnish him the means to enjoy
the advantages of a course in the more advanced colleges of the country,
but contrived to raise funds sufficient to enable him to obtain tuition in
the High School at Bowling Green, Ky.  Here our subject made rapid progress
in his learning, giving particular attention to the study of Latin.  Having
for a long time entertained a desire to become a lawyer, he was at least
enabled to begin the study of his chosen profession, in 1826, in the office
of George Morris, at Henderson, Kentucky.  After passing two years in the
preliminary study, he was duly admitted to the bar, and, in 1828, went
South to establish himself in his profession, but, after a short absence,
he was taken sick and obliged to return to his home.  Upon his recovery, he
was reluctantly compelled to abandon his profession of the law, and
thereafter engaged in occupations more conducive to the enjoyment of
physical vigor.     About this time his father died, and a large family was
left in destitute circumstances.  He at once went to the assistance of his
widowed mother, who was left struggling with adversity; and, by his
indefatigable efforts, and the help of his brothers, the family soon
rapidly advanced in prosperity.  He embarked in the business of a flatboat
trader in produce, along the Ohio and Mississippi River, and remained in
this business for about seven years with great success.  Upon giving up
flatboating on the rivers, he purchased a large tract of land, and
entered upon its cultivation, and soon became the leading farmer of his
vicinity.  His great ability and numerous excellent qualities gained for
him the highest respect of all his neighbors; and such was the confidence
reposed in his judgment and sagacity, he was constantly called upon to
discharge the duties of some responsible trust, in which his management
always met with the unqualified approval of all parties concerned.  He
possessed considerable knowledge of medicine, having devoted considerable
time to the study of this science, and thus was enabled to act as the
physician for his locality.  He was the largest landholder of his region of
the county, and all of his farms were models of excellence, and conducted
upon the most approved methods of agriculture.  He was freely consulted by
the neighboring farmers in regard to the planting and then the disposal of
their crops in the best markets, and his counsel was invariably followed. 
With his acquaintance of the law, many accomplishments, unquestioned
integrity and rare judgment, he became the confidential advisor of the
citizens for a large area of country surrounding his home, and the utmost
reliance was placed in his decisions.  His high standing in the community
and his eminent ability well fitted him for a seat in the councils of the
State, and he, therefore, was accordingly selected by his fellow-citizens
to represent them in the State Legislature, being chosen to that body in
1846.  He was for a number of years a Director in the Farmers’ Bank, and,
upon the resignation of Joseph Adams, was elected President, serving with
great credit to himself and benefit to the bank up to the fall of 1882.  He
served as Magistrate under the old Constitution from 1835 to 1851
inclusive.  He was married in 1832 to Miss Elizabeth Scott, a native of
Wilmington, Delaware, but suffered the misfortune of losing his wife, by
death, after having been married but ten months.  He was again married in
1838 to Miss Elizabeth Talbott, daughter of Benjamin Talbott, a worthy
farmer of Henderson County, and had three children by this marriage, none
of whom survive.  He was again married in December, 1867, to Mrs. Fanny
Stanley, a highly accomplished lady, daughter of Josiah Jenkins, of
Buffalo, New York.  He is a prominent member of the Episcopal church, and
evinces the deepest regard for the welfare of his church.  Mr. McCallister
is a highly cultured and refined gentleman, possesses a kindly disposition
and great suavity of manners.  Throughout his long and eventful career, he
has always shown the greatest philanthropic and benevolent spirit, ready
with his assistance, and willing to make sacrifices to promote the well-
being of others.  His course has won for him the highest esteem and
veneration of his fellowmen.  Mr. McCallister at this day is known and
recognized as one of Henderson County’s wealthiest citizens.  In addition
to a handsome residence, and four large storehouses in the city, he is the
owner of thirty-two hundred acres of most valuable farming lands in the
county, four hundred acres on the south side and twenty-seven hundred and
fifty acres on the north side of Green River.
     Since writing the above, Mr. McCallister died August 7th, 1886, at 2
o-clock p.m., and was buried in Fernwood from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

McCallister Kinkead Braddock Washington Larsh Clarke Husbands Kuykendall
Haussman Sprinkle Green Cannon Barnett Talbott McGready Morris Adams Scott
Talbott Stanley Jenkins
PA VA OH IL MO Livingston-KY Caldwell-KY Montgomery-TN Vanderburg-IN
Warrick-IN DE NY

No comments:

Post a Comment