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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Yell County, Arkansas published by Southern Publishing Company in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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William D. Callan, an eminently successful planter, prominently identified with the leading interests of Dardanelle Township, was born in Eastern Tennessee, December 11, 1836, where his parents, George and Matilda (Davis) Callan, native Carolinians, settled at an early day, subsequently going to Alabama, thence to Mississippi, and in 1850 to Yell County, where the father died in 1862, and the mother, still living, makes her home with her children. They were conscientious members of the church. Our subject was raised a farmer, and when Hallowell’s company was forming at Dardanelle in 1861, he enlisted and went with it to Missouri, where he fought in the battles of Oak Hill and Elk Horn, or Pea Ridge, Farmington, Gibson, Champion Hill and Big Black River. He was dispatched to Corinth, Tupelo and Iuka, and took part in the second battle of Corinth, also fighting at Jackson and Vicksburg, and on July 4, 1863, was taken prisoner. Paroled and returning to Arkansas, he was recaptured near Dardanelle, and compelled to join a company of Federal troops, commanded by Capt. Bennett, and here he was practically discharged from service, but not being armed, was consequently seized by the Confederates, and sent to Red River, La., subsequently joining a company of cavalry, with which he remained until the surrender. Returning to his home, he engaged in farming, purchasing and improving eighty acres of land, which he has increased to 210 acres, part timber and seventy-five cultivated, and also raises some fine stock. In 1867 he wedded Miss Nancy J. Huff, daughter of William L. and Frances Huff, formerly of Tennessee, but who came to this county in 1848, where their daughter was born March 30 of the same year. Mr. and Mrs. Callan are the parents of eleven children, all living: George Monroe (born January 25, 1868), Amanda Allie (born May 6, 1870), Caroline D. (born December4, 1871), Audie Matilda (born December 1, 1873), William Anderson (born November 15, 1875), Francis Narcis (born April 10, 1877), Clemmie Price (born April 5, 1879), Harrison Alexander (born January 11, 1881), James Burton (born March 10, 1883), Dorcas Orleane (born June 24, 1886) and Gus (born August 2, 1888). Mr. Callan is a wide-awake and energetic citizen, and takes an interest in everything relating to educational matters, and has served as school director. He and wife come from a long-lived race, his grandfather living to the ripe old age of one hundred and ten years, and Mrs. Callan’s grandfather dying at the age of one hundred years, and her grandmother at ninety-seven years.

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This family biography is one of 124 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Yell County, Arkansas published in 1891.  For the complete description, click here: Yell County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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