Lt. Colonel John A. Callicott

Company C, 29th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Frank E. Callicott, one of the largest land owners in Gallatin county, Ill., living three miles west of Shawneetown, is a descendant of one of the oldest families in America. His ancestry can be traced back to an Englishman of that name, who came to this country and settled in Virginia, long before the Revolution. He had three sons, John, Beverly, and harrison, all of whom fought in the Revolution, John being a captain in Washington's command and present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. Beverly Callicott was born in 1752. He married and reared a family of eight children, viz.; John, Beverly, William, Samuel, Jordan, Dicey, Nancy, and Polly. Samuel, the fourth child, was born in Virginia in 1797. He married a Miss Anderson, whose father was a major under General Marion, and in 1829 came with his wife and family to Gallatin county, settling in the Pond settlement about eight miles north of Shawneetown, where they passed the remainder of their lives and are buried in the Callicott cemetery. Their children were Aggie, Claiborne, John, Polly Ann, Harrison, Talitha, Wade, and Washington. In those pioneer days he was a noted hunter, was twice married but no children were born to the second marriage. JOHN A. CALLICOTT, the third of the family, was born in Smith county, Tenn., March 31, 1824. He received his education in the old fashioned subscription schools and about the time he reached his majority went to Shawneetown and served an apprenticeship with Orvil Poole and Jobe Smith at harness-making. At the breaking out of the Mexican war he enlisted in Capt. M. K. Lawler's company of dragoons and served through the entire war. After being mustered out he returned to his trade of harness-making which he followed for several years, then becoming interested in transporting grain by flatboat on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The last trip he made to New Orleans was just at the beginning of the Civil War, and he lost his load of corn which he had taken down the river. Upon his return home he, with John Eddy and others, raised a company of volunteers, of which he was elected captain and Eddy first lieugenant, and which was mustered in as Company C, Twenty-ninth Illinois infantry. The regiment was attached to McClernand's division of Grant's army and fought at forst Henry and Donelson, Pittsburg Landing, Corinth, around Vicksburg, and toward the close of the war assisted in the reduction of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely, after which it was sent to Texas, where it was mustered out in November, 1865. At Fort Donelson, Captain Callicott was wounded five times and sent home to recover. He rejoined his regiment in time to take part in the fight at Pittsburg Landing,a nd remained under Grant until the latter was assigned to the command of the Army of the Potomac. Captain Callicott was soon promoted to major, then to lieutenant-colonel, and during the last three years of service was in command of the regiment. After being discharged he returned to Shawneetown, where he engaged in the saddlery business until 1875, when he again took up flatboating and followed that occupation for about four years. He then turned his attention to agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred on April 3, 1898, when he and his brother Washington fell victims to the great flood that did so much damage about Shawneetown, twenty-six lives being lost. He was buried on his farm in what is known as the Kanady graveyard. In 1850 he was married to Miss Sarah, daughter of John Ellis, whose father, William Ellis, was with Jackson in the war of 1812, and settled in Gallatin county about 1815. He entered a large tract of land and was the first county surveyor. His children were William, Abner, John, Caleb, Benjamin, James and Nancy. All married and reared large families, so that at the present time a large number of his descendants are living in Southern Illinois. The sons, like the father, took a deep interest in public affairs, and the family played an important part in shaping the early destinies of the county. The widow and one son, William, lived to be over 100 years old. John Ellis, the father of Mrs. Callicott, married Letitia McCool, daughter of Abraham McCool, who was an officer under General Marion in the Revolution. After the death of William Ellis his widow married a man named Hogan, after whom the Hogan graveyard near Bowlesville was named, and where William Ellis and a number of his descendants are buried. After the death of Abraham McCool in North Carolina, his son, also named Abraham, with his mother and her children came to Gallatin county. Two of his sons, William and marion, were killed while serving in the Union army during the war, one at fort Donelson nd the other at Guntown. To the marriage of John A. Callicott and Sarah Ellis was born one son, Frank E., the subject of this sketch. His mother died in 1854, when he was only about one year old, and his father in 1856 married Eliza Hamilton, but no children were born to this union. The second wife died in 1860, and in 1865 he married Hester Kanady. To this marriage there were born four children: Rebecca, now Mrs. McGhee, living five miles west of Shawneetown; Mary (deceased); William B. (deceased), and one who died in infancy. The mother of these children died in 1872. For many years John A. Callicott was prominently identified with the civic life of Gallatin county. He was one of the first four men to vote the Republican ticket in that county in 1856, and for nearly half a century afterward took an interest in political affairs. After the war he served two terms as mayor of Shawneetown and held other offices, in all of which he made a creditable record. He belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, more for the good that he could do others than for the benefits he might receive. Frank E. Callicott was born April 18, 1853, in the house now occupied by Mrs. Frank Eddy in Shawneetown. His early education was acquired in the public schools of his native town, and he still cherishes very highly a number of books awarded him by his teachers as prizes for good conduct, the highest scholarship, and regular attendance. Afterward he graduated from Miami university at Oxford, O., with the class of 1873, standing at the head of his class, and receiving the degrees of Bachelor and Master of Arts. He then took up the work of teaching and was for four years the principal of the Shawneetown schools. During that time he studied law, and in 1878 was admitted to the bar. He never practiced his profession, however, as he had become interested in farming operations in 1876, and from the time of his admission until 1893 was in partnership with his father. In 1877 he also engaged in the harness and implement trade, and while in this business had the distinction of introducing into Gallatin county some of the modern farm implements, among which might be named the twine binder, the disc harrow, the corn planter, the traction engine and the drilled well. In 1900 he sold out this business and the following year removed to the place where he now lives, and where he owns about 2,500 acres of land, most of which is under cultivation. To oversee this large farm requires most of his time and attention. All of this property has been accumulated by his own industry and business sagacity, and he is regarded as one of the most successful men in the county in whatever he undertakes. During the war he was with his father's regiment for a while each year, thus becoming acquainted with military movements, an experience he still vividly remembers. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias, and as a Republican takes an active part in political affairs, though he has never held any office, either by election or appointment, although well qualified for almost any position. In his younger days he was a member of the Illinois National Guard as a member of Captain Nolen's company, and participated in their drills, encampments and sham battles. In his youth he took great delight in athletic cycling, but in later years his time has all been taken up with his business affairs, though he still enjoys athletics as a spectator. He has never married.

Submitted by H. C. Davis

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