|The Dudley Johnsons and the Callan brothers were early settlers in
Coleman County. Dudley Johnson, born 1799 in New York, New York,
was a soldier for 45 years. About 1838, he married Laura (maybe Rhodes)
and they had six children: (1) Jessie, born 1839 in Wisconsin – died 1921
Camp Colorado, married Fannie ?; (2) Laura, born 1840 – died 1919, buried
Camp Colorado, married M. MacNamara (see Henry Sackett); (3) Dudley, born
1843 in Michigan – died before 1908; (4) Annie, born 1845 in Michigan –
died before 1908, married Luke Williamson; (5) Emma, born 1848 in Pennsylvania
– died 1922, buried Camp Colorado, married John M. Elkins (see John Elkins);
(6) Virginia, born 1850 in Arkansas - died 1894, buried in Coleman, married
M. M. Callan.
The family came to Texas in 1852, when Johnson was ordered to Fort Phantom
Hill. He was Ordinance Sergeant, having charge of the artillery and
ammunition. When the post was abandoned in 1854, he was sent to Fort
Chadborne. In 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil War, the U. S. troops
left the fort, leaving the area defenseless. The Johnsons moved to
the nearest protected area, Camp Colorado, where Capt. J. J. Callan and
his company of Rangers were in an encampment on Pecan Bayou, 8 or 10 miles
away. Capt. Callan’s Company occupied the fort as winter quarters
and remained at Camp Colorado until the summer of 1864 when he was ordered
to the south part of the state. Capt. John Elkins and a company of
minute men were kept at Camp Colorado during the war. The Johnsons
remained at Camp Colorado until their deaths. He died in 1870, buried
there. Laura Johnson survived her husband 14 years, dying 1884.
While they lived at Camp Colorado the post office was kept by Laura and
her daughters. It was the first and only post office in that part
of the country and Rangers from all the camps would come by to get their
mail and visit with the girls. Mrs. Johnson’s comfortable cabin had
bearskin rugs in the winter and a good library. She had learned to
tan hides and she and her daughters made gloves, vests and trousers for
men. The garments were very soft and beautiful with their decorations
of fringe and beads. She studied medicine in her youth and was the
only “doctor” for many years in the parts of the frontier where she lived.
She was called “Grandma” Johnson and was considered an encyclopedia of
frontier life knowing what to do and how to do under the varied and difficult
situations always present. One day she was in the cow lot when she
heard something dart by her. Then, another strange noise passed near
her ear and she saw something hit a fence rail and fall to the ground.
It was a feathered arrow, and before she had time to move, two more struck
the fence, one of them burying its point deep into the wood. She
rushed into the house and barred the door, but heard a scream and cry for
help and knew it came from the hired boy. Opening the door, she found
him scalped and bleeding, and Mrs. Johnson, disregarding her own safety,
carried the boy into the house. She gave him the best care possible,
but he could not be saved. A little later, several men came to her
rescue and discovered that M. M. Callan’s (her son-in-law) beautiful horse,
Black Baby, was missing from his stall. Prior to this attack, a detachment
of the 45th Texas Frontier Cavalry had a fight with Indians near Caddo
Peak. A number of the red skins were killed and several were taken
prisoners and carried to headquarters at the military post at Camp Colorado.
Among the prisoners was Squatting Dog, who adjusted to the new surroundings
and learned to like one of his captors, Lt. “Peter” Callan (as M. M. was
called by the pioneers). He begged Pete to become his paleface brother
and declared all his relations had been killed in battle. He promised
to be faithful and “I swear by Great Spirit to no do bad thing.”
He was subsequently “adopted” and taken to live at Pete’s home. Mingling
among the army officers of the post soon caused him to feel that his unpretentious
title was not in keeping with his environment. “Me want fine name
like Col. Mister McCord and me want sword, too.” It was agreed to
grant his request in so far as the title was concerned. From then
on, he was called “Capt. Big Bluff.” This honor made him very proud
and whenever he met a stranger, he would pound his breast and declare,
“This is Capt. Big Bluff, me very brave and friend to Mr. Pete.”
It was about a year after his capture, that the Indian attack on Mrs. Johnson
occurred. Callan hurriedly got a troop of cavalry on the trail.
As Big Bluff was also missing, “misplaced confidence in an Indian” was
the verdict of the settlement and each one who commented made it plain
that he had warned Pete Callan of what was coming. The Indians traveled
west and in about an hour the trail led the pursuing party into a thick
pecan bottom on Hords Creek, 6 or 7 miles away. There stood a horse,
Black Baby, and lying on the ground at her feet were two Indians in a pool
of blood. One of them was still alive and it was Big Bluff.
When he heard Pete’s voice, the dying Indian cried out, “Me no bad Captain.
Come back for Black Baby. They take him. I follow and fight
and kill. I make promise to Mr. Pete.” It was a solemn little
service that was held over the burial of this faithful Indian. The
men realized that he made a princely sacrifice in keeping with his promise,
and that a paleface could have done no better.
Virginia Johnson married M. M. Callan. His parents, Michael and
Mary Ann (Wedaman) Callan, and their six children arrived in Baltimore,
Maryland, from Dundalk, Ireland, on August 22, 1844, aboard the vessel
“Luconia.” They settled in Georgetown, D. C., where later the boys
attended Georgetown College. Their three boys came early to the frontier
of Texas, two of whom settled in what is now Coleman County. The
first was James Joseph Callan, born 1833 in Ireland. He reached Camp
Colorado on Christmas Day, 1857, and married Margaret Jane Sheen in 1858
(see John Sheen). Prior to the Civil War he served in the Texas Rangers,
then in March 1862, he joined the Confederacy and was a Captain in Co.
I of McCord’s Frontier Reg., Texas Cavalry. In 1864, J. J. was elected
to the office of Chief Justice of Coleman County, so he tendered his resignation
as Captain in the Confederate Army, November 1, 1864. J. J. and Margaret
Jane had 14 children (2 girls stillborn were not named). The others
(1) William (1859 - 1862).
In 1881, J. J. Callan founded the newspaper “Coleman Voice” that
merged with the “Coleman Democrat” in 1907 to become the “Democrat-Voice.”
The J. J. Callans eventually moved to Menard where they were in the ranching
business. James Joseph and Margaret both died in 1919.
(2) Paul (1861 - 1866).
(3) Joseph Taylor (1861 - 1939).
(4) James (1863 - 1934).
(5) Ireneaus Ivanal (Rena) (1867 - 1942).
(6) Marie Virginia (1869 - 1963).
(7) Louis Gonzaga (1871 - 1916).
(8) Austin Benedict (1874 - 1953).
(9) John Berchamms (1875 - 1960).
(10) Leo Alphonsus (1880 - 1937).
(11) Claude Clement (1881 - 1956).
(12) Margaret Florence (1888 - ).
Michael Maximus Callan, variously called Marion, Peter, and M. M., was
born in 1841 in Ireland and was a student in Georgetown College when the
Civil War started. He enlisted in the Confederate Army in Alexandria,
Virginia, on April 21, 1861, and mustered into service May 8, 1861, at
Culpepper, by Lt. Col. A. S. Taylor, as Corporal with Captain Reuben Cleary’s
Company of Washington Volunteers, 7th Regiment, Virginia Volunteers.
He was wounded at Manassas and after spending time in the hospital, and
honorably discharged, came to Camp Colorado in 1862. In December,
he enlisted in Col. J. E. McCord’s Frontier Regiment, Texas Cavalry.
He was elected to the rank of 1st Lieutenant, April 1, 1864, in Capt. J.
B. Cooke’s Company attached to the Texas Frontier Regiment. Later
he joined his brother’s company in the 45th Frontier Cavalry. The
45th was organized principally for frontier protection and was not ordered
to the front until shortly before the close of the war. M. M. saw
a great deal of service along the far-flung battle line of civilization
and in one engagement in 1864, he was pierced in the nose by an Indian
arrow. He fell badly wounded and no more than struck the earth until
a big Comanche warrior was upon him. He was saved from instant death
only by the daring of a comrade named Bud Sneed. This incident happened
shortly after M. M. and Virginia, called Jenny, were wed in 1864, at Camp
Colorado. She was 14 and he was 23. They had ten children:
(1) Grace, 1865 Camp Colorado - 1923 in California, married
Harmon Bennett, 1862 - 1941, in 1891. Their children:
M. M. and Jenny Callan lived at Camp Colorado until Coleman was organized
in 1876. That year, M. M. became the first postmaster of Coleman
and his home the first post office. This was a position he held until
1889, when he was replaced after the election of President Harrison, a
Republican. Their son, George, was a clerk in the Coleman post office
from 1918 to 1922, having transferred there from Del Rio Post Office.
Jenny died in 1894, buried in the Masonic section of Coleman Cemetery,
along with Joseph Marion age 10, and Norma, age 5. In 1897, M. M.
married (2nd) Mrs. Alice Spalding in Coleman. They had no children.
About 1900, M. M. bought a ranch near Sterling City and moved there.
After being plagued by a four year drought and numerous livestock diseases,
he salvaged what he could from the ranch and bought a place twelve miles
west of Colorado City, near Westbrook. This property was bought in
his three son’s names and after M. M’s death in 1915, was divided between
(la) Norma Callan, 1892 - 1962, married (1st) R. M. Grose in
1915, divorced in 1928, (2nd) J. A. Buie, 1888 - 1947, in 1929, no children,
(see William Clark Gay, Sr.).
(2) Laura M., 1867 - 1875.
(lb) Clara May “Brownie,” born 1894, married 1913, Harry E. Thorpe,
1891 - 1962, in California. Their children: (a) Norma Ellen, born
1914, married 1936, A. Mac Cantin, born 1912, their children, Robin, born
1939, married 1961, J. S. Ronan, born 1934, a daughter, Kellie Lynn, born
1968, and Eugene Cantin, born 1944; (b) Helen Marie, born 1925, married
1946, Wm. E. Dunkum, Jr., born 1924, their children, Wm. E. III, 1952 and
(3) Teresa, born and died 1870.
(4) Genevieve L., 1871 Camp Colorado - 1953 Houston, married 1892, T.
Y. Cox, 1861 - 1955. Their children:
(4a) Eulalia, 1893 - 1968 Houston, married 1915, Wm. Forbes,
1883 - 1945. They had Mary Lou, born 1916, married X. J. Thompson,
born 1916, and they had Karen Ann, born 1944, married Everett Anschutz,
born 1943, one child, Jeffrey, born 1971.
(5) Joseph Marion, 1873 - 1883.
(4b) Genevieve, 1895 - 1968, married H. L. Elkins, no children.
(4c) Grace, 1897 - 1904; (4d) Wm. W. “Bill,” 1901 - 1983, married Florence
Huskey, no children.
(4e) F. Marion “Mickey,” 1904 – 1974, married “Bea” Goode, 1902 - 1968,
(4f) Anna Mae, 1906, married Marcus Kennard, born 1904, no children.
(4g) Marie, 1908, married Lloyd Alline, born 1910. They adopted
Linda, born 1944, married K. W. Bates, born 1943, their children, Gregory,
born 1967 and Kristy, 1971.
(6) Alice, 1875 - 1878.
(7) Arthur F., 1878 - 1932, married 1915, Beulah Ellis, 1892 - 1964.
Their child: (7a) Virginia Lee, 1916 - 1981, married 1934, Floyd
Ritchey, born 1909. They had: (a) Charles A., born 1935, married
Loralei Lady, born 1943, they had Gregory Scott, 1963, and Jeffrey Kirk,
1969; (b) Floyd L., 1938, married 1965, Judith Phillbrick, born 1947, they
had, Joel Lee, 1967, Gary Shane, 1969, and Kendra Ann, 1972; (c) Elna June
1945, married 1966, B. W. Turnage, born 1945, their children, Angie Maureen,
1967 and Callan, 1972; (d) Wanda Fay, 1947, married 1965, K. J. Stinson,
born 1943, they had twins, Debora and Deidra, 1967; (e) John Marion, 1952,
married Andra Gay Love, they have John Bryan and Andra Brooke; (f) Janice
(8) George L., 1880 - 1970, married (1st) 1906, Myrtle Bradford,
1887 - 1912 (see William Frederick Bradford). Their children:
(8a) Marion B., born 1907, married 1930, Wilma Manley, they
had Beverly J. born 1938, married 1964, Robert M. Kachel, born 1933, their
children, Kimberly Callan, 1968 and Nicholas, 1972.
George L. Callan married (2nd) in 1916, Ellen Martin, 1893 - 1979.
Their child: (8c) Grace A., born 1916, married 1937, H. E. White, born
1912. They had: (a) Carol E., born 1939, married 1961, J. H. Carpenter,
born 1936, their children, J. Callan, 1962, and Scott Wm., 1965; (b) Judy
J., 1941, married 1965, D. D. Oldham, born 1941, their children, Steven
D., 1968, and Michael K., 1971.
(8b) Adelaide E., 1911, married 1928, R. Barclay Hollingsworth, born
1908. Their children: (a) Marian, born 1929, married 1950, B. L.
Shafer, born 1925, they had, Chris B., 1951; Teresa L., 1953, married Rowland,
two children, Tyler, 1972, Jana, 1977; Trudy, L., 1955, married (1st) Smith,
divorced, they had a son, Jesse, born 1978, married (2nd) Clay Benz.
(9) Hugh Harvey, 1882 - 1969, married 1918, Mollie Beddingfield,
1892 - 1969, they had Leon H., 1919 - 1943.
(10) Norma, 1884 - 1889.
(Images to be added)
Annie S. daughter of Laura Johnson and M. MacNamara
Nellie Sackett with Leon, son of Hugh Callan and Grace, daughter
of George Callan, on porch of Sackett home Camp Colorado, 1919
Michael M. and Virginia Callan
Children of M. M. and Jennie Callan: George, Arthur, Hugh and Norma