Callaway Memories

Photo courtesy the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society
Bruce Hackmann signs former Callaway teacher Mary Jane Schultz's copy of the new Callaway Chalkboards book about the rural school experience in the over 100 schools that once dotted the countryside.
Photo courtesy the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society Bruce Hackmann signs former Callaway teacher Mary Jane Schultz's copy of the new Callaway Chalkboards book about the rural school experience in the over 100 schools that once dotted the countryside.

Items of interest from past Fulton newspapers.

150 years ago (1873)

Col. Wm. H. Russell died in Washington, D. C. at age 69. The most prominent features of his eventful life

are given below. At the age of 24 years, he was elected to the Legislature from Nicholas County, KY. His

casting vote placed Henry Clay in the US Senate. In 1832, he moved to Missouri where he served as

Captain of Callaway volunteers in the Black Hawk war. He also served in the same capacity in the Florida

war. In 1842, he was appointed US Marshal of the District of Missouri. In 1843, he was elected to the

Legislature from Callaway County. In 1847, he led a company of emigrants to California. In 1848, he

served as Secretary of State of the Territory of California. In 1849, he led gold seekers to the mines of

California. He was Henry Clay's private secretary during Clay's run for the Presidency. In his last public

office, he was appointed by President Lincoln as US Consul to Trinidad and Cuba. {His daughter,

Josephine Russell Erwin Clay, was born in Fulton, MO. After her husband, Col. Andrew Eugene Erwin,

died in the Civil War, she and her three daughters moved to Ashland Sock Farm (Lexington, KY) where

she supervised the household as well as assisted with the running of the racehorse farm of John Clay,

her husband's uncle and Henry Clay's son. She and John Clay later married. After John's passing, she

becomes sole owner and manager of the farm. She is credited with being one of the first successful

females in the Thoroughbred racing industry. She bred the 1878 Kentucky Derby winner, Day Star. Ever

resilient, she met the challenges of cataracts and broken hip head on. Forced to be less active, she

became a well-known author and knitted over 85 socks for the children of soldiers in WW1. To learn

more about this native Callawegian, read "Josephine Clay: Pioneer Horsewoman of the Bluegrass by

Henry Clay Simpson, Jr.}

50 years ago (1948)

W. P. Divers, who will retire as county surveyor and highway engineer after working for 40 years,

received a gold pocket watch from the men who worked under him. The watch was presented by the

road workers in appreciation of his service to the county and to them. The members of the crew

assembled in Divers' courthouse office and W. C. Thompson presented him the watch. Attached to the

gold chain was a small gold tag bearing the initials of the road crew members. They were W. C.

Thompson, J. R. Means, John Henry Raps, Sam Gould, Fred Klick, Sam McCully, Raymond Sapp, Clarence

Blackburn and Walter Blackburn. Divers first worked in the office during 1906 under Buck Halley and

worked with him until 1909, when he took over the office. In 1940, he was not a candidate for office and

Douglas Gilpin was elected. He helped Gilpin until Gilpin resigned to enter the armed forces in 1942 and

then he was appointed to the office. He was not a candidate for election this year and he will be

succeeded by Nelson West.

25 years ago (1998)

Mary Elizabeth Wilson, 96, long-time Fulton resident, has passed away. Her parents were Charles M.

Wilson and Martha V. Dyson Wilson. She moved to Fulton in 1914 and attended Synodical College.

Survivors include a sister Marjorie Barns (Fulton), a niece Nancy McCue (Fulton), a nephew Charles C.

Wilson (Fort Lauderdale). After graduating from the American Conservatory in Chicago, she taught

school in Kentucky and Alabama. She returned to Fulton to start the Overstreet and Wilson Insurance

Agency in 1936 and continuing there until 1973. For 41 years, she directed several choirs at the Court

Street United Methodist Church. She was the only woman to serve on the Winston Churchill Parade

Committee in 1946. She was a part of the Callaway Historical Society and Friends of the Churchill

Memorial. She received her 50-year pin in P. E. O. in 1996. Memorial services, to be held at Court Street

UMC, will be officiated by Revs. George Braden and Richard Blount. Burial at Hillcrest Cemetery in

Fulton. Memorial contributions may be made to SERVE or Habitat for Humanity.

1 week ago (2023)

Sometimes memories made in Callaway County are too good to wait 25+ years before sharing. The

Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society's Old-Fashioned Pie Supper and Pie Auction was such a memory.

The festivities surpassed all expectations. As the 180+ guests arrived at the Pleasant Grove United

Methodist Church (Hatton), there was a time of fellowship as they enjoyed the more than 35 pies baked

by Rose Yoder. Susan Krumm, KCHS President and Paul Klepees, Pastor of Pleasant Grove UMC

welcomed all guests before Kelly Borman did the School Scavenger Hunt Facebook LIVE Drawing. The

drawing winners were Darlene Behlman ($100 & book), Allen and Jan Finke ($75 & Book) and Nancy and

Heather Erickson ($50 & book). Bruce Hackmann was available to sign copies of the new "Callaway

Chalkboards" rural schools book. At this writing, over 150 books have been sold. Recognition of book

contributors was given by Susan Krumm. They include Bruce Hackmann (Publisher), Danielle Kilmer

(Cover Design/Graphics), Barbara Huddleston, Bryce Gordon, Victor Pasley and Wayne Johnson

(Historical Consultants), Kelly Borman, Janet Hafey and Tom Henline (Photographic Assistants). The late

Bill Hamilton was the Chief Researcher. In the book, Bruce Hackmann wrote a moving dedication to Bill

Hamilton. Next on the docket was the Pie Auction with John Smart as the auctioneer. Each pie was

presented in a box beautifully decorated by Day Solutions-Callaway. The following 10 pies were

auctioned: Dawn Harrison's peach pie ($200), Maxine Rogers' pecan pie ($200), Nancy Lewis' apple pie

($225), Rachel Dodson's chocolate pie ($225), Evalane Meyer's blueberry apple ($300), Shirley

Sweeten's cherry pie ($300), Tim Borman's coconut pie ($325), Lori Croy's brown sugar pie ($350), Rick

Berry's blackberry pie ($400) and Rita Weber's gooseberry pie ($550). In total, excluding book sales, the

memorable afternoon raised just under $4000 for the KCHS Educational Grant Fund.

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