The subject of this sketch, Mrs. Mary E. McCall, is the widow of the late Honorable James H. McCall, one of the very prominent men of Republic and Cloud counties. They settled near Seapo, in Grant township, Republic county, in the year 1872, before that village, a busy trading post, was virtually killed by the railroad making a new town, thus cutting off its traffic. Although residing in that county seven years, Mr. McCall was more or less associated with the people and interests of Cloud county, often visiting Concordia. He was a progressive man and most certainly demonstrated what can be accomplished without capital. As a stepping stone to success he possessed those admirable qualities, pluck, grit and enterprise. "Be sure you're right, then go ahead," seems to have been his motto and he followed it to the letter.
Mr. McCall was a native of New Athens, Ohio, but in his youth came with his parents to Illinois, subsequently entered Wilmington College of Pennsylvania, where he graduated, after which he returned to Illinois and taught school for several years and later became superintendent of a coal mine. It was during this period of his life that he met and married Miss Mary E. Galloway, in 1870. She was a native of Green county, Ohio. The Galloway family were of Scotch-Irish origin. Mrs. McCall's parents are both deceased; her father in 1872 and her mother in 1899. Mrs. McCall is one of nine children, five sons and four daughters, six of whom are living, viz: The eldest brother was killed by lightning in the city of Jamestown on July 4, 1901, leaving a wife and four children. He had taken his team to the barn and seemingly was stricken down as he stepped to the door. J.M. Galloway of Clay Center. Robert H., a farmer near Courtland was county clerk of Republic county four years. Her youngest brother, J.E. Galloway is in the Creek country, in Oklahoma. Her sisters are Mrs. Elizabeth R.K. Miller of Mercer county, Illinois, and Mrs. Belle Park of Republic county, Kansas.
When their first child was an infant six weeks old Mr. and Mrs. McCall emigrated to Kansas. Of the four children born to them, but one, a son Thomas G., has lived to bless and brighten their home. He was married in 1900 to Marie Powell of Jamestown and they have since made their home with his widowed mother. This son has been a solace to her lonely hours from infancy to manhood, "The childhood shows the man as morning shows the day."
After reaching "sunny" Kansas and looking over the land, Mr. McCall selected his homestead and after making a few needed improvements, his financial circumstances seemed somewhat discouraging but not lacking in perseverance and possessing a keen foresight for business discerned where capital could be nearly doubled. Sheep raising at that time drew his attention and he borrowed money investing it in a flock which proved to be remunerative and placed him in a position to return the borrowed capital. From that venture he went steadily on, keeping clear of debt and accumulating each year adding to and increasing his investments. He was very successful in the sheep raising industry selling at a good profit before the enterprise became overdone, thus not losing as so many of his neighbors did. His flock averaged about one thousand head.
During Mr. McCall's residence in Republic county, he was appointed commissioner to fill a vacancy and was elected to that office the two years following; served four years as county superintendent of schools and took a great interest in educational matters, knowing full well the value learning had been to him. Physically Mr. McCall was not a strong man, but possessed a wonderful energetic temperament and was an excellent financier. In the year 1881, he decided to retire from the laborious life of the farm and removed to Jamestown where he established a successful hardware business, but this venture proved too much of a burden for his strength and he disposed of this enterprise just prior to being elected to the house of representatives in 1888, where he served his county with honor and credit to himself.
When Mr. and Mrs. McCall removed to Jamestown there were but few inhabitants. They purchased one of the best residence properties which they greatly improved, thus making a beautiful home. Fine trees afford a grateful shade in the long summer days and the feathered songsters flit to and fro. A well kept lawn adds greatly to the appearance of the home. Before removing from Republic county Mr. McCall sold the homestead and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land near Jamestown, and shortly afterwards purchased another quarter section, making a total of the west half of section 22. This land is above the average in fertility of soil and is under a high state of cultivation.
In politics Mr. McCall was a Republican but after the Prohibition party was organized, he affiliated with them. Mr. and Mrs. McCall were both brought up in the United Presbyterian church. Mrs. McCall is an amiable and womanly woman, with cultured and refined tastes, everything around and about her denoting a love for the beautiful. She was, in her early life a teacher and endeared herself to her pupils seeking to endow them with her gentle and refined attributes. She was a member of the Jamestown city council of women. Mrs. McCall is living out her useful days as befits a true woman and feels in sympathy with those less prosperous than herself. "The chime of sweet bells in tune," is a living picture of her days as they come and go.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project