The Marriage of Jack and Betty McCall

The Cedar Grove Items column of the December 21, 1933 edition of the Berryville Star Progress announced the marriage of Jack McCall and Vella “Betty” Southerland. It’s interesting that when they applied for the marriage license at the courthouse on December 4th, they are recorded as “Jack McCall, 22, of Eureka Springs” and “Vella Southerland, 18, of Rockhouse”. This article, however, is even more geographically precise by indicating the bride is from Cedar Grove and the groom is from the Walker Settlement.

John Southerland Furlough

The enforcement of prohibition laws complicated the life of John Benton Southerland on several occasions. He was 54 years old in August 1928 when convicted by the Carroll County (Arkansas) Circuit Court and sent to prison. This article from the October 17, 1929 edition of the Berryville Star Progress newspaper reports he’ll be released after the Arkansas governor granted him a furlough.

Homesteading

This is a summary of homesteading by the ancestors of Jack and Betty McCall in Arkansas.

In 1888, Jack’s great-grandfather John Smith McCall homesteaded 160 acres on the west side of Rock Springs Road near his son George’s farm.

In 1885, Jack’s grandfather Charles Marion Ray homesteaded 120 acres south of Grandview.

In 1884, Betty’s grandfather Thomas Benton Hall purchased 40 acres from the federal government near the Cove Community of Carroll County. A year later, he homesteaded 80 more acres south of Berryville.

In 1883, Betty’s grandfather James Proctor Southerland purchased 40 acres on the Kings River from the federal government. In 1888, he purchased another 40 acres. Between 1888 and 1891, he homesteaded an additional 160 acres that joined his farm.

In 1882, Jack’s grandfather George Robert McCall homesteaded 80 acres on the east side of Rock Springs Road. In 1905, he homesteaded another 40 acres.

In 1860, Betty’s great-grandfather Joseph Calvin Houston purchased 40 acres on the Kings River from the federal government. Between 1882 and 1891, he homesteaded an additional 280 acres on Kings River. It should be noted that the extended Houston family homesteaded 1,760 acres in Carroll and Madison Counties.

In 1857, Jack’s great-grandfather John Smith McCall purchased 40 acres from the federal government in Jackson County, Arkansas.

In 1855, Jack’s great-great-grandfather Josiah McCall purchased 49.17 acres from the federal government in Jackson County. He died five months later at the age of 57.

In 1849, Betty’s great-grandfather Thomas Hall is first listed acquiring land from the federal government in Carroll County, though he’d been in the area for many years. He would go on to homestead several tracts of land in the vicinity of the Kings River.

Wolves at the Walker Settlement

As you must know by now, I’m interested in accounts of the wolves of Carroll County, Arkansas. This short article appeared in the January 20, 1906 edition of the Berryville Star Progress newspaper. The “Walker Settlement” is located between Berryville and Eureka Springs a little west of the Kings River at the intersection of US Highway 62 and Rock Springs Road (County Road 211). The old Walker School is incorporated into one of the buildings at that location.

Thomas Hall, Pioneer

In 1839, the government commenced the first survey of land in the Rockhouse, Arkansas area. The map produced shows that Betty McCall’s great-grandfather Thomas Hall already had an established farm operating on the western bank of the Kings River. The 1889 book  Goodspeed’s Northwest Arkansas History includes details about this early pioneer:

“Thomas Hall built the fourth house in Prairie Township, in 1835. He had previously lived in Wilkes County, N.C., and near Chattanooga, Tenn., from whence he removed to War Eagle, Madison County.”

The Prairie Township mentioned is in Carroll County and includes present day Berryville. Though Carroll County existed in 1835, the state of Arkansas did not. Thomas Hall settled in the “Territory of Arkansaw.”

Thomas Hall is mentioned a second time in Goodspeed’s Northwest Arkansas History:

“The road from Huntsville via Rockhouse Creek, through Trigger Gap, crossing Carroll County diagonally from southwest to northeast, was laid out in 1837 by Thomas Hall, under the direction of the court.”

Preach the Beauties of Heaven or the Terrors of Hell?

This 5th Sunday Program appeared in the December 23, 1905 edition of the Berryville Star Progress newspaper. WJ Ledbetter and GR McCall were both active leaders in the regional Baptist Association and were slated to speak on “What has the greatest effect, to preach the beauties of heaven or the terrors of hell?”