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.
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.
This article from the October 2, 1913 edition of the Arkansas Democrat newspaper in Little Rock tells of a dead man found on the road between Berryville and Eureka Springs. Earlier in the day, the man and George McCall had had a conversation.
In the Grandview Cemetery of Carroll County, Arkansas stands the tombstone for Lin and Clara McCall.
Lin is a simple enough name, so it’s difficult to explain why his name is recorded as “Harolden S. McCall” in the family Bible.
The 1900 Census has his name spelled Len. The 1910 Census has Lin. His 1910 marriage is registered as Len, but he signed it as Lin. His First World War draft card shows Lindell Harelton (instead of Harolden).
The obituary for his father George Robert McCall gives his name as Lemuel. Serving as an election official for Kings River Township, he is listed as Lon McCall. For the next draft registration in 1942 he is Len A. McCall, but signed as Lin A. McCall.
In 1977, the Social Security Administration has his name as Lin Harldon McCall. I do not have the sources at hand, but I also have noted that he used the first name spelled as Lindele and the middle name of Hardler.
By 1859, John Smith McCall and family had left Jackson County, Arkansas and relocated to Wise County, Texas. The family spent about a decade in Texas before returning to Arkansas and settling near the Kings River. Because of this decade in Texas, the family avoided direct involvement in the violence of the Civil War. Even so, both John McCall and his son George enlisted in the Texas State Troops at Decatur, Texas. The unit was tasked with maintaining order in unsettled times and as a defensive force if necessary.
Jack McCall told me of the accidental death of his uncle Royal S McCall on the family farm long ago. I was a bit surprised when I found it mentioned in the September 21, 1888 edition of the Arkansas Gazette newspaper. Royal is buried in the Shady Grove Cemetery. The “G.W.” instead of “G.R.” was a fairly common typographical error when newspapers referred to George R McCall.
In a legal sense, George R. McCall’s Kings River farm was passed down to a new generation on January 27, 1968. It was on this date that the ownership of the farm transitioned from Clara McCall to her son Jack and his wife Betty.
This column is from the September 8, 1916 edition of the Berryville Star Progress newspaper. It reports the building of the stone cellar on the George Robert McCall farm that I spent many hours playing on as a kid. To cool off on a hot summer day, we’d go down into the dark cellar and sit by the wooden shelves of sealed mason jars. It’s interesting that the cellar was built by “Merion Ray.” I would guess that he is Charles Marion Ray, the father of Clara McCall who we called Grandma.