Biography - J Callaway

J. T. CALLAWAY, whose activity in business affairs has made him one of the representative men of Greenfield, was born near this city, May 1, 1855. His father, E. H. Callaway, was a native of Kentucky, was reared to manhood there and after arriving at years of maturity wedded Matilda Matlock, a native of Ohio. Removing to Greene county, Illinois, he cast in his lot with its early settlers, his father, John Callaway, having entered land from the government and sharing in the arduous task of developing a new farm, the family home being near Greenfield. There he reared his children, providing for their support through his careful conduct of general farming interests. His death occurred there about 1864, while his wife, who long survived him, departed this life about 1886. In their family were four children, the eldest being J. T., of this review, while the others are Minnie, the wife of F. G. McChesney, of Greenfield; Ella, the wife of A. N. Williams, of Mobile, Alabama; and Iowa, who died in infancy.
J. T. Callaway, reared under the parental roof, has been dependent upon his own resources from an early age, not only for what he has acquired financially, but for his education, supplementing his early school privileges by many valuable lessons learned in the school of experience or by facts gleamed from reading and observation. When a youth of about thirteen years he began clerking in the employ of N. C. Woolley, and thus he had a thorough business training, being employed as a salesman for a number of years. He then purchased a third interest in the business, his partner being E. K. Metcalf and A. O. Auten engaged in business at Jerseyville, conducting a store under the name of the Callaway & Metcalf Company. In a short time Mr. Belknap sold out and soon afterward the R. L. Metcalf Dry Goods Incorporated Company was formed and has since had a prosperous existence. The business organization was effected in 1895 and Mr. Callaway has since been active in control of the mercantile interests of the company at Greenfield, where they have a large double store building, carrying an extensive stock of dry goods, clothing and carpets. An excellent trade has been built up and the house sustains a very enviable reputation for the line of goods which it carries and its fair dealing. Mr. Callaway has been president of the company since its incorporation and the success of the house is largely due to his enterprise, discernment and unflagging perseverance. The company is now building a new store forty by one hundred and thirty-five feet, said to be one of the best of its kind in central Illinois. In November, 1881, Mr. Callaway was united in marriage to Miss Lillian Woolley, a native of Greene county, reared and educated here, her father, N. C. Woolley having been one of the early settlers of this portion of the state. They lost their only child in infancy and with this exception theirs has been a happy married life, and Mr. and Mrs. Callaway have made their home a hospitable one, it being a favorite resort with their many friends.
Politically Mr. Callaway has been a life-long Republican and though he has never sought or desired office he keeps well informed on the issues of the day, manifesting a public-spirit citizenship in his interest in political questions. He and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church and he served as a member of the building committee at the time of the erection of the new house of worship and was a generous contributor to the fund that was raised for building purposes. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, being affiliated with the blue lodge and chapter at Greenfield and the commandery at Carrollton, while he is also identified with the Mystic Shrine at St. Louis. He has passed through all of the chairs of the lodge and chapter and is now a past master and past high priest. Without extraordinary family or pecuniary advantages he seized the opportunity that lay before him and today is recognized as a man of sterling ability and high character who has gained success and at the same time won the confidence and esteem of all. Greenfield classes him with its representative men and he enjoys in high degree the friendship of those with whom he has been associated as the years have gone by.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Greene County, Illinois, by Ed Miner, published in 1905, pages 488-489.

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