Henry Charles Callis was born on March 10, 184* (*different
sources provide various birth years ranging between 1840 to
1849) to Edward M. and Sarah Callis in Hickory County, Missouri.
A copy of his enlistment document indicates he was an eighteen
year old farmer when he volunteered for service in the Union
Army and was mustered into the Second Regiment of Kansas Calvary
Volunteers at Waldron, Arkansas, on February 8, 1864, which
would indicate his birth year was 1846 or ’47 but family oral
history claims he was a “big for his age” fifteen or sixteen
year old who lied about his age.
During Henry’s service with the 2nd Kansas, the regiment was
stationed around Western and Central Arkansas taking part in the
battle of Prairie D’Anne, April 9–13, 1864, and two of the
battles of the Union Army’s “Red River Campaign” (Poison
Springs, April 16, 1864 and Jenkins Ferry, April 29-30, 1864) an
offensive initiated with the intent of conquering the last Rebel
stronghold of the West -Texas. With the end of the war, Henry
was mustered out of the regiment at Fort Gibson, Cherokee
Nation, on June 22, 1865.
Family history states that sometime after the war he and a
friend, Bill Lowrance, traveled to Henrietta, Texas, for a visit
with Bill’s family. It was here that he met and eventually
married Bill’s sister Elizabeth (Betty) Lowrance Abt. 1872 at
Henrietta. Sometime after their marriage the young couple moved
to Lampassas County, Texas where their daughter Sofrona (Fronie)
Isbell was born in 1873 followed by daughter Willie Etta in
1877. The 1880 U.S. Census found the family living in Jack
County, Texas but they apparently moved back to the Henrietta
area where Betty died of unknown causes in 1881.
Henry moved his little family to Snyder, Texas, where he left
his two young daughters with relatives while he worked on
surrounding ranches and farms. On May 5, 1884, he married Mary
J. Miles in Mitchell County, Texas, and the couple made their
home in Snyder where the two daughters by his previous marriage
were eventually joined by six “half siblings”: four sons,
Charlie, Joe, Bob and Boley; and two more daughters, Allie and
He worked for the Currycomb Ranch in what was to become Garza
County and for Pete Scoggins and Boley Brown who owned large
range holdings in Kent County. On July 8,1907, he was
elected to the office of County Hide and Animal Inspector after
the formation of Garza County that year. He continued to lead an
active life on the range until age and physical disabilities
kept him out of the saddle.
Henry C. Callis died at his ranch home in eastern Garza County
on August 14, 1915. Mary lived on until May 22, 1948, when she
passed away in Portales, New Mexico. Both were buried in Terrace
Cemetery at Post, Texas.