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 Annie.

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.

Source:  Dan E. Cockrum