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Below is a family biography included in The History of Dent County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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John Larkin Callahan, farmer and stock raiser of Watkins Township, and one of the pioneers of Dent County, Mo., was born in North Carolina in 1814, being the son of Robert and Mary (Welch) Callahan, both natives of North Carolina, where they lived until their son John L. was three years of age. They then moved to Illinois, and when John L. was about nine years of age they moved back to Middle Tennessee. In 1836 they came to what is now Dent County, where the father died in 1856 or 1857, at the age of sixty-eight. The mother died in 1884, at the age of eighty-eight years. The father was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was with Jackson at New Orleans. He was justice of the peace for many years, and was a class leader in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was one of five sons, three of whom were Methodist Episcopal preachers. His father, James Callahan, was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War with Gen. Marion. He died in North Carolina. John Larkin Callahan was the eldest of five sons and four daughters. He never attended school but three months, but learned considerable in the Sunday-schools at home, and mostly by his own effort. In 1834 he was married, in Weakley County, Tenn., to Miss Mary, daughter of John and Elizabeth Welch, who were formerly from North Carolina, but who moved to Illinois, where Mrs. Callahan was born. She died April 26, 1879, and was the mother of thirteen children, three sons and two daughters now living: John Robert, Larkin A., Thomas A., Sarah (widow of Michael McCluster) and Eliza J. (wife of W. G. Edmondson). In 1879 Mr. Callahan took for his second wife Mrs. Martha Welch, nee Hayes, who was born in Overton County, Tenn., and came to Dent County with her brother when small. After his first marriage Mr. Callahan came to Dent County, Mo., being among the first settlers. In this county he has since lived, and is one of its prominent citizens and successful farmers. Since 1850 he has lived on his present farm, and at one time owned about 1,200 acres, but now has 640 acres, after giving his children farms. He filled the office of justice of the peace for many years, and is an honest, upright citizen. He has been a life-long Democrat in his political views, casting his first presidential vote for Martin Van Buren in 1836, and for every Democratic candidate since. He has been Master of the Grange since its organization, and is a member of the Wheel. He has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for twenty years, and his first wife was also a member of that church. His present wife belongs to the Baptist Church. Mr. Callahan has accumulated the most of his property by his own efforts. His brother, W. C. Callahan, one of the pioneer and most efficient Baptist ministers of Dent County, died in 1887, after many years of earnest and successful ministerial work. Another brother, Capt. James Callahan, commanded a company for one year in the Federal army, and died at Salem while on duty. Another brother was a Federal soldier on duty at Rolla, where he was taken sick and discharged.

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This family biography is one of 82 biographies included in The History of Dent County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Dent County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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