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David K. Calhoun


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/5/2001 at 18:51:23

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
David K. Calhoun is another of the representative citizens of Van Buren County who devotes his time and attention to agricultural pursuits. His home is on Section 15, Union Township, where a farm of two hundred acres furnished with all modern improvements, pays tribute to the care and cultivation he bestows upon it. The entire surroundings indicate the thrift and enterprise of the owner, and as a worthy citizen of the community his sketch is deserving of a place in the volume of his county’s history.
The Calhoun family is of Scotch extraction but the grandparents of our subject were born in Ireland, whence in childhood they immigrated to Pennsylvania where they were married. William Calhoun, father of David, was born in Westmoreland County Pennsylvania, April 15, 1804, and in his youth he learned the wheelwright’s trade, which he followed until after his marriage to Miss Mary Torrence, who was born in Westmoreland County, October 7, 1804. She was Scotch Irish descent, and a sister of Col. William M. Torrence of the thirtieth Iowa Infantry. Mr. Calhoun and his family turned their faces toward the setting sun and traveling westward at length made a location upon the farm, which is now the home of David K. Calhoun. Both parents were believers in the Presbyterian doctrine and consistent members of the church. The husband died October 8, 1872, and on February 18, 1887 Mrs. Calhoun passed away. The five children of their family are: Mrs. Elizabeth S. Phillips, whose home is in Pennsylvania; Mrs. Mary C. Gordon of Fairfield; Samuel j., a farmer and teacher of Nebraska; Mrs. Margaret Hill of Jefferson County Iowa; and David K.
The last named, whose history is of interest to our readers, was born in Westmoreland County Pennsylvania, March 9, 1842, and when a lad of sixteen years came to this county. He is numbered among the boys in blue of Company I, Nineteenth Iowa Infantry, with whom he enrolled his name on August 13, 1862. Until the following summer they operated in Southern Missouri. He had been confined in the hospital in Springfield Missouri, when Marmaduke made his raid on that city but when volunteers were called for in the hospital, he, with others at once shouldered his musket and marched to the defense of the town. From there he went to Vicksburg, and with his regiment took part in its siege and capture. Following this occurred the Black River Expedition in which he took part, the came the battle of Port Hudson, after which they were ordered to Morganza, where the Nineteenth Iowa and Twenty-sixth Indiana, together with a small force of cavalry were sent to Sterling’s Farm about half way between the opposing lines. By a circuitous route they were cut off from reinforcements, and for more that two hours with an effective force of about four hundred and fifty men they kept in check the enemy who ten to one out numbered them. Mr. Calhoun was on picket duty at the time of the attack. All were taken prisoners and after marching all day long they were kept in Shreveport for twenty hours without provisions; all articles of spare were given to hucksters for food. They were then marched to Tyler Texas where they were kept in stockade without shelter and when winter came were sent back to Shreveport. In March, they were once more hurried back to Tyler Texas then soon afterwards again started for Shreveport, but were returned to Tyler. Finally however, they were taken to Shreveport and exchanged on July 22, 1864 having been held in captivity from February 29th. Mr. Calhoun then went with his comrades to New Orleans, where he received good clothing and food. Some weeks later the regiment was again formed and went to Ft. Barancas, Florida after which the troops participated in the capture of Spanish Fort and Mobile. Our subject was discharged at Mobile Alabama, July 10, 1865, after three years of hard service on southern battlefields. He was quite fortunate however, in receiving no wound of any kind.
On November 19, 1868, Mr. Calhoun was united in marriage with Miss Emma Travis who was born in Indiana County Pennsylvania, June 12, 1849, and is a daughter of Martin B. and Isabella Brown Travis. Her father was born in the Keystone State, July 22, 1805, but his wife was a native of Ireland, born September 18, 1811, and brought to this country during her infancy. They were married in Pennsylvania where her death occurred on September 3, 1854. Subsequently he married Catherine Redman and immigrated to Shelby County Illinois where he died September 3, 1865.
Mr. Calhoun was one of eight children, five of whom are living, three sons and two daughters. She came to this country in 1865, and by her marriage four children have been born—E. Birdie, wife of Jesse Bonnette, of Union Township, Van Buren County; Mary Luella, Johnson B. and Lillie B. The parents are members of the Presbyterian Church and since their marriage have resided upon the farm, which is yet their home. He is a Republican in politics and belongs to Newell Post, G.A. R., in which he has held the office of Chaplain. “A good name is rather to be chosen that great riches” says the wise man, and assuredly Mr. Calhoun has that valuable possession for he is one of Van Buren County’s trusted and honored citizens.
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family.


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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