Site Navigation


This Biography taken From
By Lucian V. Rule
An article from
May 10, 1930 - North Vernon Sun

Jasper Newton Callicott-Soldier and School-Master of Long Ago

   There are now living in Jennings county, Indiana, and no doubt elsewhere, a few impressive pioneers and veterans of war and peace who aided in subduing the green wilderness and beating back the tide of ignorance and barbarism of that long gone generation. Tolstoi, the great Russian novelest, in his "War and Peace" describes with fascinating and unforgettable power the simple peasant soldier and the obscure artillary officers whose courage and endurance make possible the victories of the Napoleons and Wellingtons, the Lees and Grants. And it is our purpose to arouse in living people now a similar appreciation for the yet surviving heros who conquered these Western wilds and in the little log school houses tamed the savage ignorance and vice of the frontier until fine character and self-culture adorned the community and state. It should be added here also that some of these advance guards of civilization and culture were men and women who quietly supplanted the old terrorists of the school room and the pulpit by and instinctive spiritual kindliness and charity. This transformation is one of the most memorable achievements in Western history.
   A quiet dark-eyed handsome old man arrested our attention on the sidewalk in North Vernon, Indiana, Saturday afternoon, July 13, 1929. We recognized him instantly as a surviving Union veteran whom we had met two or three times at public celebrations in the county. We know that he had an interesting story typical of the great pioneer struggle above described and that he himself was one of the obscure, and as yet unwritten heros of culture and human freedom. We invited him to our room at the Metropole Hotel and there interviewed him for this narrative.
   Emigrating to Indiana in 1848
   "Jasper Newton Callicott", he answered to our inquiry for his full name, birth and descent. "Born September 26, 1847 in Johnson county, Indiana; My father was Riley Callicott of North Carolina. My mother was Martha Mozinge of Virginia. They met in Johnson county, this state. They came to Jennings county March 19, 1848, Father came to cut cord wood on the railroad from Madison to Indianapolis. He traded with my grandfather, William Callicott for farm land along the railroad where he could cut wood and cultivate his farm at the same time.
   "My grandfather Callicott, who was a Virginian, emigrated to North Carolina and then came by way of Knoxville, Tennessee, to Indiana in a covered wagon the wheels of which were cut or sawed out of chestnut. No spokes were possible; tar was put upon the wooden axles and wooden pins kept the wheels on. The wagon was drawn by oxen. These ancestors of mine were among the first settlers of this region of Sourthern Indiana. They lived on the Green place at Dupont over 100 years ago."
   Jasper Newton Callicott's great-grandfather, John Callicott was in the Revolutionary War; his father William Callicott, was in the War of 1812; and his father enlisted in the war with Mexico, but was not called to go out. The name Jasper was given to the greatgrandson from Sargeant Jasper of the Carolina heros of the Revolution. Jasper Newton Callicott has visited all the historic spots in the Carolinas associated with the Revolutionary service of his ancestors.
   William Callicott was a Methodist exhorter. His father offered him a slave girl as a servant, but he refused her, and in after years he used to sit and shed tears because he did not think of bringing her to Iniana and giving her freedom. The other Callicotts in the Carolinas held on to their slaves and lost them in the Civil War. One of those slave holding brothers grieved himself into a loss of his mind because the loss of his slaves left him a bankrupt. The Callicotts who remained in the Carolinas went into the confederate service, wair those who removed North went into the Union service.
   "I have often heed corn wish(? hoed seed corn with?)my grandfather, William Callicott; said Jasper Newton, "and we talked of the early times and our ancestors. He said it required many days to come from North Carolina; but now anyone can make it in two days by auto. The Callicotts were of English descent. My mothers people, the Mozingo's, were of French descent. The Mozingo's owned a lot of land in Westmoreland county, Virginia, where Washington was born. I have a copy of an old will that is indeed a curiosity.
   Hoosier Soldier Boy
   "I can remember as far back as 1855-56 when I was 8 or 9 years old. I first saw the little town of Vernon in 1855. We drove an ox team into town and it seemed to my backwoods imagination a wonderful place to visit. We lived about seven or eight miles out and it was but rarely that such a trip was possible. In 1859 or 60 the whole family came to Vernon to an old settlers reunion, and we still used the ox team. The first mule I ever saw was at the place where George Werskey now lives, just across the Muscatatuck from Vernon. The mule seemed as strange to me as a zebra, only he did not have stripes. People had only begun to raise mules at that time for the southern trade and oxen were used almost entirely for farm work, when one did not have horses. When I went south in the Federal army I was stationed near Nashville, and we would have several men hold a mule till we got the harness on, then hitch him with a team and let them run till they were tired out. It was comical to see how they would stop at last stock still and look at you with the most innocent expression in the world, as if to say "Now what"?
   "When did you enlist in the Federal Army" we asked.
   "I enlisted sixty-seven years ago this 11th day of July, 1929, which would be in July, 1862. I was but fourteen years old; but like David the shepherd boy, I wanted to see what war was like and how my big brothers fared. We all enlisted in Bigger Township, Jennings county. Five Cox brothers and five Callicott brothers went out together in 1862. John Cox was in the same regiment with me, the 9th Independent, Company B. I was afterward in Company G, 137th Regiment. Kennedy Brown was our first regimental colonel, and Colonel Robinson of Madison, next. My oldest brother John served two years in Mexico under General Taylor and Scott and was in several leading battles. He then served four years in the Civil War and five years to regular army service. I had one brother killed at St. ? ?, in the Indian wars."
   "Where were the scenes of your service?" we asked    "I was drilled at Camp Morton, Indianapolis. Then I was sent into Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. I was terribly afraid of the rebels at first, because having heard such terrible things about them, I was afraid they sure had horns. The first impressions given me by the war was also unfavorable; but experience and contact taught us that those men had the same red blood we did. The South Carolinians were of English descent; they were a grim, determined sort of fighters, and they imagined they were well within their rights.
   A War Between Brothers
   "Do you think the Civil War could have been avoided Mr. Callicott?"    "I hardly think so. The sections of the country were strangers to each other and local feeling was very strong. My father you see had lived down South, and he knew very well how the Southern people felt. The terrible thing about the conflict to him was that men of the same birth blood, and often the same birth, would have to fight against each other. The First Regiment of Marylanders, C.S.A., and the First Regiment of Marylanders U.S.A., met in a deadly encounter and nearly annihilated each other. I think the same thing happened with a couple of Tennessee regiments. But years afterword, when General John B. Gordon, then a United States Senator from Georgia, came to North Vernon to speak to the old soldiers, I was there to meet him saluting, I said: 'General, are you my prisoner'. He answered graciously and said 'Take me to where I can get a bite to eat before I speak'. And he gave us a good address."
   Jasper Newton Callicott was married October 21, 1868, to Isabella Woolman in Bigger Township, Jennings county, Indiana, in the house where he still lives. She lived there nearly all her life. He paid this splendid woman a beautiful tribute:    She was descended from John Woolman the first great Quaker Abolitionist in American history. She went back to school in Ohio, during her girlhood and had superior educational advantages. She was my teacher after we were married. She came from Salem Ohio and was an early schoolmate of Henry Hinchman of Vernon. They both belonged to the Quaker people who came to Ohio from New Jersey. She was a relative of Edwin Coppeck, the young Quaker Abolitionist who came from Salem, Ohio, who went out with John Brown and was condemmed with him at Harper's Ferry and hanged. When his body was brough home they first buried him at Winona, a country cemetery; but the body was taken up and brough to Salem lest it be stolen. The monument stands yet in the Salem cemetery, but it has turned almost black with the corrosions of time and weather.
   Mr. Callicott said his wife was born, in Mahoning county, Ohio, and came afterwards to Columbiana county whence the Woolmans and Hinchmans emigrated to Indiana. It is Mr. Callicotts belief that his wife and Henry Hinchman may have attended school together in childhood in Mahoning county. However that may be, the Hinchmans and Woolmans were among the strongest Quaker families coming to Indiana. He said there were fighting and non fighting Quakers. Ezra J. Woolman, his wifes brother, led Company I, 6th Indiana at Chickamaugue. Col. Tripp of North Vernon was wounded in the same battle the kinship of Woolmans and Koppoks proves the agressive character of their hostility to negro bondage. Mr. Callicott said that the influence of Mrs. Lucretia Mott, the nobel New England Quaker preacher and Abolitionist was profound in the section of Ohio whence the Woolmans and Hinchmans came.


Military Rites Conducted for J.N. Callicott Who died in Florida.
    Jasper N. Callicott, eighty-eight years old, veteran of the Civil War, and past state commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, died Saturday February 16th at Jacksonville, Florida, where he was visiting his daughter, Mrs. A.H. Spofford. The body was brought to the James W. Silver funeral home at Butlerville Wednesday, and funeral services will be held Thursday afternoon at Rush Branch Church and burial will take place in Rush Branch Cemetery. Myron Bertman Post American Legion and Jennings Camp United Spanish War Veterans will conduct military service at the cemetery. Military services by the G.A.R. with the state commander present, were held at the Silver home, Wednesday.
    Jasper N. Callicott was born in Johnson County, Indiana, in September 1847, the son of Riley and Martha Mozingo Callicott, pioneers of Indiana. When only fourteen years of age he entered military service in the Union Army during the Civil War, serving as a fifer in Company G 137th Regiment Volunteer Infantry and later in Company B, Ninth Independent Regiment remaining in service for the duration of the war.
    In the year 1868 he married Miss Isabelle Woolman, whose death occurred several years ago. When a young man he taught in the schools of Jennings County and in later years he served as a member of the Indiana Legislature. He was president of the Butlerville State Bank for a number of years and also served the Dupont State Bank as a director. Two years ago he was elected commander of the Indiana Department of the Grand Army of the Republic and retired from that position at the last state encampment of the organization.
    He was owner of a farm in Bigger Township Jennings County, and spent his entire life in that locality, except for short periods in late years when he visited with his children in distant cities. His grandfather, William Callicott, entered land from the Government in the year 1867, in Bigger Township, and that farm is still in possession of a member of the Callicott family.
    He is survived by three children: Lester H. Callicott of Clifton, Arizona; Mrs. L.T. Cox of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Mrs. A.H. Spofford, of Jacksonville, Florida. Eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild also survive and a sister Mrs. Martha Ellen Green, of Louisville, Kentucky.

FORMER G.A.R. COMMANDER DIES AT JACKSONVILLE, FLA.     Mr. Jasper Newton Callicott, aged 88 years, former G.A.R. Commander and well known Civil War Veteran, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. A.H. Spofford, at Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, February 17th.
    Mr. Callicott was the son of Riley Callicott and Martha (Mozingo) Callicott, pioneers of Indiana. At the age of fourteen, he enlisted in the army and served his country as Fifer Company G, 137th Voluntary Infantry, and Company B, 9th Independent Regiment. He was also Fife Major of the Civil War Veterans.
    He was married to Miss Isabella Woolman, October 21, 1868. The greater part of his life was spent in Bigger township, but of late years he visited with relatives in the south during the winter months and stayed in this city part of each summer.
    Mr. Callicott was a life long Democrat and his delay in going to the home of his daughter was because of his desire to vote here in the November election. He left for Florida immediately afterward. Shortly after his arrival there, he fell and broke his leg, which injury gave him considerable trouble, due to his advanced age.
    Mr. Callicott had acquaintances scattered throughout the United States, having made them at the many conventions he attended. They expressed their great esteem for him by selecting him as G.A.R. Commander, which honor he greatly appreciated.
    He is survived by one son, Lester N. Callicott, of Clifton, Arizona, two daughters, Mrs. L. T. Cox of Milwaukee, Wis., and Mrs. A. H. Spofford, of Jacksonville, Fla., eight grand children, four great grandchildren and one sister, Mrs. Martha Ellen Green of Louisville, Ky.
    G.A.R. services were held at the Funeral Home of James Silver in Butlerville, Wednesday morning, conducted by State Commander McClellan, of Muncie, of Muncie. Final Military honors were given by members of the Spanish American War Veterans and the American Legion at Rush Branch Church and funeral services were conducted by the regular pastor assisted by Mr. Callicott's grandson, Rev. J. H. Cox, of Indianapolis, this (Thursday) morning at eleven o'clock with burial in the Rush Branch cemetery.
    Those who were here for the services were: his son, Lester N. Callicott, of Clifton, Arizona; his daughter and husband, Mr. and Mrs. L. T. Cox, of Milwaukee, Wis.; his daughter, Mrs. A. H. Spofford, of Jacksonville, Fla., who accompanied the body here Wednesday, and Mrs. Daisy McKensie, a niece, of Louisville, Ky. findagrave link

Picture of Riley C. Callicotte from Callicott Connections by John T. Callicotte

You may use this material for your own personal research, however it may not be used for commercial publications without express written consent of the contributor, INGenWeb, and