A look into our past: Found ledgers of J.A. Callaham, part 2

The Callaham Family outside the home of J.A. and Eva Callaham in 1908- Front: J.A. Callaham and grandson Ross, Thelma Louise Callaham (Drake), Eva Callaham (wife of J.A.) holding Charles Callaham (son of Charlie), and Leonard Callaham; Back: Hattie C. Kirtpatrick, Sophia Burks Callaham (wife of Virgil), Virgil Callaham, Charlie Callaham, and Dora Porter Callaham (wife of Leonard) (Contributed by family)

Read part 1 at www.cullmantribune.com/2019/11/16/a-look-into-our-past-found-ledgers-of-j-a-callaham.

Within the ledgers of Jared Alexander (J.A.) Callaham are many detailed lists and cherished words of wisdom. Besides being a successful businessman, through his writings, Callaham proved himself to be quite the poet.

These are just a few of the entries to his recently discovered ledger he kept from 1874-1894. The Tribune is publishing the entries unedited.

December 26, 1893 Acct of Stock

One small mule, 12 years old, a little bit gray, small knot on left side near fore leg and under belly, two white saddle marks and white collar marks on each side. Somewhat pigeon toed in fore feet. Feet very small.

One black cow (Pink) bought of Gray in 1861. White back and drooped horn. One muley, dark dun, kinky haired, very small cow, unmarked.

One dun bull (Darbs) 4 year old, calf of cow got of Durham, muley, white back and very heavy built and weighs 1100 perhaps.

One yearling, dun and muley, one year old calf of Bonnie, the muley cow above mentioned.

One yearling, one year old calf of old Pink, muley, white and red, all earmarked.

Strawberrie Beds

New beds on plantations should be set as early as plants are large enough to set.

The beds not to be more than five feet wide when set.

The strawberries on rows one foot apart in bed. For garden, culture rows two feet apart and for field, three feet apart.

Barnyard manure well incorporated with soil will produce good crop 2nd year. Old beds to be renewed once in three years. The Wilson continues to be the best bearer yet known.


Concord best variety for general cultivation.

Hartfords- prolific surfaces week earlier than concord


February 20 1880- (an untitled poem regarding planting fruit trees)

Set your fruit trees in the Fall

That they may root by Spring

Never put it off at all

Till your crop you must begin.


If you set them in the Spring

They will not do so well

So don’t neglect anything

Till all the buds have swelled.


They take root in our warm state

If planted in the Fall.

And they will grow a rapid rate

And run up very tall.

If planted after winter’s gone

When sap is rising fast

When rain is gone and drought is come

They will and can not last.


Why not do such work on time

And have a 1st rate orchard.

I’ve resolved to plant all mine

In November or October.


But this I’ve said often times

I’ve never done it yet

My orchard is not very fine

My course I’ll change you bet.


But little grapes I’ve set out yet

I’ve always been too slow.

My farmer course I much regret

All wrong, I well do know.



To cure chapped hands

Take common starch, pound it fine and put in a muslin cloth and after taking hands out of water and drying them on a towel, dust the starch over them while they are yet damp. Certain cure. Louisville Courier Journal Nov. 4th 1874

Rattlesnake bites or spider bites

Take the yolk of a good egg, put in a tea cup and stir in as much salt as will make it thick enough not to run off and spread a plaster and apply to the wound. A physician in Oregon says do this and he will insure your life for a six pence. He has tried it in a number of cases and has never known it to fail. Louisville Courier Journal Nov. 4th 1874

Diarrhea-certain cure

Tablespoonful of castor oil and 20 drops of laudanum. A glue which will resist the action of water is made by boiling one pound of glue in two quarts of skimmed milk. Louisville Courier Journal Oct. 28th 1974


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Christy Perry