Read more Chattanooga History Columns
- Gaston: Paul John Kruesi was Edison's right-hand man
- Robbins: The old Richardson's house and the Civil War
- Gaston: James Williams was a man of the world
- Raney: Mason Evans, the 'Wild Man of the Chilhowee'
- Gaston: The legacy of Adolph Ochs endures
- Martin: Ed Johnson said, 'I have a changed heart,' the day before his lynching in Chattanooga on 1906
- Thomas: The inventiveness of Judge Michael M. Allison
- Moore: Chattanooga's first Chinese community
- Summers, Robbins: Chattanooga's Tuskegee Airman - Joseph C. White
- McCallie: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 says so!
- Gaston: John McCline's Civil War - from slave to D.C. parade
- Raney: Exploring Chattanooga businesses in the Green Book
- Elliott: Remembering the Freedmen's Bureau in Chattanooga
- Gaston: Nancy Ward was a beloved, respected Tennessean
- Martin: Prohibition - the noble experiment
- Elliott: 'A shameful, disgraceful deed': The destruction of the Sewanee cornerstone
- Gaston: Robert Cravens was ironmaster, Chattanooga area's first commuter
- Robbins: Dr. T.H. McCallie's Christmas 1863
- Robbins: Journalist writes of a trip to Missionary Ridge in 1896
- Summers, Robbins: Mine 21 disaster - gone but not forgotten
- Elliott: Collegedale incorporates to avoid Sunday 'blue laws'
- Gaston: 'Marse Henry' Watterson's journalism fame began in Chattanooga
- Robbins: Orchard Knob battle recalled in 1895
- Elliott: Chattanoogans joined in an 'orgy of joy and gladness' on Armistice Day, 1918
- Thomas: Noted service, speakers are marks of Rotary Club of Chattanooga since 1914
- Summers and Robbins: Remembering noted Tennessee author North Callahan
- Raney: 'I auto cry, I auto laugh, I auto sign my autograph'
- Gaston: Sequoyah's alphabet enriched Cherokees
- Robbins: A look at Sam Divine's life during the Civil War
- Robbins: Memories of a Confederate nurse
- Robbins: More notes from Bradford Torrey's 1895 visit to Chickamauga Battlefield
- Robbins: Journalist in 1895 details visit to Chickamauga Battlefield
- Elliott: Telephone exchange firebombing was distraction for grocery store robbery
- Gaston: Worcester brought Christ's message to Cherokee at Brainerd Mission
- Robbins: 1896 travel diary: 'A Week on Walden's Ridge'
- Gaston: Elizabeth Strayhorn, WAC Commandant at Fort Oglethorpe
- Robbins: The history of the Friends of Moccasin Bend National Park
- Moore: Do you own a Sears Roebuck home?
- Summers and Robbins: Camp Nathan Bedford Forrest in World War II
- Gaston: Hiram Sanborn Chamberlain remembered
- Elliott: Daisy the center of tile, ceramic manufacturing in Hamilton County
- Gaston: FDR inaugurates the Chickamauga Dam
- Summers, Robbins: Interned WWII Germans had it easy at Camp Crossville
- Elliott: A war correspondent on Lookout Mountain
- Gaston: Chickamaugas finally bury hatchet in Tennessee Valley
- Gaston: Chickamaugas in Chattanooga
- Robbins: The history of the Riverbend festival
- Raney: Sadie Watson, the first woman elected in Hamilton County government
- Moore: Remembering Chattanooga's Hawkinsville community
- Elliott: Welsh coal miners transformed Soddy after the Civil War
- Gaston: Chattanooga's best-kept secret
- Elliott: Cabell Breckinridge loses his horse
- Raney: Martin Fleming is the people's judge
- Gaston: The amazing career of Francis Lynde
- Martin: Hamilton County's Name Sake: Alexander Hamilton
- Summers, Robbins: The crosses at Sewanee
- Bledsoe: The fiery truce at Kennesaw Mountain
- Moore: Talented architect's life cut short by tragedy
- Rydell: Chattanooga's place in soccer history
- Robbins: Tennessee Coal, member of the First Dow Jones Industrial Average
- Raney: In the barber chair
- Lanier: Becoming the Boyce Station Neighborhood Association
- McCallie: John P. Franklin: Living history among us
- Barr: Chattanooga's first railroad: The Underground Railroad
- Summers, Robbins: Charles Bartlett was a Pulitzer Prize winner, Kennedy confidant
- Rainey: 'We have seen it'
- Elliott: Feinting and fighting at Running Water Creek and Johnson's Crook
- Gaston: The Spring Frog Cabin at Audubon Acres
- Raney: Wauhatchie Pike was moonshine motorway
- Robbins: Oakmont was home of venerable Williams clan
- Summers and Robbins: Rebirth of the Mountain Goat Line
- Elliott: Bad investments led to Soddy Bank failure in 1930
- Summers and Robbins: Pearl Harbor attack left football behind
- Gaston: Jolly’s Island namesake had long ties with Sam Houston
- Return Jonathan Meigs, Indian Agent
- Moore: Did you know about St. Elmo's other two cemeteries?
- Summers: Orme - Marion County's almost lost community
- Davis: Spooky revival at Sharp Mountain in 1873
- Robbins: The story of Longholm
- Raney: Women labored to help the U.S. win World War I
- Even in the city, the 'wheel' changed everything
- Murray: Confederate dilemma after Chickamauga
- J.B. Collins — Newsman extraordinaire
- Robbins: The Story of the Lyndhurst Mansion
- Chattanooga artist and wife lost on the Lusitania
- Chattanooga History Column: Battelle, Alabama and the Battelle Institute
- John Ross, a founder of Chattanooga
- Hamilton County casualties in World War I
- Chattanooga Power Couple
- 'Somewhere in France'
- The Ray Moss family
- Battery B from Chattanooga
- Ulysses S. Grant, Clark B. Lagow, and the Chattanooga Bender
- Songbirds Museum Timeline
- Hamilton County World War 1 roster
- The Soddy Girl and the Memphis Belle
- Blues icon Bessie Smith was the Empress of Soul
- Women's Army Corps at Chickamauga
- Emma Bell Miles' life at the top of the 'W'
- The Tivoli Wurlitzer is one of Chattanooga's priceless assets
- Chattanooga in struggle for freedom during Civil War
- October 1918, Chattanooga paralyzed by Spanish flu epidemic
- Eli Lilly and the Ditch of Death
- One hundred years ago, Chattanooga goes to war
- The legacy of Anna Safley Houston
- Harriet Whiteside was ahead of her time
- Southern Adventist University
- Chattanooga native's writings aided Civil Rights movement
- Zion College, Chattanooga's only African American College
- The North Shore's hidden past
- Mayme Martin -- Businesswoman and community leader
- Thomas Sim's epic struggle for freedom
- Top of Cameron Hill was price of rerouting interstate
- Cameron Hill has rich history
- Temperance movement included Harriman university
- The sweetest music this side of Heaven
- Conquistadors at Chattanooga
- Chattanooga and the 'General'
- Chattanooga's first Thanksgiving, 1863
- Chattanooga's greatest flood caught city unaware
- Opening the Cracker Line
- European trip in 1900 enlightens Sophia Scholze Long
- Sophia Scholze Long spoke out when others were silent
- Little South Pittsburg and its big silent movie stars
- Lot attendant recalls hottest job in Chattanooga
- Chattanooga's Forest Hills is final resting place for known, unknown
- Burritt College -- Pioneer of the Cumberlands
- Chattanooga's nicknames trace city's evolution
- The 25th annual meeting of the Tennessee Press Association
- Clemons Brothers Furniture Store
- The Short Life of the USS Chattanooga
- Ellen Jarnagin McCallie lived a truly remarkable life
- Dr. Jonathan Bachman was a revered city father
- Second guessing the Confederate failure on Missionary Ridge
- Nancy Kefauver, ambassador for the arts
- William Gibbs McAdoo kept his Southern roots
- Chattanooga's Secretary of the Treasury
- Howard Baker remembered as a statesman/photographer who snapped history
- Tivoli's last picture show
- The history of one of Chattanooga's oldest businesses
- Chattanooga's roller derby skaters
- Myths of Coca-Cola in Chattanooga
- Chattanooga's neighborhood grocery stores
- The tale of the Scottsboro Boys
- The people's history of Chattanooga
- Howard School is Chattanooga's reminder of Reconstruction
- Elevator operator, painter, mystery man: meet Rice Carothers
- Raulston Schoolfield made enemies amid his rise to power
- Website lets users peer into Chattanooga's past
- The flood of 1917
- Chattanooga's 'wickedest woman' buried at Forest Hills
- History of Cummings Highway
Ellen Jarnagin McCallie led a life of service to others, punctuated with great joy and great sadness.
Born in 1843 in Athens, Tenn., to Spencer and Mary Jarnagin, Ellen's father served one term in the U.S. Senate. When he was not reappointed, the family moved to Memphis.
Following Sen. Jarnagin's death in 1853, mother and daughter returned to Athens. Well-educated at a time when most children left school after only a few years, by 1861 she was teaching in Cleveland, Tenn. There she met the minister of Cleveland's First Presbyterian Church, Thomas McCallie.
Proposing in a letter dated Nov. 21, 1861, he declared his "highest admiration" and "sincerest affection." Replying on Nov. 25, Ellen stated she "esteemed" him "very highly and am willing to trust my future happiness to your keeping." She did express some fear she did not possess the "noble qualities of mind and heart necessary for a minster's wife."
They married on Jan. 28, 1862.
Thomas was by then the minister of First Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga. The newlyweds moved to the 65-acre family farm, located on the current site of First Centenary Methodist Church. Their first child, Mary, was born in December 1862.
During the Civil War, Hamilton County was deeply divided between Union and Confederate loyalists. The McCallies were sympathetic to the Confederacy, but did not favor secession. Reportedly, Ellen taught a number of slaves to read, an act of courage for it was illegal to do so.
By 1863, the couple was nursing wounded soldiers in their home and church. Many nursed the wounded in their homes throughout the war, in part, to survive. Supplies were short, and the army sent food to the wounded, which was shared with the families who cared for them. The couple, like many Chattanoogans, continued to care for soldiers on both sides until the end of the war.
On Aug. 21, 1963, Union Gen. John Wilder shelled Chattanooga from atop Stringer's Ridge, citing his guns on the steeple of the First Presbyterian Church where many had gathered for a Confederate day of prayer. Ellen reportedly comforted the anxious ladies.
Provisions were scarce during Christmas 1863, but Ellen hung her stocking. In the morning, it contained a can of oysters, a can of tomatoes and an orange, gifts her husband obtained during the night.
From 1865 until 1888, Ellen gave birth to 15 children. As was common at the time, six died before their 5th birthday and two, including Mary, died before age 20. The remaining eight children grew into respected and accomplished citizens. All the while, Ellen was active in the work of the church, forming the first Women's Mission Society in Chattanooga. She also became interested in the larger philanthropic work of the community.
In failing health, Thomas left his position at First Presbyterian Church in 1872. In 1873, concerned about the large number of orphans in Chattanooga, Ellen joined with six like-minded women to form the Women's Christian Association. With Ellen serving as president, a series of temporary homes housed the children until 1908 when the Vine Street Orphan's Home opened. The institution operates today as the Chambliss Center for Children.
Ellen was instrumental in bringing a Francis Willard Home to Chattanooga. Last located on Lindsay Street, the home remained in operation until the 1960s, providing a home for single, working women. She was also instrumental in forming a branch of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). She served as president of both organizations.
She was the first woman in Chattanooga to wear the white ribbon of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. Interested in combating the influence of alcohol on families, the WCTU promoted social reforms including labor reform, public health, sanitation, women's suffrage and world peace.
Often described as "frail and in poor health," Ellen's name was linked to virtually every institution formed to benefit women and children in the city, including the Children's Refuge, Florence Crittenden Home, Old Ladies Home and Colored Children's Home.
Thomas died in 1912. In 1913, Ellen traveled with her son, visiting missions in Korea, China and Japan. On their way home, they arrived in Russia the day war with Germany was declared, and "only after hardships and an exciting adventure did she reach home."
Ellen died on Sept. 17, 1915, having led a truly remarkable life.
Gay Moore is the author of several books, including "Chattanooga's St. Elmo" and "Chattanooga's Forest Hills Cemetery." For more visit Chattahistoricalassoc.org.