Calhoun family early settlers in Santa Rosa County
By By LYDIA GRIMES - Features Writer
The first Calhoun to live in this area was Noah Calhoun. He received a Spanish land grant for 640 acres and settled in 1818 just in the edge of Florida. In fact there once was a community named for the Calhoun family just south of Dixonville. There was an inn, a church and a stage coach station that was run by Elizabeth Cobb.
Noah Calhoun was born about 1765 and died in the old community of Calhoun about 1847. He was buried in an old cemetery near the church although he was never given a tombstone. The cemetery is one of the earliest known pioneer cemeteries in northwest Florida. It dates from the same period as Fort Crawford and most of the graves have no markers at all. There are 27 marked graves in this cemetery which sits in a patch of woods off the highway. In addition, there are approximately 60 more graves that are unmarked. Most have, until recently, been in overgrown areas that are hard to reach. Since a few years ago, a descendant of Noah Calhoun, Carl Penton, has been almost a one-man cleanup committee to get the cemetery cleaned out.
Noah Calhoun (abt. 1765-abt. 1847) was given a 640-acre Spanish land grant long before Florida became a state. He was married to Elizabeth Anne Baggett, who was most probably related to the early Baggetts in Conecuh County. She may have been related to John Thomas Baggett who is said to have been the first white child born in Conecuh County in 1817. And then there was another Baggett who was born at Fort Crawford in 1818 where his parents had taken shelter from an Indian uprising.
The Calhouns were the parents of at least two children, John C. Calhoun and James C. Calhoun. It is said that they were closely related to the famed John Caldwell Calhoun (1782-1850), but this has not been proven. Noah's son, James C. Calhoun (1823-1890) married first Roseanne Jones (1835-1861), the daughter of John J. Jones and Rachel Powell. Rachel Powell was a half sister to Billy Powell, better known as Osceola, leader of the Seminole Indians. James and Roseanne Jones Calhoun were the ancestors of Carl Penton, who is mentioned above.
John C. Calhoun (abt. 1818) married Pamelia. They had two daughters, Mary and Martha, and a son, John Pinckney Calhoun. At the birth of John Pinckney Calhoun in 1853, his mother, Pamelia, died in childbirth. The father was so distraught over the death of his wife that he left the baby with relatives, took the girls and left the area. Pamelia was buried at Calhoun Cemetery, near other Calhoun and Jones unmarked graves.
John Pinckney (1853-1904) lived with relatives and when he was 24 years old (11 June 1874), he married Mary Jane Dixon (8 Dec. 1856-1930), daughter of Claiborne H. Dixon Sr. and his second wife, Rebecca Anne Townsend. I will tell you about the Dixon family at a future date.
John Pinckney Calhoun and his wife, Mary Jane Dixon, lived in the Dixonville area and raised at least seven children; Roxie Rebecca Calhoun (1875-1940) who married Joseph Daniel Barnes (1872-1924), James Calhoun who married Kathy Anderson, Riley J. Calhoun (1879-1960) who married first, George E. Roberts and second Eunice Valeria McLean, Frances Calhoun (1881) who married Dennis Allen Morris (1882-1940), Ira Calhoun who married Nonie Fulmore, Lillie Calhoun (1892) who married Samuel S. Gardina (1884-1968) and Lollie Calhoun (1895-1978) who married John Oscar McArthur (1885-1951).
Riley J. Calhoun married first George E. Roberts (1883-1913), daughter of Washington and Elizabeth Roberts. She died at the age of 29 of blood poisoning. They were the parents of eight children: Samuel Fletcher Calhoun (1901-1974) who married Artie V. Poore (1904), James Daniel Calhoun (1902-1967) who married Velma R. Hicks (1900-1987), Emma Belle Calhoun (1905) who married Ersie Lee Nichols, Henry Calhoun (1906) who married Anne, Melva Lee Calhoun (1909) who married Ralph Golden, Roy Calhoun (1910) who died as a baby, Stanley Alton Calhoun (1911) who married Dovie Dixon and R.G. Calhoun (1913) who married Louise Taylor.
Riley J. Calhoun and his second wife, Eunice Valeria McLean Lewis, had 10 children: Hubert Royce Calhoun (1916-1983) who married Pauline Stokes (1913-1982), Olive Valeria Calhoun (1918), Dorothy Eileen Calhoun (1920), Altha Faye and Altha Mae Calhoun (1922), Harvey Alton Calhoun (1923), Ralph Alford Calhoun (1925-1985), Lillie Gleen Calhoun (1927), Jernigan Bryan Calhoun (1930-1942) And Doris Jeanette Calhoun (1931).
I have more information on this family, some on the other connections such as the Malone family and the Hicks family. I have quite a bit on the Dixon family which I will get to sometime in the near future.
I had a telephone call last night from a man who wanted me to tell a little about the good old days and the practice of having "dinner on the ground." That practice along with many others are slowly slipping away from the modern generation and if records are not made now, they may be lost forever. I personally have stories to tell about the old fashioned dinner on the ground, the rolling store and the good old fun time of tree climbing and sitting. The younger folks need to know about some of these happenings. Who knows? They could be caught without a television set someday.