Published in The Garland Daily News in 1980 as part of a series by Betty Roberts



John Tom McCallum was born in South Carolina in 1849.  His father Peter McCallum had been born in Scotland in 1808.  When Peter was nine his family came to America.  He was married to Violet Wallace and they had ten children.

Peter brought his family to Texas in 1873.  He bought a farm in 1874 in the northeast corner of Dallas County.  The sons soon acquired land near their father.  Langdon Cheeves, W. A. J. and John Tom became important in the settlement of Pleasant Valley.  One son James, had moved to Oklahoma.

In 1873 John Tom married Betty Kelly who was visiting from Van Zandt County.  They were parents of twelve children.  One died in infancy.

The McCallums built a large, two story house on top of the hill on Pleasant Valley Road.  The house had two stairs, one for the girls and one for the boys.

For a number of years John Tom had been a successful farmer with substantial land holdings in Pleasant Valley.  He had also operated the first gin in the area on Pleasant Valley and Merritt Roads.  He had owned the first gravel pit on Miles Road.

In 1913 John Tom and Betty moved into Garland.  They built a twelve room house on the corner of First and State Streets.  For several years the house was surrounded by a cotton field.  Browning Trophies is located where the McCallum house stood.

Mr. McCallum lost his eyesight after moving into Garland, but he remained active.  Uncle Tom, as he was known to most of the residents in the area, died in 1920.

Mr. McCallum was the second person to be buried in the new Pleasant Valley Cemetry.  His daughter Lizzie Jordan was the first.  She had died in 1919.

Mr. McCallums oldest son had also died.  William was born in 1874 and died in 1896 on his twenty-second birthday.  His young bride, Laura Pace, died from grief one month later.

Mrs. McCallum died in 1837 at the age of 81.

The McCallum’s second son, Charles became a doctor.  For many years, Mack was a deputy sherrif under Dan Halston.  Joe worked for Murray Gin Company.  Gee worked at farm related jobs.  John Tom worked for Dallas County in road construction for twenty-three years.  Then he was superintendent of the streets for the city of Garland until his retirement.

John Tom is the only remaining child of John Tom and Betty.  In 1922 he was married to the former Jennie Monroe, daughter of W. W. Monroe.  They have lived on State Street all of their married life, part of the property that had been owned by J. T.’s father.

The McCallum daughters were Mrs. John Pace (Ninner), Mrs. Carl Harris (Olah), Mrs. Sam Robertson (Bird), and Mrs. Millard Flook (Maude).

When Bird married Sam Robertson they stayed on the McCallum farm where she had been born in 1886.  She died in 1952.  She had been born, married and died in the same house.

The elder John Tom had thirteen grandchildren.  Only one lives in Garland.  She also lives on State Street.