Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

(What is this?) | Download the original typescript

Callihan, Thomas Jefferson – Born in Illinois, May 10, 1817. In Headright

Certificate No. 250 for a league and labor of land issued to Mr. Callihan, in 1838 by the Board of Land Commissioners for Harrisburg County it is stated that he came to Texas inFebruary, 1836. As a matter of fact he arrived at Velasco, January 28, 1836 on the schooner Pennsylvania, having been recruited in New Orleans by Captain Amasa Turner for the Army of Texas. On page 6 of the “Lost (Headright) Book of Harris County” in the General Land Office it is shown that on February 8, 1838 Samuel Paschal and Thomas Taylor appeared before the Board as witnesses for Mr. Callihan. Mr. Paschal stated that Mr. Callihan had arrived on the Pennsylvania and that Paschal had marched with him from Velasco.

Mr. Callihan was recruited by Captain Amasa Turner in New Orleans, and he enlisted in Turner’s Company of Regulars, February 13, 1836 for a period of two years. He apparently did not apply for the bounty land due him for his services. On December 5, 1851 he was issued Donation Certificate No 394 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto.

Upon retiring from the army, Mr. Callihan settled in Harrisburg County, where on January 7, 1838, he was married to Polly Talbott by the Reverend John Talbott, father of the bride. To this union were born two children, Harriet, who married Richard Holt, and William Clark Callihan, who married Annie Hagen.

Mr. Callihan moved to Liverpool, Brazoria County where he was the owner and operator of a schooner for many years on Chocolate Bayou. Later he farmed. His wife having died, he was married to Johanne Bishoff on January 9, 1859. Miss Bishoff had emigrated to Texas in 1846 with her parents.

Mr. Callihan served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He was a member of the Texas Veterans Association and died May 31, 1880. Mrs. Callihan died March 1, 1925. Both are buried in the cemetery at Liverpool. The State of Texas erected a joint monument at their graves in 1936.

Mr. Callihan had eight children by his second marriage, all of whom are deceased except Mrs. James Wherly, and Mrs. T. B. Williams, Liverpool, Texas. The children in order of birth were Thomas Jefferson; Eliza Eveline; John F.; Julia A., who married James Wherly; Ella; John Henry; Josie, who married T. B. Williams, and Allie Callihan. Some of the surviving grandchildren of Mr. Thomas Jefferson Callihan by his first marriage are Eric E. Callihan, 2108 Common Street, Houston; Walter Holt, Devers, Texas and Mrs. Linnie Holt Jones, Dayton, Texas. Mrs. George Kruzan, Liverpool,Texas, is a granddaughter by his second marriage.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.

Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. Amasa Turner

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Callahan
  • Date of Birth: 1817 May 10
  • Birthplace: Illinois? West Virginia? Indiana?
  • Came to Texas: 1836 Jan 28
  • Date of Death: 1880 May 31
  • Burial Place: Liverpool, Texas
  • Comments: Civil War, Confederate Army
  • Donation Certificate: 394
  • Wife: 1. Mary (Polly) Carr Talbott; 2. Johanne Fredrika (Frances) Bishoff (Bischoff)
  • Children: William Clark; Augusta; Cleora; Louisa; Harriet Casandra Callihan Holt; Mary; baby; Thomas Jefferson; Eliza Eveline (Evelyn); John F.; Julia A. Callihan Wherly; George Henry; Ella; Isabella (Josie) Callihan Williams; Alexander (Allie)