From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 962
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


   A representative farmer of Rice county, David Callis owns and operates valuable tracts of land in central Kansas and his homestead, pleasantly located three miles northeast of Chase, comprises two hundred and forty acres, highly cultivated and improved with all modern equipments.  His possessions are a monument to his thrift and enterprise and he is accounted one of the most progressive and diligent agriculturists of his community.

   Mr Callis was born in Pike county, Illinois, February 1, 1852, his parents being W H H and Harriet E (Ingles) Callis, the former a native of Virginia, the latter of New York.  The paternal grandfather, David Callis, was a prominent farmer and slave owner of Virginia and long prior to the Civil war he gave his slaves their freedom and removed to Illinois, settling in Pike county at a very early day.  There he improved a good farm and made it his home throughout the residue of his life.  He was an earnest Christian gentleman and for many years was a worthy member of the Methodist church.  In his family were three children, Ann, Lucy J and WHH, all of whom went to Illinois and are now deceased.

   W H H Callis accompanied his parents on their removal to the Prairie state and there he was afterward married to Miss Harriet E Ingles.  He then began farming in Pike county, where he remained until after all his children were born.  In 1861 he offered his services to the government to aid in the preservation of the Union, enlisting as a private in Company F, Ninety-ninth Regiment of Illinois Volunteers.  He was subsequently promoted to sergeant and orderly sergeant and in the latter capacity served until February, 1865, when he received an honorable discharge.  He then returned to his home and family and remained in Pike county until 1867, when he removed to Iowa, where he purchased a farm, giving his attention to agricultural pursuits.  After his children were grown and had left home he and his wife returned to Illinois, where Mrs Callis died.  Sometime afterward the father visited his daughter in Texas and was there taken seriously ill.  He sent for his son, David, who took him back to Illinois, but he died at Sedalia, Missouri, during the journey, and his remains were interred in Illinois.  Both he and his wife were devoted and faithful members of the Methodist church, and were earnest workers in its behalf, Mr Callis serving as class leader and holding many other church offices.  In his political affiliations he was first a Whig and afterward a Republican and although he always voted for the men and measures of those parties he never sought office for himself.  Unto Mr and Mrs Callis were born three children:  Louisa M, the wife of R J Clanton, of Texas; Sarah F, who married J C Turner; and David H.

   The last named was a lad of twelve years when his parents removed to Iowa and there he was reared to manhood under the parental roof.  He pursued his education in the country schools and in Indianola, and through the summer months he was trained to the practical work of the farm, thus having broad experience in that direction when he began farming operations on his own account.  In 1874, in Iowa, he was united in marriage to Miss L L Knott, a cultured and intelligent lady who has been to him a devoted companion and helpmate on life’s journey.  She was born in Iowa, May 15, 1855, a daughter of John M and Lucinda (Berry) Knott.  Her father, a native of Canada, became a real estate dealer in Iowa.  At the time of the Civil war he enlisted in Company C, Fifth Iowa Cavalry and went to the front in defense of the starry banner.  He saw some hard service, took part in some long and wearisome marches and participated in some hotly contested battles.  At length in battle he laid down his life upon the altar of his country.  His first wife died in Iowa about 1858, leaving three children:  Henrietta, the wife of N Wilson; Isadore and Mrs Callis.  The father afterward married Mahala Bunt, and unto them were born a son and a daughter, who are yet living in Iowa.  After the death of Mr Knott his widow married a Mr Tinchnor, and is now living in the Hawkeye state.  Mrs Callis was only a babe at the time of her mother’s death, and was reared and cared for by Mr and Mrs John M Carter, whom she holds in grateful remembrance for their kindness and consideration.

   After their marriage Mr Callis began the cultivation of the homestead farm in Iowa, where he remained until 1877 when he came to Rice county, Kansas, where he purchased a squatter’s claim, upon which he yet resides.  The place is located in Lincoln township, and when he came into possession only a few poor improvements had been made, the house being but a little unpretentious one.  Soon, however, Mr Callis was energetically carrying on the work of developing the fields and in course of time gathered rich harvests in return for his labor.  Some years the crops were short, but altogether his career here has been a prosperous one.  His first purchase was one hundred and sixty acres, to which he added an eighty-acre tract, and at two different times he has bought quarter sections, so that today his landed possessions are quite extensive.  In the early days when times were hard and crops were not good he became somewhat discouraged and returned to Iowa and Illinois, but finally became satisfied that Kansas was the place to live and now he has here a very desirable property, which yields him a good income, making him one of the substantial farmers of the community.  In 1902 he erected a good house and barn.

   The home of Mr and Mrs Callis has been blessed with four children:  Charles E, a farmer of Lincoln township; Nancy L, the wife of P C Schoonover; Bessie M, who married F C Robbins; and Frank, who is still at home.  Mr Callis belongs to Chase Lodge, No. 247, F & A M and his standing in the society is indicated by the fact that at different times he has filled all the offices.  His wife holds membership with the Methodist church.  Politically a strong Republican, he takes a deep interest in the questions and issues of the day and attended the conventions of his party, desirous that good men shall hold the offices, yet he has never sought or desired political preferment for himself, his attention being fully occupied with his business interests, wherein his diligence and enterprise have won him creditable and gratifying prosperity.