Shelby County, Indiana
When Dennis Callahan died in
Ireland, in 1861, the world looked blue to his widow and her two little
boys. Being poor in the extreme, with no powerful friends to draw upon,
slim chances of employment in her native country, her mind naturally reverted to
the great republic across the sea. Many another Irish widow had taken
heart of hope out of the promises wafted over by friends in this country, and
Mrs. Callahan, not knowing what else to do, decided on the long and, to her,
very exhaustive journey to the New World. So she boarded ship with Daniel
and Dennis, as it were, tucked under each wing, shipped with the steerage, among
a lot of other woe-begone emigrants and with a sinking heart, heard the throbs
of the great ship's machinery as it started the vessel on its tempestuous way. Indirectly,
the vessel reached the dock in New York harbor, the poor Irish widow went
ashore, with her helpless charge and then began in earnest what the poets call
"the journey of life."
the oldest of the two boys, was born at Cork, Ireland, 1852, and was one of
those bright lads whose shining faces give promise of success. He remained
in New York with his mother for about one year, when steps were taken to find
him a home in the West. Accordingly, he was brought to Shelby county,
where he was taken in and kindly cared for by the family of Conrad Kuhn.
They saw that he attended school, kept out of mischief and acquired habits
of industry as he grew up. Daniel was an apt pupil, a well-behaved boy and
got a fair education for his time by diligence in the public schools in Union
township. He lived with Conrad Kuhn until twenty-five years of age, when
he began casting around to make a start in life for himself. His first
important step was marriage with Mary, daughter of Valentine
Posz, by whom he had four children. Bert, the oldest, married Flora
Haehl; Kate became the wife of George Kuhn;
Nora married John R. Haehl and Annie
remains at home.
After marriage Mr.
Callahan took charge of a farm in Liberty township, which proved to be a
permanent home, as he has lived on his present place for twenty-seven
years. He spent five years in Rush county, but soon returned to his first
locality, and practically, Liberty township has been his home for thirty
years. Though not a member of church, Mr. Callahan has always been a
liberal contributor, as indeed, he is to all good causes. His family are
members of the German Protestant church and if these need help in their
operations, "father" is usually found willing to unbend. Thirty
years ago Mr. Callahan joined the Red Men, at Manilla, and has been a paying
member ever since, though he is at present connected with the lodge at
Shelbyville. He can strictly be called a self-made man, as every dollar he
has in the world was earned by himself, since he was left an orphan child in
History of Shelby County, Indiana, by Edward H. Chadwick, B.A., assisted by well known local talent, 1909, pages 675-76.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming for Christal Callahan Culp
Daniel Callahan and his brother, in 1860, were among the orphan children sent west to find a home. Daniel found a home with Mr. Conrad Kuhn, and his brother Dennis with William Burnett. His brother died, aged eighteen. Daniel remained with Mr. Kuhn, and had the advantages of a common school education. He knew nothing of work and had everything to learn, but Mr. Kuhn was a kind and indulgent employer. When he was twenty years old his employer gave him wages for two years. He then secured work at a saw mill and worked there two years. He married Miss Mary Posz in 1875, who was born in Union Township, this county, December 25, 1854, a daughter of Valentine and Margaret (Baker) Posz, both natives of Germany. By this marriage there were three children: Albert B., born June 2, 1876, Catharine E., born July 28, 1880, and Clara G., born April 19, 1884. Mr. Callahan located on the farm where he now lives in 1882. He was born in the City of New York, December 22, 1851. His father, Dennis Callahan, was a stock trader, and died in early life at the age of thirty-five.
History of Shelby County, Indiana, Chicago: Brant & Fuller, 1887, "Liberty Sketches," page 685
To contact researchers listed above, use the Surname Index