A Spiritual and Educational Legacy Including McCallie School and Girls Preparatory School
By Meghan O’Dea
Full PDF here.
Thomas Hooke McCallie was just 3 years old when he arrived by flat-bottomed boat at Ross’ Landing in March of 1841 with his father, Thomas McCallie, and mother, Mary Hooke McCallie. His father, a prosperous man, continued his previous work in the mercantile business after their arrival, and the family promptly moved to their new home on what is now McCallie Avenue on the corner of Lindsay Street.
McCallie eventually went on to receive theological training at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He returned to Chattanooga after the death of his father in 1859 and immediately took charge of his family. In January of 1862, right after the American Civil War had broken out, he married Ellen Douglas Jarnagin, daughter of former United States Senator Spencer Jarnagin, and accepted a call to the Presbyterian Church (now First Presbyterian Church) in Chattanooga. He continued as a pastor and spiritual leader in Chattanooga until his death in 1912.
Described as a “commanding figure in religious and civic life, interested and active in all that contributed to the welfare of the city and state,” McCallie recognized Chattanooga’s proximity to river and rail made it not only a strategic location in the war, but also a location from which institutions that would affect the South could be built. He and his wife had 16 children, with eight living into adulthood. These talented and devoted children included the founders of McCallie School, the founder of Girls Preparatory School, a City of Chattanooga chaplain, a longtime teacher at Bright School, and more than one businessman.
“My great-grandfather’s values were faith, family, and service with an emphasis on education,” says Thomas H. McCallie III. “As I see it, his progeny have carried those values well.”
To Read About More of Chattanooga’s Founding Fathers, click the following links:
Robert H. Siskin
Leo & Ruby Lambert
Garnet & Frieda Carter
Thomas Hooke McCallie and Descendants
Harry S. Probasco & Descendants
Rody Davenport & Sons
O.D. and Ruth McKee
William Emerson Brock & William Emerson Brock Jr.
Zeboim Cartter Patten