Zelpha Lou McCall



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Zelpha Lou McCall (1866-1900)

Zelpha Lou McCall was born in July 1866 in Callaway County, Missouri as the second child of Samual Christopher McCall and Elizabeth A. Linville.  She was named after her paternal grandmother, Zilpha Hodges McCall. Zelpha had three siblings, namely: Anna C., Mary Mildred, and James M. McCall.

The exact date of Zelpha’s  birth isn’t known, but, in the 1900 Federal Census, July was listed as her month of birth. So, we’ll celebrate her life in the middle of July.

Life was probably not easy for Zelpha while she was growing up. Her father was not wealthy and was a southern sympathizer. The end of the Civil War, a year before Zelpha’s birth, brought changes that many in Missouri didn’t want. At the time of the 1870 Federal Census, when Zelpha was four-years old, her father was listed as a tenant farmer owning no real estate and having just $300 of personal property.

To make matters worse, her mother died when Zelpha was somewhere between five and ten-years old. Her father remarried to Sarah Janava McClellan. She was the widow of Henry Cartmill. Through that marriage, Zelpha gained four step-siblings, namely: Jane Ellen Cartmill, James Henry Cartmill, William Robert Cartmill, and Delilia Elizabeth Cartmill.  She also gained a half-brother when her father and step-mother had a son who they named after the father but nicknamed Pomp. A great deal of Zelpha’s childhood was spent living in a blended family.

1880 Federal Census, McCall family. Note that Zelpha Lou McCall was listed as Lue.

When she was 17, Zelpha married John Thomas Estes, son of William Riley Estes and Margaret A. O’Donnell, on 27 Dec 1883 in Portland, Callaway, Missouri. He was ten years her senior. The marriage record claims that she was over 18-years old rather than just 17. There are a couple possibilities for this discrepancy. First, maybe the 1900 Federal Census, which is our main source for her birth date, was off by a year and she was really born in 1865 rather than 1866. Or, maybe she just rounded up or fibbed a bit in order to get married.

McCall – Estes, marriage record.

John Thomas Estes and Zelpha Lou McCall had the following children:

  1. Gussie Ann Estes was born on 27 Sep 1885 in Mokane, Callaway, Missouri. She married Ovid Powell Mackey on 04 Aug 1915 in Fulton, Callaway, Missouri. She died on 01 Feb 1971 in Bowling Green, Pike, Missouri.
  2. Robert C. Estes “Bob” was born in Jan 1888 in Missouri. He married Rena Alberta Collins on 19 Apr 1916 in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa. He died on 10 Mar 1978 in St Louis, St Louis, Missouri.
  3. Ida Mildred Estes was born on 10 May 1891 in Callaway, Missouri.  She married Leroy Richard McDonald on 15 Dec 1915 in Onawa, Monona, Iowa. She died on 27 Dec 1972 in Fulton, Callaway, Missouri.
  4. Herman Patrick Estes was born on 28 Oct 1893 in Steedman, Callaway, Missouri. He married Isaletta Bresler on 13 Oct 1919 in Ute, Monona, Iowa. He died on 04 Jan 1954 in McKinney, Collin, Texas.
  5. Thomas Leland Estes “Tom” was born on 28 Mar 1896 in Castana, Monona, Iowa. He married Lona Iona Fawcett on 30 Sep 1919 in Sac City, Sac, Iowa. He died on 20 Feb 1968 in Austin, Mower, Minnesota.
  6. James Andrew Estes “Jim” was born on 26 May 1899 in Missouri, USA. He married Anna Ethel Collins on 10 May 1919 in Onawa, Monona, Iowa. He died on 23 Sep 1968 in St Louis, Independent Cities, Missouri.
Zelpha Lou McCall Estes.

Zelpha Lou McCall Estes died at age 33, leaving behind her husband and six children ranging in age from infancy to fifteen-years old. Her death was due to brain fever. Brain fever is a term used when the brain becomes inflamed and the victim shows signs of having a fever. It is commonly caused by encephalitis or meningitis. In either case, her death was likely fast and unexpected. She died in 1900. She probably died in Auxvasse, Callaway, Missouri. She was buried there in Old Salem Cemetery, Reform, Callaway, Missouri.

1900 Federal Census, Estes family.

Where is she in the tree?

Relationship chart, Thomas Leland Estes to Zelpha Lou McCall.
Pedigree chart, Zelpha Lou McCall.

How can I learn more?

The Estes Family

  • Publication date: January 2019
  • Pages: 740
  • Formats:
  • This book traces our Estes family from our earliest known Estes ancestor, Nicholas Estes, who was born about 1495 in England. His descendants, beginning with our immigrant ancestor, Abraham Estes, lived through all the major events in American history. Detailed biographies are included for twelve generations of ancestors from Nicholas through the family of his 9th great-grandson, Thomas Leland Estes. Thousands of descendants have been identified and are listed.

Selected Sources:

Ancestry.com, Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007), www.ancestry.com, Database online.

Ancestry.com, 1870 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data – 1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Record), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1870; Census Place: Auxvasse, Callaway, Missouri; Roll: M593_764; Page: 247B; Family History Library Film: 552263. Record for Silvia L Mccall.

Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: Auxvasse, Callaway, Missouri; Roll: T9_677; Family History Film: 1254677; Page: 431.2000; Enumeration District: 22; Image: 0285. Record for Samual McCall.

Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), ancestry.com, Year: 1900; Census Place: Auxvasse, Callaway, Missouri; Roll: 844; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0017; FHL microfilm: 1240844. Record for John Estes.

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