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Callaway Civil War Heritage

Researching, educating the public about, and protecting and preserving Callaway County heritage relative to the 1861-1865 War Between the States and the 1865-1876 Reconstruction period. We are an affliate of Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation, sponsor of the Gray Ghosts and U.S. Grant Trails and itself a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization. Previously known as Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage, we were founded in 2005 and initially sponsored eight interpretive panels on the Gray Ghosts Trail at seven locations in Callaway County, as well as educational programs and publications.

A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

 Missouri Civil War Heritage Foundation

September 20, 2016


 Joe Crane
Joe Crane
FULTON, Mo. - Joe White Crane, 83, a great ambassador for Williamsburg - and perhaps its de facto "mayor" as well - passed away Sept. 6 at Presbyterian Manor in Fulton. He was an active member of our board from its very inception, and led his family in funding and siting an interpretive panel on the Gray Ghosts Trail at Crane's Museum in Williamsburg.

He and his wife, Marlene, established and together managed Crane's Museum and its attached restaurant until Marlene died December 4. The museum is located next to the landmark Crane's Country Store, which Joe operated for many years until turning over its reins to his son, David. David Crane now operates both enterprises.

Joe was a respected retired public-school educator as well. He also was a lay leader of Williamsburg's Old Auxvasse-Nine Mile Presbyterian Church.

Joe was born January 11, 1933, in Fulton, Mo., to Samuel Harrison Crane and the former Bernice Olive White. He was graduated from Fulton High School in 1951 and then from the University of Missouri in 1956 with a bachelor's degree in Industrial Arts Education and in 1960 earned a master's degree in Administration.

He married the former Marlene King on August 16, 1959, in Kansas City, Mo. They were married for more than 56 years before her death in 2015.

Crane was principal of the Hatton McCredie Elementary School from 1972 until he retired in 1993.

He spent much time with friends and family, and readily shared his knowledge of local lore and history. He also loved collecting things and enjoyed woodworking.

Joe Crane is survived by son David and David's wife Amy of Fulton, Mo., and their children Trask Crane and Mason Crane. Besides his wife, Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel and Bernice White Crane, and a brother, Bill Crane.

Memorial services were September 11 at the Old Auxvasse-Nine Mile Presbyterian Church in Williamsburg. Interment followed at the Williamsburg Cemetery. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Williamsburg Cemetery or to the Fulton FABLAB, c/o Schlanker Funeral Home, 207 Danville Road, Montgomery City, Mo. 63361.

July 30, 2016


FULTON, Mo. – The pioneers of the Callaway County's Gray Ghosts Trail – Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage – marches forward into its next phase with new officers and a new name.

Bryant Liddle
Joseph W. McCroskrie

Bryant Liddle has been elected Chair – moving up from his role as Co-Chair – and Joseph W. “Whit” McCoskrie is the new Vice Chair/Treasurer, having just joined the board. Longtime board member Warren Hollrah is the organization's new Secretary, succeeding Don Ernst.

The group's new name is Callaway Civil War Heritage. “We have a new name but will continue our mission of accurately researching the Civil War in Callaway County and passing this knowledge on to future generations,” says Liddle. “But we are also identifying fresh projects and are seeking new board members to broaden both our membership and our ideas, and to make new hands available to complete these projects.”

Certain functions will continue, including sustaining the Gray Ghosts Trail interpretive panels. But two to four new panels will also be planned, with particular emphasis on the 1865–1876 Reconstruction period. The excellent Web site will remain under the leadership of Webmaster Wayne Johnson, but Kathy (Zbinden) Richey-Liddle has agreed to create a handsome, accessible Facebook page.

Joe D. Holt

The heritage group will also identify new sources to obtain funding for its work, especially renewed marketing efforts. These may include a comprehensive map/brochure and a newsletter. Attorney and heritage leader Joe D. Holt will help restructure the association as a limited liability corporation, as well as provide other consultating assistance. Long a public face for the group, Holt has yet been emphatic about his well-deserved retirement as longtime Co-Chair.

Martin Northway

Likewise for Martin Northway, who has retired after 11 years at the helm of the group, leading fund raising and community involvement, jump-starting educational efforts such as Civil War Living History Day, and researching and writing most of the county's eight educational panels. He will continue to assist with PR and historical research and writing. “We are most proud of the bonds we have formed with communities and their leaders in doing our impressive body of work,” says Northway. “We will continue to forge such relationships as we move forward.

“We will also recall the inspirational work of Mark Douglas – who died much too young – and of Don Ernst. Under our new name, we yet remain a committed affiliate of Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation, sponsor of both the Gray Ghosts and U.S. Grant Trails. Executive Director Greg Wolk has been our consistent friend and the driving force behind the trails.”

Don Ernst
Warren Hollrah

Liddle lives in Calwood with his wife Kathy and is owner of B-Line Engraving. He and his family funded one of the two panels about the Battle of Moore's Mill sited on their property.

With an abiding interest in the war, McCoskrie is a retired U.S. Army officer and a former bank executive. He is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute and taught military history to ROTC candidates in the University of Missouri's Tiger Battalion. He and wife Virginia live in Fulton and he is a member of several boards. He funded the Gray Ghosts Trail panel Callaway County Men at War in front of the Courthouse on behalf of Virginia's Smockingbird's gift store in downtown Fulton.

July 12, 2016



ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation announced today the publication of a guide to the "Confluence Segment" of the U.S. Grant Trail, the third in a series of booklets highlighting the places in Missouri (and now western Kentucky) that witnessed Ulysses Grant's rise to fame and power in the early days of the Civil War. The Confluence refers to the meeting of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers west of Paducah. The area of Missouri west of this junction of the rivers, and Kentucky to the south and east, was the center of Grant's attention from September 1861 through January 1862. The guide and map focuses on Grant's Battle of Belmont, November 7, 1861, although many other campaigns, including the 1862 Union campaign to capture New Madrid and Island No. 10, are featured as well.

The U.S. Grant Trail is a joint project of the Missouri communities of Hannibal, Mexico, Washington, Pacific, St. Louis, Arcadia Valley, Cape Girardeau, Bloomfield, Charleston, and New Madrid, and the City of Paducah in Kentucky, to bring tourists' attention to their Civil War and other heritage resources. The Trail features prime sites that pertain to General Grant, and many other visitable sites, museums and historic homes that are related to the Civil War in the two states. The Trail, introduced in 2012, extends from Hannibal in the north to Paducah and New Madrid in the south and provides visitor access to 85 Official Trail Sites along its route. The newest map and guide has been produced by contributions of the communities in the area, and others, and was made possible by a matching grant by the Missouri Humanities Council.

"This is third Civil War guide that has been funded by the Missouri Humanities Council," according to Steve Belko, Executive Director of the Council. "The Missouri Humanities Council is proud of the part it has played in developing a premier heritage tourism attraction that binds our eastern Missouri communities together," said Belko, adding that he welcomes Kentucky to the venture.

"Working with the Missouri Civil War Heritage Foundation on the U.S. Grant Trail allows us to expand the story of western Kentucky's involvement in the War Between the States through U.S. Grant and his quest to control the western rivers," said Mary Hammond, Executive Director of the Paducah Visitors Bureau. "The trail guides connect the venues across our region which present a variety of ways to experience this heritage," Hammond noted.

Printed maps of the U. S. Grant Trail are available at Missouri Official Welcome Centers and at Kentucky's Whitehaven Welcome Center (I-24), or may be obtained by mail by visiting www. Printable maps may also be obtained on line at

About Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation: Sponsor of both the Gray Ghosts and U.S. Grant Trails, Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) educational organization and was founded in 2001 to assist Missouri communities in interpreting and preserving their important Civil War heritage sites, and in marketing Missouri's vast Civil War resources to visitors.

For more information, contact Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation, Greg Wolk at ghw@mo

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