Jewe Henry Arthur Callis
by Skip Mason
The First Mrs Henry Arthur Callis(Alice Moore Dunbar), Author of the
Delta Sigma Theta Hymn and first wife of Paul Laurence Dunbar
Jewel Henry Arthur Callis
After Jewel Henry Arthur Callis graduated from Cornell in 1909, he
traveled to Wilmington, Delaware and taught at the Howard High
School. It was there, where he continued his friendship with Alice
Moore Dunbar, who had been a student at Cornell. Alice had been
married for four years to noted poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, in what
was described as a volatile marriage, which ended divorce. Alice
Ruth Moore Dunbar ended up in Wilmington, Delaware where she also
taught at the Howard High School. A courtship resumed and they were
married in 1911. She was 33, he was 24.
The marriage lasted less than a year. Callis and Miss Dunbar remained
married for nine months. Alice Moore Dunbar Callis had matriculated
also at Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania. She was the
organizer of a Women Suffrage campaign for the mid Atlantic States
and the first woman to serve on the State Republican Committee of
Delaware. A prolific writer, she published several books and
She became a member of Delta Sigma Theta and penne the words to the
National Hymn of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority along with Florence Cole
Talbert, who arranged the music.
Jewel Callis moved to Chicago to attend the Rush Medical College and
met and married his second wife Pauline Parke, a native of Nashville,
Tennessee who was a talented painter. They were married in 1915 and
were the parents of two daughter, Helen and Jane.
They were divorced in 1927 and Jewel Callis married Myra Colson Hill,
from the distinguished Hill Family of Petersburg, Virginia. Myra was
a social worker and worked for Tuskegee Institute when Jewel Callis
moved to Chicago to work at the Veterans Hospital. She was a graduate
of Fisk University and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.They
were married until his death in 1974.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Mrs. Myra Colson Callis, the 3rd wife of Jewel Henry Arthur Callis.
Photo courtesy of the Moorland Spingarn Research Center/Myra Callis