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A passion for Callaway, local Civil War history

Kingdom Supper to honor Martin Northway’s with Distinguished Service Award for efforts on Gray Ghost Trail

Martin Northway is re-elected as chairman of the Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage in 2012. For his efforts with that organization, Northway is being honored with the Distinguished Service award during the 2014 Kingdom Supper.

Martin Northway is re-elected as chairman of the Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage in 2012. For his efforts with that organization, Northway is being honored with the Distinguished Service award during the 2014 Kingdom Supper. Photo by Brittany Ruess.

For his efforts to remind and educate area residents about Callaway County’s role during the Civil War, local historian Martin Northway is being recognized with the Distinguished Service Award during the Kingdom of Callaway Supper on March 25.

“I think we looked at what had been done in the community, and Vicki Backer McDaniel brought his name up, and we thought this is the time to recognize the Civil War heritage group, and he’s the one who’s been behind a lot of that,” award committee member Joe Holt said of Northway’s selection. “He is the guiding force that put everything together.”

Holt said Northway’s work is important because “so much went on here, and the Civil War Heritage has tried to commemorate that with the panels.”

“I think it’s an integral part of history in Callaway County — the war is when the Kingdom began,” Holt said. “There is a lack of recognition of the importance of Callaway County to the war.”

Although Martin acknowledged he has spent the better part of the last decade helping establish the Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage and making sure Callaway County was included in the Gray Ghosts Trail, he said he has not done all of that work alone.

He attributed the beginnings of those efforts to conversations between himself and fellow Civil War history buffs Don Ernst and the late Mark Douglas.

“Don had heard about the Gray Ghost Trail, and we were all determined Callaway County had to tell its story,” Northway said, noting local events during that time period didn’t get a lot of attention. “The focus is remarkably on the east, when it was so eventful here — 40 percent of engagements in the first year were here in Missouri.

“Callaway has stories you just can’t make up.”

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