Callaway, Sara Isadore Sutherland (1863–1916)

By: Megan Seaholm

Type: Biography

Published: December 1, 1994

Updated: July 21, 2020

Sara Callaway [pseud. Pauline Periwinkle], journalist, suffragist, clubwoman, and community activist, was born in Michigan on September 25, 1863, the daughter of a Civil War soldier and a suffragist. She began writing at age twelve and later worked as a journalist and writer in Michigan and Ohio. She married James Weston Minor (Miner) in 1884 and published two books of children's stories and verse in 1890. After her husband died she moved to Dallas, Texas, to be near her mother and stepfather. She began working at the Dallas Morning News in January 1893 as society editor and editor of the women's page, and for more than twenty years she wrote a popular weekly column under the pen name Pauline Periwinkle. Later she wrote and edited a weekly children's page in the News. She was also editor of the Semi-Weekly Farm News, published in both Dallas and Galveston. In July 1900 she married William Allen Callaway, an insurance agent and former newspaperman.

As a witty and sometimes acerbic journalist, Mrs. Callaway inaugurated or advocated several successful social and public health crusades. In 1903 and 1904 she wrote several columns urging the establishment of a juvenile court system and a home for juvenile offenders. She initiated a campaign for pure drinking water and a movement for an antiexpectoration ordinance and wrote in favor of a pure-food law. She also promoted women's rights and women's organizations in her columns.

She organized the first woman suffrage club in Dallas in 1894. She was a founding member of the Texas Women's Press Association in 1893 and helped organize the Woman's Congress, later the State Council of Women of Texas, in 1893. Among the many women who spoke before the council was sculptor Elisabet Ney. Through the State Council, Isadore Callaway fostered the establishment of the Women's Building at the State Fair of Texas. She was president of the Oak Cliff Quero Club and an honorary member of the Dallas Pierian Club. She served as seventh president of the Dallas City Federation of Women's Clubs in 1907 and 1908 and was a founding member of the Dallas Woman's Forum in 1906. While president of the Dallas Federation of Women's Clubs, she led the movement for supervised playgrounds for boys and for the employment of a police matron and a woman probation officer. She originated the annual Christmas empty-stocking crusade for poor children and helped organize the Dallas Free Kindergarten Association. She was a charter member of the Dallas Humane Society and the Jane Douglas chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a director of the Dallas Public Library, and the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce city-beautification committee. As an original member of the Rural Welfare Association, begun in 1913, Mrs. Callaway encouraged the establishment of the Dallas County Rest Room for country women. Child welfare expert Henry S. Curtis ranked her as one of four outstanding American women, along with Jane Addams, Anna Howard Shaw, and Carrie Chapman Catt.

The Callaways lived in Dallas and raised two orphaned nieces. Isadore Callaway died on August 10, 1916, at St. Paul's Sanitarium in Dallas.

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Dallas Morning News, August 21, 1916. Martha Lavinia Hunter, A Quarter of a Century of the Dallas Woman's Forum, 1906–1931 (Dallas: Cockrell, 1932). Jackie McElhaney, "Pauline Periwinkle: Crusading Columnist," Heritage News, Summer 1985.

  • Journalism
  • Agriculture
  • Politics and Government
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Women
  • Women's Clubs
  • Suffragists and Antisuffragists
Time Periods:
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • Progressive Era
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • North Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Megan Seaholm, “Callaway, Sara Isadore Sutherland,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 14, 2022,

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December 1, 1994
July 21, 2020

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