McCallum, Arthur Newell, Sr. (1865–1943)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: July 30, 2020

Arthur Newell McCallum, Sr., teacher and school administrator, was born near Alfordsville, North Carolina, on September 10, 1865, the son of Brown and Catherine (McLean) McCallum. He attended high school at Laurinburg, North Carolina, and in 1887 received a B.A. degree from Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina. Later he did graduate work at the University of Chicago. McCallum moved to Texas in 1895 and became school superintendent at La Vernia. Later he went to Kenedy and Seguin. He married Jane Yelvington (see MCCALLUM, JANE LEGETTE YELVINGTON) on October 29, 1896; they had five children. In 1903 McCallum was elected superintendent of the Austin public schools, a position he held for thirty-nine years. During his tenure, the size of the Austin district increased from twelve schools and 4,459 students in 1903 to thirty-two schools and 16,128 students in 1942. McCallum built the Austin schools into a quality system, hiring teachers on the basis of merit and keeping politics out of school administration. He believed that all children, regardless of race, should have an equal opportunity for education. In the 1920s he hired Consuelo Mendez, the district's first Hispanic teacher. McCallum established a night school for adults and also later taught in the summer school of the University of Texas. He held many positions in the field of education, including life memberships in the Texas State Teachers Association and the National Educational Association. He was also a Mason, a Presbyterian, and a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity. He was superintendent emeritus of the Austin public schools at the time of his death. He died at his home in Austin on November 20, 1943, and was buried at Oakwood Cemetery. A. N. McCallum High School in Austin was named in his memory in 1953.

Austin American-Statesman, November 21, 1943. McCallum Family Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Texas Parade, November 1939. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

  • Education
  • University Presidents and School Administrators

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

Anonymous, “McCallum, Arthur Newell, Sr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 30, 2020