Caroline “Callie” <I>Barr</I> Clark

Caroline “Callie” Barr Clark

Death Jan 1940 (aged 99–100)
Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi, USA
Burial Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi, USA
Plot Old Oxford Cemetery (St. Peter's, Section 5)
Memorial ID 69850973 · View Source
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Callie Barr Clark, born in slavery, came to work for Maud Butler Faulkner, mother of William Faulkner, in 1902. In later years, Callie made her home in a cottage behind William Faulkner's home in Oxford, MS. It was here she died at 100 years of age. Both Faulkner and his brother, John, wrote affectionately of her. Her relationship with the Faulkner's may be complicated and by today's standards be considered paternalistic, yet most who address it seem to believe the family's feelings genuine. In fact, William Faulkner conducted her funeral in his living room at Rowan Oak and arranged for her burial and grave marker. Though she never learned to read or write, Callie shared rich stories of pre- Civil War and Reconstruction times from her own memories with the Faulkner children.

She found her way into William Faulkner's writing being the inspiration for the character of "Dilsey Gibson" in The Sound and the Fury; "Cal'line Nelson" in Soldier's Pay; and "Molly Beauchamp" in Go Down, Moses.

Faulkner dedicated Go Down, Moses to Callie in 1942, saying:

"To MAMMY Mississippi [1840-1940] who was born in slavery and gave to my family fidelity without stint or calculation of recompense and to my childhood an immeasurable devotion and love."

A William Faulkner Encyclopedia, Robert W. Hamblin, Robert W. Hamblin Charles A. Peek, 1999.
Faulkner and Love: The Women Who Shaped His Art, A Biography by Judith L. Sensibar, 2009.
Go Down Moses, William Faulkner, 1942.


William Faulkner placed this grave marker. It reads:
"Her white children bless her."

  • Created by: ourfamily
  • Added: 15 May 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 69850973
  • Sandra Steinberg
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Caroline “Callie” Barr Clark (1840–Jan 1940), Find A Grave Memorial no. 69850973, citing Oxford Memorial Cemetery, Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by ourfamily (contributor 47145867) .