Knowledge of the life of Fuller E. Callaway, Jr. is equally important to any real understanding of Callaway Foundation, Inc., which he created. In every way, the activities of Callaway Foundation, Inc. were and are an extension of his life and philosophy, as well as his father's.
Fuller E. Callaway, Jr. was born January 1, 1907 in LaGrange, Georgia, at the family home located on the southwest corner of Haralson and Lewis Streets. From his earliest days, he was a tireless worker, a visionary planner and an intense competitor. Indeed, he was "thoroughness personified" at whatever job he was doing. In every sense of the phrase, he would follow in his father's footsteps, but, after he passed, the footprints had become larger than those into which he stepped.
Fuller, Jr. began his "career" at age 14 ½, which was the Georgia minimum age at the time, as a coal stoker in the basement furnace room of Elm City Mill. He literally worked his way up, learning every job in the mill. He not only learned how to run every machine in the mill, but also could tear it down and put it back together! No one, not even the mill executives, could ever know better than he exactly what it meant to work in a cotton mill.
Fuller graduated from LaGrange High School, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Eastman School of Business in Poughkeepsie, New York. While a student at Tech, he worked a variety of jobs and paid his own way.
Like his father and brother before him, Fuller, Jr. chose well his mate for life. He married Alice Hinman Hand of Pelham, Georgia in 1930. Her sister, the late Virginia Hand Callaway, was the wife of Fuller's brother, Cason. Alice Callaway either supported or directly participated in every productive aspect of her husband's life work. She served with him for over 45 years as an Officer and Trustee of Fuller E. Callaway Foundation, another Callaway philanthropy, and over 30 years as a Trustee of Callaway Foundation, Inc. Indeed, they were equal partners in providing hospitals, schools, scholarships, churches and libraries for their beloved LaGrange. Throughout her lifetime she carried on the preservation of the family estate, "Hills and Dales," and its historic "Ferrell Gardens," a labor of love which her mother-in-law, Mrs. Ida Cason Callaway, had done before her. This work itself has been a major contribution to LaGrange and the preservation of its history.
After the death of his mother in 1936, Fuller and Alice Callaway took over the care of the estate. They continued to preserve the house and historic garden, while adding selected features, until his death in 1992 and her passing in 1998. In accordance with their wishes, the estate was given to another Callaway philanthropy, Fuller E. Callaway Foundation, and is now open for the enjoyment and enrichment of the visiting public.
[For more information on Ferrell Gardens, the Hills & Dales Estate, or it's programs visit www.hillsanddalesestate.org.]
Fuller and Alice Callaway had two children, the late Fuller E. Callaway, III and Ida Cason Callaway, who became Mrs. Charles D. Hudson. They had five grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren.
In 1935, Fuller E. Callaway, Jr. succeeded his brother as President of Callaway Mills, which together they had created in 1932 from the network of industries their father had started. Like his father and brother before him, he became very successful in the textile business and, later, became Chief Executive Officer of both the Georgia Textile Manufacturers Association and the American Textile Manufacturers Institute. He was named a Fellow of the Textile Institute in England, the leading scientific textile society in the world, an honor held by only a handful of world textile leaders.
Fuller, Jr.'s interest in industrial research had many expressions. He chartered Callaway Institute, Inc. for industrial research in 1943. In 1944, he founded the Institute of Textile Technology at Charlottesville, Virginia. This he followed in 1946 with the Georgia Tech Research Institute. Callaway Mills and a later organization, Callaway Mills Company, were industry leaders. Their research and design divisions gave new dimensions to methods of production and quality of products. Callaway towels and carpets became the standard by which excellence was measured.
Despite this success as a manufacturer and businessman, Fuller E. Callaway, Jr.'s major work in life actually involved sharing the wealth he created with an ever growing constituency. He gave initially to and did for his employees and their villages. He broadened the scope to include his hometown and county. Then, his magnanimity encompassed the entire State of Georgia. Fuller E. Callaway, Jr.'s life has made an impact all across the country, but nowhere is it more evident than in his hometown of LaGrange.