The Family of
William R. King and Ursula Crosby
of Conecuh County,
William R. King was born July 15, 1822 in SC, and died May 03, 1848 in Orizaba, Mexico (Mexican War). He is buried at Bellville Baptist Church Cemetery. He was the son of John and Elizabeth Coleman King, formerly of Darlington District, South Carolina. William R. King married Ursula Crosby about 1842 in Conecuh County. Ursula was the daughter of Chesley Crosby and Sarah Hughes, a very prominent family from Chester County, SC and owners of the large Crosby Plantation in Conecuh County. Both the King and Crosby families were faithful members of the Bellville Baptist Church.
When reviewing Rev. Benjamin Riley's early 1881 book, History of Conecuh County, Riley states that William R. King and Mark B. Travis, Jr. (younger brother of William Barrett Travis - Defender of the Alamo) "were two patriots from Conecuh that enlisted in the military and served in Mexico". According to 'Records of soldiers serving in Mexican-American War', both Lt. William R. King and Pvt. Mark B. Travis were mentioned; King as dying May 5, 1848 at Orizaba and Travis as being wounded at the Battle of Churubusco in August 1847. One unproven family source indicates that King died of measles while serving in Mexico. Mexican War military records indicate that 2nd Lt. Wm R. King served with Company 'E' (McAlpin's), 1st Batallion of Alabama Volunteers, and was mustered in 23 Feb. 1848 at Mobile.
According to those having visited the Belleville Cemetery, locations of the gravestones of Wm R. King, Ursula Crosby King, Chesley C. King and Amanda King Lee would indicate that William R. King was the son of John and Elizabeth Coleman King. Bellville Baptist Church records indicate that his father, John King, was serving as the Clerk of the Church at the time of his death in 1829. His mother, Elizabeth 'Betsie' Coleman was the daughter of Rev. James Coleman and Rachel Kolb of Darlington District, South Carolina.
The following is taken from History of Conecuh County, p. 126, by Rev. Benjamin Riley:
"The year 1846 is memorable in the annals of the country as the beginning of the hostilities between the United States and Mexico. When the news of bloodshed, and General Taylor's splendid successes, reached the States, crowds of volunteers demanded the acceptance of their services. Nor did the patriotism of the Conecuhians lie dormant while others, from different sections, were rallying beneath the American banner. It is to be regretted that the names of but two brave patriots of Conecuh, who enlisted in this war, can be secured. These are William R. King and Mark Travis. The former of these died in service in Mexico, and his remains were sent home and interred in the graveyard at Bellville. Mr. Travis survived the war and returned to his home, bearing the mark of a wound received in the battle of Cherubusco."
The following is taken from: Britannica.com , "Mexican War Data"
"Throughout the War with Mexico it was the practice of the U.S. Army, following major military engagements, to bury the dead in mass graves on or near the battlefield where they fell. Generally, this task was performed as quickly as possible for one very practical reason: the warm climate in which most of the war was fought hastened decomposition.
Only a few bodies were shipped back to the U.S. for permanent burial. Since the U.S. government did not assume this responsibility during the Mexican War, most of these were officers whose families could afford the expense. If the deceased was particularly well-known, other prominent citizens of the community from which he came might contribute to the cost of transporting his body. In such cases, it was also not uncommon for a small group of these same persons to travel to Mexico, to arrange for the disinterment and to accompany the deceased on the journey back to the states."
Notes: (1)The above Britanica information could provide some explanation as to the body of Lt. King being returned to Conecuh County for burial at Bellville. Certainly the family; Ursula Crosby King and her father, Chesley Crosby, a prosperous planter and owner of Crosby Plantation, could have afforded to meet the expenses for returning Lt. King's body home for burial at the family church's cemetery.
(2) The 1850 Conecuh County census shows that the widow, Ursula King (age 26), and the two King children, Amanda (age 6) and Chesley C. (age 4), were residing with her parents, Chesley and Sarah Crosby, following the death of William R. King in 1848.
A daughter, Amanda King, was born to William R. and Ursula King in December 1843 in Conecuh County. Amanda King Lee died September 03, 1906 and is buried in Bellville Baptist Church Cemetery in the King family plot. Her gravestone reads, "Having finished life's duty, she now sweetly rests." Amanda married John Miller Lee before 1867. John was the son of Rev. George Lassiter Lee and Nancy Caroline Henderson and the grandson of Joel Lee and Media Lassiter.
The Children of Amanda King and John Miller Lee
Chesley King Lee was born March 12, 1867 in Conecuh County and died July 30, 1961. Buried at Bellville Baptist Church Cemetery.
Hettie Lee was born November 3, 1872 and died April 6, 1951. Buried in Bellville Baptist Church Cemetery. Hettie married Moses S. Baldwin.
William Orrie Lee was born 1874 and died 1925. Buried in Bellville Baptist Church Cemetery.
Luman L. Lee , Sr. was born March 31, 1876 Conecuh County, AL and died November 07, 1973. Luman is buried at the Bellville Methodist Church Cemetery. He married Belle Eugenia Suddith on December 22, 1904 in Bellville. Luman and Belle had two children, (1) Liston L. Lee Jr., born April 17, 1912. Liston married Frances Jennings. (2) Julia Frances Lee, born December 1914. Julia Frances married Hugh L. Jones. Both children were born near Hampden Ridge.
A son, Chesley C. King, was born in August 1845 to William and Ursula King. The young boy was not yet three years of age when his father left Conecuh in February 1848 to fight in Mexico. William R. King was not to see his son again. Chesley died in 1882 in Conecuh County and is also buried at Bellville Baptist Church Cemetery. It is not known if Chesley ever married. Chesley C. King was listed as a Private, age about 16, from Conecuh County on the Muster Roll of Captain E. W. Martin's Company, 'Miller Guards', Alabama Volunteers, 38th Regiment, CSA, during the Civil War.
Footnote: Brothers, Carroll, Bill and Wayne King are descendants of the KING, COLEMAN and WITHERINGTON families of Darlington District, SC, Conecuh County, Alabama and Calhoun County, Arkansas.
William R. King, who died 1848 in Mexico, and who is buried at Bellville Baptist Church Cemetery, was our 2nd Great Grand Uncle. He was the younger brother of our 2nd Great Grandfather, John T. King, who was born 1816 in Darlington District, SC and who married Martha Caroline Witherington, who was born about 1826 in Conecuh County, AL.
Submitted by: William R. King, Jr.
14106 Carolcrest Circle
Houston, TX 77079
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