Name: William Hardy Key
Given Name: William Hardy
Birth: 15 Mar 1836 in Shelby County, Tennessee
Death: 3 Feb 1936 in Carroll Conty, Missouri
This article appeared in a Carroll County, Missouri newspaper. It is an
Change Date: 19 May 2004 at 01:00:00
interview given when he was 93 years old. Mr Key was born March 15,
1836 in Shelby county, Tennessee and died on February 3, 1936 in Carroll
County, Missouri. Mr. Key is buried at the Coloma Cemetery.
Wm. H. Key, Age 93, is one of the oldest residents in Carroll County;Born
Wm. H. Key, one of the oldest Carroll county residents, was a visitor inthe
city Wednesday. He is at present making his home at Bogard.
With a mind that works like a person many years his junior and with a
readiness in recalling dates, Mr. Key spoke with precision and interestas he
reviewed his life's history for a representative of this paper. In facthis
appearance was of a man at least ten years younger and he is yetreasonably
active regardless of the 93 years he has had the pleasure of living auseful
Born in Shelby county, Tenn., March 15, 1836, he spent eight years of his
life there. At that age he accompanied his father and mother to Carroll
county, Missouri, and has since resided here. The family located on afarm
near Mandeville. The trip was made up the Mississippi River and down the
Missouri in a steamboat; the family landing at DeWitt. After spending a
week at that place they started overland through the beautiful wooded
valleys and rolling prairies of the county in a wagon drawn by a team of
oxen. They had no roads in those days, Mr. Key explained, and our trip to
Mandeville was made over the ridges. He recalled that the neighbors ofthe
family were at that time were: Chas. Isom, William Brown, Elihu Standley.
"These were all good people." he remarked. "and they aided us in making
our start in the wooded sections of the hills in Mandeville."
Mr. Key remembers a way back when:
Andrew Jackson was President of the United States.
Timber and rattlesnakes were thick and one's live was endangered unless
close vigilance was kept for their presence.
Indians roamed the country.
Deer, wild turkey, and animals of many description populated the county.
Wagons were equipped with only two wheels.
Oxen were used in farming and drawing the wagons.
Wild Moss Mill was in full operation.
Carrollton was merely a trading post and the old log cabin was the court
Such things as wire fences had never been heard of.
In face, William Key remembers a way back when other people now living
in the county cannot recall.
He was married to Julia Ann Street in June 1888. This family consisted of
five children, but two daughters with their Mother, have been called totheir
eternal reward. The sons are John of Bogard, and George W. and James
both of Tina. Mr. Key was the oldest member of a family of thirteen
children, eleven boys and two girls. Of this number only he and hissister,
Pheobe Ann Briley of Iowa are living. His sister who was born in 1854,
was the youngest member of the family.
During the Civil War Mr. Key was a member of the Carroll county militia.
He was taken prisoner and served three months and three days, when he was
released to return to his family and loved ones. "Those were trying days"
Mr. Key said, "we left our families to shift for themselves and took ourguns
to meet the enemy. It might have been death, crippled for life orendangered
health. It was all considered but we took our positions at the side ofthose
who made like sacrifices." Mr. Key is now drawing a pension.
In his reminiscent mood this venerable citizen recalled the period whenhe
frequently battled with tattle snakes. "We had two kinds to deal with,"he
said, "timber and the prairie rattlers. The largest one I ever killedmeasured
about five feet in length and in circumference was about as big aroundas an
average stove pipe."
"About my education, well it is like this, you see. We had subscription
schools in those days and I attended one of them. I was never a scholarand I
studied the customary reading and writing with an occasional spelling
lesson. I was a good speller. I only attended school about three monthsour
of the year and that was where I obtained my meager education.
"Indians? why I should say, plenty of them; but you know they neverharmed
us. They would ride through the woods, especially in the winter time,camp
near our home, but we never had any trouble with them.
During my life I have worked over 100 teams of oxen. Some of them were
mighty contrary and detested their work in their rude way, but we handled
them without much trouble. They traveled slow and the trips to the mill
required a great amount of time. You know about how fast an old cow can
walk? Well that is about how fast we traveled on these long trips.
Mr. Key has always been a republican. His first vote was cast for Stephen
A. Douglas, who was then candidate for President. Since that date untilthe
present time he has never failed to cast his vote but one time. That wasa day
when rain poured down in torrents and I was unable to reach the voting
In religion, he early in life united with the Church of Christ and hassince
been faithful to this conviction. He has never held a church nor publicoffice
but has taken a reasonable active part in both. "I remember one time when
they prevailed on me to run for Judge of the Western District. I nevereven
considered such a thing. Neighbors and friends came to me but I waived
them away with the expression that I was not a scholar.
Thus, in a limited way, did an aged citizen recall his life, Wednesday.In
crowning the facts of a long and useful life into a small apace is an
impossibility. William Key is enjoying the fruits of an active careerand his
conversations today are along such lines that lend to improve theposition of
the honored pioneer, as they are looked upon by citizens. He has always
taken much interest in the busy world and has kept well informed. His
creditable career has given him a name which his children and friends
delight to honor.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Obituary For William Hardy Key , Feb.,1936- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
CIVIL WAR VETERAN DIES AT AGE OF 99
W. H. Key, of Tina, Died Monday at home of son J.A. Key. He would havebeen 100 years old on March 15,1936. (By Tina Correspondent)
Our community was greatly shocked at the sudden death of William H.Key, which occurred February 3rd at 9:45 PM at the home of his son, JamesA. Key, in Tina, Mo. He was aged 99 years 10 months and 18 days.
William H. Key was born March 15,1836 in Shelby county Tennessee andwas the son of Dempsy and Mary Key. At the age of 8 years he came toCarroll county Missouri, making the trip by boat, and arrived at DeWittin March 1844.
He first settled on a farm in Leslie township where he lived until1849, when he moved to Ray county and settled on a farm near Richmond. Helived there until 1852 when he again moved to Carroll county and settledon a farm in Leslie township where he continued to reside until 1870 whenhe moved to Hill township. There he made his home until 1917. Since thenhe had made his home with his children.
In 1862 he enlisted in Company A, 65th regiment, enrolled MissouriMilitia in which he served from July 28 to Dec. 6th of the same year. Hethen served in Company E, 4th Provisional Missouri Militia from May 7,1863 until June 30,1863. He was in Captain Wm. Beatty's company fromSept. 21,1864. In October of the same year he was captured by theConfederates and was released Jan. 10, 1865.
On June 24,1858 he was united in marriage with Miss Julia AnnStreet, of this county, who preceded him in death on April 19,1915.
To this union were born six children. Three of whom survive: JohnA. Key of Bogard, Geo. W. Key and James A. Key of Tina. Those whopreceded him in death were Lucinda Jane Plaster, Nannie B. Long andWilliam T. Key.
Hi is also survived by 19 grandchildren, 57 great grandchildren and14 great-great grandchildren.
He had been a member of the Church of Christ of Coloma for manyyears and had lived a faithful member until his death.
"Grandpa", as he was favorably known was a kind and loving fatherand grandfather, and a friend to all who knew him.
Mr. Key had been blind for several years and some weeks ago fell,hurting his hip. He bore his affliction without a murmer.
Funeral services were held in his memory Wednesday afternoon at 1:30o'clock at the Church of Christ in Coloma, conducted by the ReverendJones of Iberia, Mo., after which he was laid to rest beside his belovedwife in the Coloma cemetery.
Father: Dempsey Key b: BET 1805 AND 1809 in South Carolina
Mother: Mary Ann Isom b: 11 Dec 1821 in Limestone Co., Alabama
Julia Ann Street b: 23 Apr 1841
- William T. Key
- John Andrew Key b: 19 Apr 1859 in Carroll Co. Missouri
- Lucinda Jane Key b: 7 Jul 1861
- George Washington Key b: 27 Feb 1864
- Nannie B. Key b: Feb 1866
- James Anthony Key b: 17 Feb 1870