Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   
Interview and Obit. for William Hardy Key

William H. Key age 96      (seated) William (l to r) John James George
 Click on small pictures to view, use browser's "back" button to return

This article appeared in a Carroll County, Missouri newspaper. It is an
 interview given when he was 93 years old. Mr Key was born March 15,
 1836 in Shelby county, Tennessee and died on Feburary 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
 in Tennessee.

 Wm. H. Key, one of the oldest Carroll county residents, was a visitor in the
 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 interest as he
 reviewed his life's history for a representative of this paper. In fact his
 appearance was of a man at least ten years younger and he is yet reasonably
 active regardless of the 93 years he has had the pleasure of living a useful
 life.

 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 a farm
 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 of the
 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
 house.

 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 to their
 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 his sister,
 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 our guns
 to meet the enemy. It might have been death, crippled for life or endangered
 health. It was all considered but we took our positions at the side of those
 who made like sacrifices." Mr. Key is now drawing a pension.

 In his reminiscent mood this venerable citizen recalled the period when he
 frequently battled with tattle snakes. "We had two kinds to deal with," he
 said, "timber and the prairie rattlers. The largest one I ever killed measured
 about five feet in length and in circumference was about as big around as 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 scholar and I
 studied the customary reading and writing with an occasional spelling
 lesson. I was a good speller. I only attended school about three months our
 of the year and that was where I obtained my meager education.

 "Indians? why I should say, plenty of them; but you know they never harmed
 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 until the
 present time he has never failed to cast his vote but one time. That was a day
 when rain poured down in torrents and I was unable to reach the voting
 precinct.

 In religion, he early in life united with the Church of Christ and has since
 been faithful to this conviction. He has never held a church nor public office
 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 never even
 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 career and his
 conversations today are along such lines that lend to improve the position 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 have been 100 years old on March 15,1936.   (By Tina Correspondent)
 Our community was greatly shocked at the sudden death of William H. Key, which occured February 3rd at 9:45 pm at the home of his son, James A. 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 and was the son of Dempsy and Mary Key.  At the age of 8 years he came to Carroll county Missouri, making the trip by boat, and arrioved at DeWitt in March 1844.
 He first settled on a farm in Leslie township where he lived until 1849, when he moved to Ray county and settled on a farm near Richmond.  He lived there until 1852 when he again moved to Carroll county and settled on a farm in Leslie township where he continued to reside until 1870 when he moved to Hill township.  There he made his home until 1917.  Since then he had made his home with his children.
 In 1862 he enlisted in Company A, 65th regiment, enrolled Missouri Militia in whech he served from July 28 to Dec. 6th of the same year.  He then served in Company E, 4th Provisional Missouri Militia from May 7, 1863 until June 30,1863.  He was in Captain Wm. Beatty's company from Sept. 21,1864.  In October of the same year he was captured by the Confederates and was released Jan. 10, 1865.
 On June 24,1858 he was united in marriage with Miss Julia Ann Street, of this county, who preceded him in death on April 19,1915.
 To this union were born six children.  Three of whom survive: John A. Key of Bogard, Geo. W. Key and James A. Key of Tina.  Those who preceded him in death were Lucinda jane Plaster, Nannie B. Long and William T. Key.
 He is also survived by 19 grandchildren, 57 great grandchildren and 14 great-great grandchildren.
 He had been a member of the Church of Christ of Coloma for many years and had lived a faithful member until his death.
 "Grandpa", as he was favorably known was a kind and loving father and 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 1:30 o'clock at the Church of Christ in Coloma, conducted by the Reverend Jones of Iberia, Mo., after which he was laid to rest beside his beloved wife in the Coloma cemetery.
Return to Carroll County Page

Return to Main Page