Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Obituary - William Edward Dark

Today's obituary is for William Edward Dark,  subject of my last Tombstone Tuesday:

From:  March 29, 1941 Winnfield News-American:  William E. Dark, Confederate Vet, Passes Sunday was courier in Civil War under General Johnston

William E. Dark, the last Confederate veteran residing in Winn Parish, died at 6:30 Sunday afternoon in his home near Gaars Mill.  Born in Merriweather County, Georgia, 92 year and 10 months ago, "Uncle Bill" was only 12 years old when the War Between the States broke out.  Soon afterwards he enlisted and served as a courier under General Joseph E. Johnston.  He participated in the critical Battle of Atlanta and other phases of the war.

After the war he moved to Louisiana, settling near Homer in 1869.  Two years later he moved to Winn Parish where he lived until his death.  During the time the Confederate Veterans were organized here, he served as adjutant to the post.  He was married three times, and was the father of 21 children.

"Uncle Bill" regularly attended all state and national Confederate reunions, and was nationally famous tap and jig dancer at these conventions.  When Woodrow Wilson was present, Mr. Dark had a special invitation to dance at the White House.  Several large magazines and daily newspapers carried stories and pictures of "Uncle Bill's" actions at the reunions.

Funeral services were held Monday afternoon in the Harmony Grove Church, with Rev. John Kitchenham officiating.  Burial was in the church cemetery, conducted by the Masonic Lodge.

Surving are the widow; five sons, P.T., W.L. and J.F. of Gaars Mill, J.W. of Jonesboro, and E.H. Dark of the Walker Community; eight daughters, Mrs Emma Hutson, Summerfield, Mrs. Maude Stewart, Mrs. Annie Ziglar, and Mrs Caordie Know of Ansley, Mrs.Cora Carter of Ruston, Mrs. Ora Hickenbottom of Walker Community, Mrs. Zula Branch of Chatham, and Mrs. Lela McMurray of Gaars Mill; one brother R.L.Dark of Liddieville, LA; and one sister, Mrs Mollie Boyd, Coushatta; 80 grandchildren and a number of great and great-great grandchildren.
"Uncle Bill" was obviously something of a local celebrity in Winn Parish, Louisiana, as he has a rather well-written, descriptive obituary.  I don't have an original of this, merely the transcription, so I can't be sure, but it appears to be a staff-written obit, rather than a family submission.  You do get a little flavor of the man from this obit.

I don't care for the use of initials only in naming several descendants, but it does then use first names of female descendants instead of Mrs. (Husband).  With three wives, over 20 children and 80-some grand children and even some great- and great-great-grandchildren indicated by the time of his death, you can see Mr. Dark was very prolific!

Sunday’s Obituary – if you have obituaries of family members and ancestors, consider posting them along with other information about that person as part of Sunday’s Obituary. This is an ongoing series developed by Leslie Ann at Ancestors Live Here.