Obituary of W. J. Wilkinson of Menard County, Texas
When I begin to write a historical blog post I always hope that I have everything but this one had many conflicts. This history of William Jackson Montgomery Wilkinson, son of Daniel King Wilkinson and Elizabeth Osborn Braden in Union Church, Jefferson, Mississippi is as close as I can get with supported facts.
I was able to get a scan on Saturday from the museum in Menard of the framed copy of the Menard Messenger newspaper’s front page dated Thursday, May 29, 1919. It contained the obituary of William Jackson Montgomery Wilkinson’s written by Hon. James Callan. It states that W. J. died on Thursday, May 15th, 1919 at his home at his ranch at Clear Creek, Menard County, Texas. Below is a photo from the museum of “Uncle Jack” sitting outside of his home at Clear Creek Ranch undated and not part of the obituary.
W. J. is my husband’s great grandfather who came to Menard County and was buried on the day he died at the Pioneer Rest Cemetery. There are different dates for his birth; one shows 1833; the CSA gravestone marker shows 1835-1919 and the family headstone shows 1828. Nancy was the informant on the death certificate and said his birthday is November 29, 1828. Below is W. J.’s CSA service record with enlistment date of November 9, 1863 at Camp Colorado and age 28, (this was considered in Callahan County.) That is where they got the 1835 on the marker.
The full Indian story can be read at my blog post about the Col. W J Wilkinsons Indian Experience.
This obituary was written by long-time family friend J. J. Callan in advance of his death in 1917. He and W.J. first met in Coleman County (was Brown County at the time) back in 1860’s.
James Joseph Callan, born May 6, 1833 in Dundalk, Ireland and died in Menard October 4, 1917. He reached Camp Colorado on Christmas Day, 1857, and married Margaret Jane Sheen on March 13, 1859. Prior to the Civil War he served in the Texas Rangers, then in March 1862, he joined the Confederacy and was a Captain in Co. I of McCord’s Frontier Reg., Texas Cavalry. In 1864, J. J. was elected to the office of Chief Justice of Coleman County, so he tendered his resignation as Captain in the Confederate Army, November 1, 1864. J. J. and Margaret Jane had 14 children (2 girls stillborn were not named).
A few more of my blog posts on this family: