THE DESCENDANTS OF WILLIAM THOMAS KILLIAN
Joseph Killian, second child of William and Elizabeth Killian, became a prosperous farmer prior to the Civil War. He and his first wife, Elizabeth, had one child, Maria E. (Mariah). After Elizabeth’s death, Joseph married Nancy Whitehead, daughter of Jacob and Nancy Whitehead. Their children were: Lilly, Martha A. E., Reuben L., Joseph Serug, Thomas M., Mary L(uvisa?), Josephine D., James F., Dolly, and Douglas.
Reuben L. married Phebe Bennett, daughter of Elizabeth McDonough Bennett and Henry Killian Bennett. Thomas M. married Phebe’s sister, Rhoda. Dolly married George Langley Fulgem. Josie married Newt Holmes.
Franklin Francis was William and Elizabeth’s fourth child. He and his wife, Jane E. Morgan, raised ten children: William, Mary E., Thomas Noah, Joseph L., Nancy Jane, Manes S., Franklin A., Shadrack A., Gaines R., and James M. G. In the early 1870’s, the family moved to Texas where Franklin perished in a brush fire. About 1890, Thomas Noah and his wife, Lorinda Helen Guin(n), returned by covered wagon to Dade County with their children, Evie Jane, Lycurgus Eugene, Laura Elizabeth, Florence Naomi, and Fannie Marie, where their last child, Ibbie Marie, was born. Their dog became so lame from walking the distance; that the family had to outfit it with home-made “shoes”.
Lott, who was William and Elizabeth’s fifth child, lived with Franklin working on his farm. Later, Lott bought a small farm in the Running Water area and married Mary “Polly” Whitehead, sister of Nancy, who had married Lott’s brother, Joseph. Lott and Mary had three children: William Jacob “Bud”, George Washington, and Mary.
While fighting with the 34th Georgia Infantry, Lott was captured at Vicksburg, Mississippi on July 4, 1863 as a result of General Grant’s three month attack and siege of the city, but he was paroled by the Union forces after four days. Later in the war, he was fatally wounded and died in a Confederate hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina just three weeks before General Lee surrendered at Appomattox.
Mary “Polly” married a Mr. Debos (Dubois?) and to this union, Josephine was born. By 1870, Mary Debos was living in Trenton on 1st Street with her four children. In the census for that year, she is listed as the head of the household with no mention of Mr. Debos. In 1880 census and continuing with other records through her death in 1905, Mary was listed as Mary P. Killian.
Mary, Lott and Mary Polly’s daughter, married Jessie Smith in 1880. Their children were Ethel, Novella, and Kirksey. William Jacob and George Washington married the Torbett sisters, Josephine and Christine respectfully. George and Chrissie had two children, Vann and Nettie. In 1890, Chrissie and 6-month old Nettie died. George later married Verna Hixson, daughter of Elizabeth Bennett Hixson and John Henry Hixson. With Vann, George and Verna moved to Marion County, Tennessee where they lived on a farm outside of Jasper. This is where their children, Virginia, Lottie, Willie, Bessie E., Ulys Marvin, Clyde, Homer V., Birdie Alphia, and Una Pearl where born. About 1908, George and Verna moved their family to Chattanooga, where most of their descendants still reside.
During the 1890’s, several other Killian families had left Dade County for Marion County including Reuben L. and Phebe with their children Lila, Leila, Judson, Joseph, Shannon, Rubie, and Dewitt (Talmedge). In 1898, their last child, Alice “Ally” was born.
In addition to George and Reuben, the 1900 Marion County census also lists Mary Polly Killian as head-of-household. Living with her were William and Josie and their children, George W., Thomas K., Dosie E., Mead T., and William.
Noah was the sixth child of William and Elizabeth. He learned the trade of blacksmithing while living with and working for William Sharrock. He later married Ann Eliza Tatum. Before Ann’s death they had eight children: Nancy Elizabeth (wife of James Acuff), Rebecca “Ibbie” C. (wife of James Shankles), William Herndon (husband of Lucie Calhoun Martin), Mary Esther (wife of William Clay Cureton), Jane Ann, Sarah Virginia, Charles Arthur, and Lilia Fai. Nancy Lousia Tatum, Ann’s sister, also lived with them for sometime.
Noah was fighting with the 34th Georgia Infantry at Kennesaw, Georgia when he was captured in July of 1864. He was released from Camp Douglas, Illinois ten months later. Noah attained the rank of lieutenant. In 1875, after Ann died, Noah married her sister, Nancy Louisa. This was Nancy’s third marriage having previously married Mr. Fryer, and Isaac C. Lewis.
William and Elizabeth’s last son, Serug and his wife, Margaret A., had seven children: Mary Ann (wife of John P. Fowler), Medora (wife of T. M. Glazier), Noah Douglas, Lorra J., Arrourn, Horace C., and Margaret B. Serug was a successful farmer, served as County Court Clerk and rose to the rank of Captain P in the Confederate Army.
After the death of Serug and Margaret, all of Mary Ann’s brothers and sisters moved in with her and her husband.
Elizabeth Catherine, the youngest child of William and Elizabeth, married James Monroe Miller. They left Dade County about 1860 with their children (William Samuel, Nancy Elizabeth, and their newborn baby, John “Nelson”) and James1 parents and other relatives. The Miller families were heading to Texas but settled in Polk County, Arkansas in the town of Mena. James was fighting in the Civil War when Elizabeth gave birth to their fourth child, Robert Morgan. In the winter of 1864-65, Elizabeth left her children with her father-in-law, John Miller, and went to look for James. Accompanying her was Mary Jane, James1 sister. After traveling by horseback during the harsh winter, Elizabeth became sick. Abandoning her search, Elizabeth returned to Mena where she soon died of pneumonia apparently never knowing that James had died the previous October in a prisoner-of-war camp at Johnson Island, Ohio.
Beginning 160 years ago, the Killian families help to populate, settle and develop Dade County. Though many have moved to the surrounding counties and states, there remain numerous descendants of these early pioneers.