|Birth: ||Nov. 27, 1829|
|Death: ||Aug. 17, 1908|
Ambrose was the son of George Key, a native of Virginia and his wife Rebecca Mintun, a native of Pennsylvania. His grandfather, John Mintun, was a Revolutionary War soldier of the New Jersey line. Ambrose moved from Indiana with his mother and siblings to rejoin his father in Louisa county, Iowa during 1838. Ambrose purchased 80 acres of government land in Louisa county during 1855, and was an established merchant in the town of Wapello by 1856. In February 1857, he was appointed to a committee to approach the citizens of Burris City concerning funding for the Philadelphia, Fort Wayne & Platte River Air Line railroad. He reportedly left Iowa in 1858.
Ambrose married Mary Jones Garrett on 21 May 1859 in Tipton, Moniteau County, Missouri. They were living in Washington county, Texas as of the 1860 census, then said to have moved to Fall county, Texas for several years. While in Texas, Ambrose owned and operated various saw mills, a tannery, and other businesses. Sons Sidney D. Key and Joseph Francis Key were born during this time. (NOTE - while a biography of Ambrose states he moved to Fall county, Texas, he was party to a lawsuit to obtain clear title to property in Hill county, circa 1865, having bought the interests of others in dispute since circa 1858. See Texas Supreme Court records. It is possible that Ambrose actually resided in Hill county, not Fall county.)
Four of Ambrose's brothers served in Iowa units during the Civil War. Two of those brothers served in the same unit. A regimental history of that unit states that Ambrose and his father, George, were members of a Texas Confederate unit, and were captured at Vicksburg, Mississippi. It is possible, under the laws of Texas at that time, that Ambrose and his father may have been drafted. It has been reported that copies of his pardon are available on the Fold3 website, for his service with the 20th Texas Infantry.
Ambrose returned to Louisa county, Iowa to file his father's estate in 1866, stating only that George died in August 1864, but not revealing the location. He bought the shares of his siblings from the estate, then sold it to a 3rd party. That same year, he and his family also moved from Texas to St. Louis, Missouri for one year, then resettled in Westport, Jackson county, Missouri for about 3 years. Ambrose was then involved in the freighting business to Texas and the Indian territory. Daughters Nellie G. and Gertrude S. P. Key were born in Missouri during this time.
About 1872, Ambrose and family moved for the last time to a farm 3 miles southwest of Argentine, Wyandotte county, Kansas, along Gibbs road. There he grew fruits and other agricultural products. Ambrose died at home from stomach cancer at the age of 79, and was buried in what was then the Argentine cemetery. He was survived by his wife and four children, as well as 4 of his 15 siblings: brothers Joseph Stoner Key of Marshalltown, Iowa, and Darius Key of San Diego, California; and sisters Eliza Jane Mincher of Wapello, Iowa, and Hettie Jones of Columbus, Kansas.
George Key (1795 - 1864)
Mary Jones Garrett Key (1834 - 1927)*
Nellie Garrett Key (1867 - 1961)*
Solomon P. Key (____ - 1882)*
Hannah Key Ritter (1820 - 1899)*
Eliza Jane Key Mincher (1823 - 1911)*
Lucinda Key Bell (1825 - 1854)*
Ambrose W. Key (1829 - 1908)
Darius Key (1832 - 1912)*
James Alvin Key (1834 - 1900)*
David K. Key (1841 - 1862)*
Joseph Stoner Key (1843 - 1923)*
Maple Hill Cemetery
Created by: Richard S. Clark
Record added: Mar 15, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25286587