|Birth: ||Jan. 24, 1819|
South Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Feb. 9, 1899|
South Carolina, USA
Rev. William Alexander was a "Local Preacher" in the South Carolina Methodist Conference who was known as "Uncle William" to many of his parishioners.
His parents were John Alexander and the former Mary "Polly" Woodham of old Sumter District, South Carolina in that area that is now rural Bishopville in Lee County. They later moved into the adjacent Darlington District.
Both William and Liley's parents are believed to be buried in modern-day Lee County. Liley, believed to have been born December 12, 1819, was a daughter of farmer, and earlier sailor, Thomas Kea and the former Lenore "Nora" Johnson of Stokes Bridge community in Lee County. She died in 1851.
The couple had moved from South Carolina to join William's older brother James Alexander in Henry County, Alabama, near Dale County. They returned to South Carolina not too long before Delila died. They appeared in South Carolina census records in both 1840 and 1850.
After Delilah died, William later married Martha Anne E. Parnell, known as Anne, a daughter of Israel C. Parnell and the former Frances Scot "Fannie" Saverance. They later lived in Darlington County in front of what is now Lee State Park.
Neither wives' burial sites have been located. One Find A Grave dot com "Memorial" states that Delilah's grave is at Cypress Cemetery in Lee County, but if her grave is there, it is not visible.
OBITUARY from the periodical "Southern Christian Advocate", March 9, 1899, a month after William's death, written by George M. Boyd. The obituary's listing of Rev. Alexander's birthday is incorrect:
"ALEXANDER - Reverend John William Reese Alexander was born in Darlington County, South Carolina on January 25, 1819, and died in the same county February 9, 1899. His name will appear familiar to many of our brethren of the South Carolina Conference. ‘Uncle William' never forgot the pastors who served this country. For nearly half a century he served the church as a local preacher. He was always ready to render aid to his pastors. Loyal, zealous, faithful, was he to the seed of his life. In his last affliction he seemed to be ‘filled with all the fullness of God' and rejoiced that ‘deliverance had come.' As the beautiful snow covered the cemetery the day he was buried, I could not but think it emblematic of his pure, spotless spirit that had gone to God who gave it. The church on Lamar Circuit has been made poorer by his death, but heaven richer. We will miss ‘Uncle William' much."
OBITUARY, publication unknown. I believe the writer to be William's granddaughter Ella L. Alexander Hatchell.
"Rev. J.W.R. Alexander departed this life February 9, 1899, aged 80 years and 15 days.
He was a consistent member of Newman Swamp Church, and a devoted Christian. Grandfather in Heaven. On the 11th of Feb, while the beautiful snow was falling, they laid dear grandfather in his cold grave to sleep the blessed sleep at Newman Swamp Cemetery till Jesus comes to reward His servants. And as these now came and covered his grave, I thought of his white robe washed in the blood of Jesus as it fled to its heavenly home where Jesus welcomed him in as he said: ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of the Lord.'
I think of him, how he praised God as he met many loved ones waiting and watching at the beautiful gate.
Farewell, dear grandfather. By the grace of God I hope to meet you there to part no more. Sometimes it seems like it will not be long before I meet you there as I have suffered so long here. I know I would enjoy that heavenly greeting. As I have not had the pleasure of hearing the blessed Gospel preached for a long time, it was so much comfort to me for him to come, but I have to comfort myself the best I can now. I have no grandfather to come and comfort me. How we miss him in our home!
Only last June I had lost all hopes of life here, and I thought if I could see him, how it would help me. I wanted to be propped up, and while sitting there I heard someone come in. I looked up, and to my surprise it was the dear old soul that I thought I would never see again, for he had been sick for some time. How he cheered me with loving words of prayer I never shall forget. On last October, our last meeting, he told me where to meet him, and by the help of my Savior, I hope to meet him in the sweet by and by."
There is a family story saying that at the time of J.W.R. Alexander's preparation for burial that the weather was extremely cold, and he was not buried until about a week after his passing because of frozen ground.
William and Delilah's son Abner Alexander, who lost his life as a Confederate in the Civil War, is not listed with their other offspring, nor is his burial site known.
Elizabeth C. Alexander Parnell (1843 - 1904)*
J. W. Alexander (1845 - 1934)*
John Wesley Alexander (1846 - 1934)*
Frances Gamewell Alexander Fields (1864 - 1926)*
"Rejoice for a brother deceased…our loss is his infinite gain. A soul out of prison released and freed from his bodily chain. With songs let us follow his flight and mount with his spirit above." Another inscription on the marker states: "Age 80 yrs 15 days."
Newman Swamp Methodist Cemetery
South Carolina, USA
Created by: Val McGinness
Record added: Feb 28, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 48934801