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William Wesley Burket
Birth: 1836
Jefferson County
Tennessee, USA
Death: Jul. 4, 1901
Vernon County
Missouri, USA

William Wesley Burket (Sr.)was born in Dandridge, Tennessee in 1836 or early 1837. Nothing is known of his early life. In 1856 he married Margaret Elizabeth Landrum in Jefferson Co., Tennessee. At that time William was a cobbler in a shoe shop and Margaret was a seamstress in a clothing shop. Their first two daughters, Jenny and Anna (Annie) were born in Tennessee.

In the late 1850's the Burket family joined a wagon train leaving the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee for Missouri. "They were looking for better farm land and they were pro-union as were all the mountain people. They passed through the Cumberland Gap and after many weary weeks joined Margaret's sister, Mary Ann, and her husband, Shadrack Johnson in Bear Creek, Cedar County, Missouri. On September 12, 1861, their first son William Wesley, Jr. was born in Bear Creek." William Wesley's granddaughter, Callie Burket (a daughter of W.W.Burket, Jr.) writes: "Although the land was in larger parcels, it was brushy and rocky so that farming was not overly productive to support a growing family. This factor, plus the growing pressure exerted by the Federal on eligible males to join the army induced Wm. Wesley to enlist for a three year hitch in the U.S. Cavalry. He went in March 1862 and served until just before the close of the war in April, 1865."

Civil War Service

William enlisted in Company D, Eighth Regiment of the Missouri State Militia Cavalry. Just five weeks after he enlisted he was injured when his horse, startled by a gun shot, reared up and then fell backward on him while he was on patrol near Humansville, Missouri. He sustained injuries to his chest, back, hips and legs from which he never fully recovered and he spent the rest of his military service as a nurse in the military hospital at Rolla, Missouri, or sometimes as a guard or Teamster. ( from Burkett History compiled for the family by Ann and Bob Neal)

Desertion in the line of family duty--"Fall in and keep your mouth shut"

While William was away, Callie continues, " Margaret and her three little ones shared a rented house with another woman with young children. Although the women were friends the other mother was a Confederate sympathizer. Because of this a Federal splinter group set fire to the house, burning it to the ground. My grandmother (Margaret Burket) found shelter in a barn for herself and babies. Somehow she managed to get word to her husband as to their plight. He immediately sought leave from his captain to go to see about them, near Dunnegan near the Cedar-Polk County line. Leave was not forthcoming, so he took his horse and made his way home. When he had provided for his family, he returned to his regiment, reported to his captain and told him what he had done. "Fall in and keep your mouth shut," said the captain. There were too many deserters who didn't come back to court martial one who did."

The family stayed on farming in Cedar County until 1873. Times were hard. Two more sons had been born and Margaret made all the clothes for her family of five children and William made them their shoes when he was able. Callie writes that: " each child had one pair of shoes a year, if any." The children sometimes went barefoot in the winter and they had no underwear. They often did not get any presents at Christmas. The children had little schooling. Callie's dad only finished his fifth reader before he was sent out to work to supplement the family income.
In 1873 the family left Cedar County. They were going to Kansas, but ended up settling on the Missouri side of the state line at Nevada, Missouri. They settled south of the city, renting a farm. Their last child, Walter, was born here. Later they bought a small house in the east part of Moundville and attended the Moundville Methodist Church. Margaret died in Moundville in 1897.
William received a pension for his military service in 1899, He was bording with some friends named Wooley near Moundville when he died suddenly on July 4, 1901. The funeral was held at the Wooley house. Afterwards, his son William Wesley, Jr. and Callie took the coffin to a county cemetery (Jones Cemetery) in their spring wagon, and used the lines from the harness to lower the coffin into the grave. Margaret and baby Walter were already buried there. They had headstones however William Wesley had no marker until 1980 when with Callie's help a military marker was ordered and placed on his grave by his great grandson Donald William Burkett. Callie had William Wesley's military papers and she was the only family member who knew the location of the Jones Cemetery (so-called because the land was originally donated by the Jones family), and of William's grave. WIlliam's daughter Annie is also buried in the family plot.
William Wesley Burket belongs to haplogroup I (M170)through his Y chromosome markers.
Family links: 
  Margaret Elizabeth Landrum Burket (1832 - 1897)
  Robert Michael Burkett (1866 - 1915)*
*Calculated relationship
Jones Cemetery
Vernon County
Missouri, USA
Created by: helenpatricia
Record added: Mar 13, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13611872
William Wesley Burket
Added by: helenpatricia
William Wesley Burket
Added by: helenpatricia
William Wesley Burket
Added by: helenpatricia
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- Martha Reid 19 UDC
 Added: Aug. 19, 2012

- Barb J "John 3:16"
 Added: Mar. 21, 2006
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