William Leetch Hunter
by Iris Teta Eubank Wagner
President James Knox
Naomi Knox and her sister Jane Knox were daughters of James Knox of Mecklenburg. Jane married Samuel Polk in Mecklenburg, and some time after their son James Knox was born, Jane and Samuel Polk moved to Maury County, Tennessee. Jane and Samuel were the parents of U.S. President James Knox Polk. William L. Hunter's mother Maria Leetch and President Polk were first cousins.
William and Naomi Knox Leetch immigrated to Moulton, Lawrence County, Alabama in 1818. William Leitch (sic) bought a 160-acre tract of land in Lawrence County on September 11, 1818.
William and Naomi's daughter Maria Leetch married young businessman David McCord Hunter on December 10, 1822, in Moulton.
Maria Leetch Hunter died from complications of the birth of her only child, William Leetch Hunter. William was born in the later months of 1826 in Moulton. An obituary notice in the Nashville Banner & Whig announced the death of Maria Hunter, wife of David M. Hunter, on January 20, 1827.
David Hunter married
second Margaret Allen (Smith)
William King of Abingdon died unexpectedly in 1809. He was owner of the King Salt Works and left a large estate including the Salt works and many other business properties throughout the early southwest territory. King's heirs were in litigation concerning the estate for many years.
A Washington County, Virginia, Court Order of 1849 gave the several heirs of the estate legal authority to operate the Salt Works. David and Margaret moved from Aberdeen, Mississippi, where they were living at the time, to Abingdon, and to Knoxville, Tennessee. With other heirs, they managed the Salt Works through 1852 or 1853. Their youngest son Trigg Hunter was born in Abingdon in 1853..
During his time in Abingdon, David was a civic leader in the community. He was a member of the delegation that initiated the several steps leading to the first construction of the railroad from east Tennessee through Washington County, Virginia, and Abingdon.
David is guardian of his brother's children
After the death of his brother Ambrose, David Hunter became the guardian of the children of Ambrose. By 1853 David had moved to Goodlettsville, Tennessee, near Nashville, and had bought a home there in which his extended family lived.
1850 U. S. Census in Abingdon
1850 U. S. Federal Census, Washington
County, Virginia, William L.
- One of the young men with whom William shared a residence in 1850
in Abingdon, Virginia, was Joseph Jacques, born 1825 in England.
Jacques, Sr. had arrived with his family at New Orleans on February 12, 1836.
In 1850 young Joseph is entered on the census as a clerk, and it is likely
he was a
clerk in the offices of the Salt Works that David and Margaret
Hunter were operating with the other heirs at the time.
By 1858 Joseph Jacques (above) had moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, and was serving as Mayor of Knoxville. Jacques again served as mayor in 1878. At that time Knoxville mayors served a one-year term. During Joseph Jacques' career, he was an industrialist and a bank president in Knoxville. He died in 1883, and is buried in Old Gray Cemetery in Knoxville. Though in need of restoration, his portrait hangs with other mayors on the walls of the 5th floor of the Knoxville City County Building, on the banks of the Tennessee River.
1860 U. S. Federal Census - Knoxville, Tennessee
A Deed of Trust, July 15, 1853, is recorded in Henry County, Tennessee, between William L. Hunter of Washington County, Virginia, and his father David McCord Hunter, of Davidson County, Tennessee. The deed conveys, by lease, to William L. Hunter, for the term of six years, Margaret Allen's ownership of one-sixth of one-eighth of the King Salt Works. William Hunter conveyed in exchange by the terms of the lease several valuable items.
By the time the Civil War began in April, 1861, the King Salt Works had become an important resource to the Confederate armies. William L. Hunter had worked the mines for several years before the war by the lease from his step-mother Margaret Allen Hunter. But now, in 1861, and the war underway, competition to control the Salt Works came to the court of Washington County. Owners of a smaller and adjoining salt works seized an opportunity to control the King Salt Works and sued William Hunter and the several owners of the King Works., who were now living out of the state of Virginia. Unable to answer the court in the time given, the suit was lost by William and the other heirs who were living out of the state.
and The Abingdon Confederates
Capt Hunter organized the company on March 31-April 1, 1862. Company A was part of the 63rd Infantry Regiment from Washington County, Virginia, Palmer's Brigade, Stevenson's Division in the Army of Northern Virginia.
Capt. Hunter resigned his commission as company commander on February 26, 1863, due to ill health and the inability to perform my duties as an officer of the regiment.
William's sister Jane Catherine Hunter and brother-in-law Richard Newman Eubank II, had moved to Meridian, Mississippi, with his regiment. Richard was with the CSA Quarter Masters Department, commanded by Col. Livingston Mims at Meridian. Living across the Pearl River from Jackson in Brandon was Jane Catherine's sister Sally Bullis Smith Ware, wife of attorney Thompson Parrish Ware.
Research is ongoing to learn more about William's life after the war.
Research and Narrative © Iris Teta Eubank Wagner 2013-2014
Nashville Banner & Whig, Nashville, Tennessee, announcement of the death of Maria Hunter, wife of David M. Hunter, January 20, 1827.
Col. James Edmonds Saunders, Early Settlers of Alabama, Graham & Son, 1899, New Orleans, Louisiana.
rootsweb.com, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Marriages 1720-1866
U. S. Gen Web, Lawrence County, Alabama, Site - Lawrence County, Alabama, Marriages.
ancestry.com - U. S. Federal Census Records 1790-1940 and Historical Records
fold3.com - U.S. Military Records