Biography of an Aged Citizen.

Editor Times:‑‑‑‑ It is with sadness that we enter the duty of announcing though the columns of The Times the death of one of our oldest and best citizens, William R. Koonce, who departed this life on April 28th at the home of his son in-law, Mr. F. P. Fowler.
     Mr. Koonce was born in Maury county, Tenn., on October 30th of the memorable year 1812. In young manhood he came to Lauderdale and in due time was happily married to Miss Salena Roach and settled on Big Cypress, near the present site of Threet, where they lived a peaceful and prosperous long life, Mrs. Koonce having preceded her husband to the grave by about ten years. His life was as quiet as the morning sun. While he was always jovial and cheerful, he was very quiet and calm. I have known him ever since I can remember, and in childhood was a regular visitor at his hospitable home, as his son, Mrs. James M Koonce, of Savannah, Tenn., was my favorite schoolmate and playmate, and even today can recall with pleasure the good, sound, practical council he used to give us and the funny things he would tell us of his youthful days. Before the war he owned twenty or more salves, and I distinctly remember how kind he was to them and how they used to make the Cypress bottoms ring with their peculiar songs of contentment and happiness. He raised a family of children that was as much satisfaction to him and his wife as ever did any man. He never lost control of his children even after there were great-grandchildren in his family. It seemed that it was always their greatest pleasure to do as he thought best. About fifteen years ago he professed religion, but never joined the church, though in his last sickness he said he was ready to go at any time, he felt no fear, that all was well. Many people will miss him, for it can truly be said that he did more to keep down disturbances among his neighbors and was oftener called on to arbitrate differences between neighbors than any man in the vicinity. As Brother Rice aptly said in the funeral sermon, he was a model of morality even before his conversion. His death resulted from kidney and bladder trouble. He leaves four sons, all of whom live in the neighborhood, except J. M. Koonce, who lives in Savannah, Tenn.; also three daughters, Mrs. C. S. W. Paulk, Mr. F. Fowler, and Mrs. Riley Littleton, the latter living in west Tennessee and the other two at Cloverdale.
     The remains were carried to Wesley’s Chapel and after the funeral sermon by the Rev. Mr. Rice were laid to rest in the presence of a large congregation. The whole community offers its sympathy and condolence to the bereaved children. In the morning of the resurrection may they all be united to part no more.
          John L. Austin.
          Threet, Ala., May 29, ‘99
[The Florence Times, Friday, 29 Jun 1899, p. 4]

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