Submitted By: Ken Klamm


William Watson Kile, a farmer in the mid to late 1800's, lived in the Loudon County area all his life. His farm was located near the present-day town of Loudon. William married twice and was the father of 13 children. Born August 5, 1831, William's family background remains something of a mystery even today as several of his descendants in various parts of the country attempt to piece together his life story and family tree.

William was born in that part of Monroe County which later became Loudon County. In the 1850 Monroe County census, William was listed as the only son of a Mary Kile. No father was listed. Census data indicated his mother, Mary, was born about 1810 in South Carolina. William's siblings included two sisters. One, Evaline, was an invalid and never married. She lived with her brother William until her death. The other sister, Margaret Catherine, married Thomas R. Robinson in 1874, and she died in Loudon County in 1915. Her death certificate listed the father as a William Kyle.

(1) A Kile family settled in the Monroe County area in the early to mid-1800's. This family descended from brothers George, Jacob and Henry Kile who settled in the area sometime after 1805.

(2) Several histories of the Monroe County Kile family have been compiled and examined by the author for clues regarding William Watson Kile's background. However, William's connection to these Kiles has not been confirmed as of this writing (1998).

In correspondence several years ago, one descendant recalled her father's tales about her grandfather, William Watson Kile. The granddaughter wrote, "Papa said he was a very reticent man and he never heard him say anything about his people only a very few times... Papa said that when they started to go to the field to work in the mornings, Grandpa never told them what they were going to do ... If he picked up a hoe and started toward the field, the boys would each pick up a hoe and follow him. The one thing Papa said so much about concerning Grandpa was his honesty, and that was one thing he tried toinstill into his boys."

(3) William's first marriage was to Mary A. Mayo on July 8, 1858. Mary was the daughter of the Rev. Blackmore H. Mayo, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister of Monroe County. This union produced seven children, including Solon C., John P., Frank B., Elbridge M., Aurora (Watkins), and Betty E. (Carter). Another child, Kitty, died in infancy. William's wife,Mary, died about 1875. William W. Kile married Martha Louise Wallace on August 29, 1876 in Loudon County. This second marriage produced six children, including Nannie Mae (Kittrell), William H., Joe R., Mattie Etna (Gallaher), and Ida Jane (Whitlock, Roberts). Another child, Jessie, died in infancy.

(4) The youngest child was born just five years before William Watson Kile's death on January 9, 1894 in Loudon County at the age of 62. Martha, his second wife, died in 1916.

A granddaughter recalled the tale of how some of William's children left Loudon County and headed for Texas. In correspondence several years ago, she wrote, "My father, Solon C. Kile, had often heard his father say that if he were a young man, he would go west ... Solon didn't know where the Kiles came from. He did hear about someone who lived some distance from them. They called him Old Uncle Henry Kile (who) was across the mountain or over in another valley ... When Solon (William's oldest son) was 21 he decided to go west ... Grandpa didn't like to see him leave alone for he was rather crippled from illness ... So Grandpa let John (his younger brother) go with Solon. They came first to Indianterritory and worked on a cattle ranch."

(3) Living on the lonely prairie, the boys soon got homesick and almost decided to return to Loudon County. However, one of William W. Kile's old friends who had moved to Texas gave the boys work on his land, which was close to a town and offered an active social life like they had known back in Loudon County. So the boys chose to remain in Texas.

(3) Subsequently, over the years several of the children of William Watson Kile moved to Texas, where many of their descendants live today, while others have moved on to other sections of the country. One of William's children, Aurora, moved to Texas but later returned to Loudon County. And Loudon County is the place where many of the descendants of William W. Kile will return when researching the life and background of this quiet butproductive Tennessee ancestor.
(1) Loudon County, TN death certificate for Margaret Catherine Kile Robinson, 1915.
(2) "A Partial History of the Descendants of Jacob Kile" by Linda Kile Weldon,1980.
(3) Letter from Mrs. Inez Tate of Wellington, KS (granddaughter of William W. Kile through his son, Solon C. Kile) to author, dated May 31, 1981.
(4) Letter from Mrs. Inez Gallaher of Knoxville, TN (granddaughter of William W. Kile through his daughter, Mattie Etna Kile Gallaher) to author, dated March 2, 1982.


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