WILLIAM BULTER CROOK
William B. and Martha Leigh Crook were the parents of thirteen children. She died shortly after the birth of their last child. A story handed down in the family is that Mrs. Crook, aware of her imminent death, told her grieving husband that she thought he should marry Mrs. Agree. She wanted her children, ages seventeen to one week to have a good mother! Three months later her widower followed her dying advice, marrying Mrs. Martha Marshall Agree, whose first husband and young son had died in a typhiod fever epidemic at Claiborne. She brought her seven-year old daughter, Elizabeth Agee, with her to the Crook household. She and W. B. Crook had one child, a daughter whom they named Alabama.
William B. Crook was known familiarly as "Major Billy" as he had served in the State Militia. During the War for Southern Independence, he was in the Home Guard for Burnt Corn area. Five of his sons fought for the cause of the Confederacy; two of them, Osborne and Benjamin Edward, lost their lives in the combat.
Much of the supplies needed for Crook's household and platation were purchased at Claiborne. A descendant recalls seeing "shopping lists" for some of these excursions to the old river town. Included were food staples (in large quantities) which could not be produced on the plantation and many other items, including whiskey!
In 1843, William B. Crook was named as a trustee of the Puryearville Methodist Church on deed to the property on which a church was already standing. The deed was from Richard A. Puryear of Mecklenburg County, Va. In 1859, Crook was listed as trustee of the Burnt Corn Academy.
William B. Crook and his second wife are buried in the Puryearville Cemetery. Their well preserved home is still standing and is now the home of Ronald McNeil. This house was built ten or twelve years before the war. No doubt the original home was a log structure.
a grandson of William B. Crook, Osborne Crook (8181 - 1957) and family lived in Burnt Corn for many years. Many descendants of the patriarch live in Monroe and adjoining counties, one of whom is Mrs. Anne Farish, Mayor of Monroeville.
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