Tuesday, January 13, 2009

William Henry Falkner

Following the death of his first wife, W. C. Falkner in 1851 remarried to Elizabeth Houston Vance, of Pontotoc. Lizzie Falkner gave birth to four children before the start of the Civil War, the eldest being William Henry Falkner. According to Joseph Blotner, biographer for William C. Faulkner, Henry enjoyed gambling and dangerous liaisons with women. Family legend indicates that Col. Falkner sent Henry off to the University of Virginia, but following an incident whereby a fellow student fell to his death while being wrestled by Henry on a balcony, Henry was returned home.

Once home from Virginia, Henry took up an affair with the wife of a local merchant. When the merchant appealed to Col. Falkner, Henry was sent away once more, this time to school in Texas. After losing his tuition money in a card game, however, Henry returned to Ripley and the jeweler's wife. The cuckolded husband could stand it no more, and he shot and killed Henry.

Below, Henry's grave is next to his father's in the Falkner family plot.

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