See Where They Lived

William M. Cheek
& Matilda Rector

William M. Cheek, son of Chesley CHEEK & Phebe WOODRUFF, was born Apr. 14, 1844, in Ashe Co., NC, and died Dec. 19, 1873, at the age of 29, in Alleghany Co., NC. He married Matilda Rector, daughter of Warren RECTOR & Nancy EDWARDS, Feb. 4, 1868, in Alleghany Co., NC. She was born Jan. 2, 1851, in Grayson Co., VA, and died Feb. 18, 1950, in Alleghany Co., NC. Matilda married (2nd) James Collins on Sept. 25, 1877, in Alleghany Co., NC. He was born Oct. 14, 1840, and died Aug. 25, 1933, in Grayson Co., VA. William Cheek and Matilda Cheek Collins are buried at the William Cheek Cemetery, Road 1414, in Alleghany Co., NC. James Collins is buried at the Collins Cemetery in Baywood, VA.

Children of William M. Cheek & Matilda Rector:

  1. Sarah Ann Cheek, b. June 26, 1870, Alleghany Co., NC; d. Jan. 1967, Alleghany Co., NC; m. John Sumner FENDER, son of Center FENDER & Permelia (Amelia) SPURLIN, Feb. 24, 1888, Alleghany Co., NC (b. 1858; d. Sept. 4, 1939); bur. Crab Creek Primitive Baptist Church, Ennice, Alleghany Co., NC. Children: William Glen Fender (1891) m. Revauda Ethel JENNINGS; James Crockett Fender (1893), Bertha Matilda Fender (1896), Hurley Reeves Fender (1898), Mack Horton Fender (1900), Porter Lee Fender (1903), Arville Bayse Fender (1906), Earl Cranston Fender (1909), Troy Swanson Fender (1912), John Reid Fender (c.1913).
  2. Crockett Columbus Cheek, b. Feb. 12, 1873, Alleghany Co., NC; d. Jan. 31, 1956, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Lena A. SPURLIN, daughter of Daniel Aras SPURLIN & Disa Marie WILLIAMS, Dec. 12, 1894, Alleghany Co., NC (b. Oct. 1880; d. ?); bur. Crab Creek Primitive Baptist Church, Ennice, Alleghany Co., NC. They moved to Alberta, Canada, 1904 and are listed in the 1911 census of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, Sub-Dist. 98, p.13. Crockett returned to NC prior to his death. His death certificate was filed in Alleghany Co., NC. Children: William O. Cheek (1896), Daniel Cheek (1900), Mary Cheek (1902).


William Cheek Cemetery

William Cheek Cemetery
Alleghany Co., NC (2004)

William Cheek was the youngest son of Chesley and Phebe Cheek.  He enlisted in the army on May 3, 1862, at the age of 18, in Co. I, 61st NC Infantry.  He was taken prisoner on August 19, 1864, at the Second Battle of Weldon Railroad in Petersburg, Virginia, also known as the Battle of Globe Tavern.  He was incarcerated at Point Lookout, Maryland.  He was released in an exchange of prisoners on March 14, 1865.  Although he survived 7 months in captivity under terrible conditions, he contracted pneumonia and remained in poor health for the remainder of his life, which sadly, was short.  He died in 1873 at the age of only 29. (Source: personal correspondence with descendant Loretta Hodgkinson; "American Civil War Soliders" on

Several of William's Civil War letters were saved by his son Crockett Columbus Cheek who emigrated to Canada.  Only one letter still remains in the family; the rest were donated to a museum in the 1950's.  The surviving letter was written on May 27, 1864, about a month after William's father Chesley was murdered in Alleghany County, allegedly by "bushwhackers".  The letter is addressed to William's sisters Gilley and Lucinda.  This transcription was kindly shared by descendant Loretta Hodgkinson.

Civil War Letter by William Cheek

May 27, 1864, Petersburg, VA
Transcribed by Loretta Hodginson

Peters Burg VA. May the 27/64
Gilly Cheek
Lucinda Cheek

I thy morning seat myself to drop you a few lines. Which Will inform you that I am, Well as usual trewly hoping these few lines may reach you in dew time and find you all well an doing as well as the nature of the case will admit. I can inform you that I, recieved your kind letter bearing date of May thee 6. I was glad to hear that you was well. as for news I havent any to Write now more then I rote sometime past. I have got back to peters Burg. I got here yesterday I, am gaurding the Baggage. I dont know when I shal go to the Co. they are talking about moving the Baggage over there to day and if they do, I shal go to day or to-mmorow. I havent heard from the Co. since I rote. there is many of the boys wounded among them. Richard is wounded on the leg slightly. I dont know Whether he was hurt Bad enough to go to the Hospital or not if he has gone to the hospital he is gone to richmond. they are furlowing all the wounded that is able to go home that was wounded bad So I will say something in relation to your affairs at home. in the first place we want you to keep the property to gether if possible. you rote to us to know what we'd druther you would done about it. If you can get your Business fixed Without having a sail, of course it Would be the Best. You had just as well give the property a way as to have it sold at a sail. We want you to get some buddy to attend to it if you can, and have nothing sold By no means So it is useless for me to say any thing more about that for you have got our concent, having that we Want nothing sold.

I will say to you times is still hard here at present our barucs is in living in these rifle pits and so is the enemy, They are clost to each other, there hasent been any fighting between here and Drures Bluff in 3 or 4 days.But we dont know how soon they will commence, they has to be another heard [hard] battle before many days. between here and Drures Bluft. there was hevy fiting going on the other side of Richmond day be fore yesterday. it looks like the war cannot continue much longer if they keep fighting on as they have for the last 20 or 30 days. I hope Richard will get a furlow to come home. you rote that you wanted us to try to get a furlow and come home of course we want to come home very bad but there is no chance for a well man to get a furlow at this time but it is a great time for a sick man to get a furlow but have to have room in the Hospital for the wounded so we will come home the first chance. But if it is gods will for us to sic-an and die or be killed in this army and never have the oppertunity of meeting on this earth again I hope we will meet in heaven where parting will be no more. so do the best you can and try to content yous Selvs if possible and dont trouble a bout us nor a bout our decest father, all the troubling and lamenting does no good. So will soon close hoping to hear from you soon. I rote you a letter day be fore yesterday and rote for you to mail first at Glade Creek but you may Mail at Old C:H, Va. I shall direct you there for the rode is open now. So nothing more at present, only I still remain your loving Brother until death

With respect
Wm Cheek

Loretta Hodgkinson wrote the following on Apr. 29, 2000:

"William M. Cheek was born April 14, 1844 in Vox Community, NC, and died December 19, 1873 in Vox Community, NC. He married Matilda Rector on Feb. 4, 1868 in Vox Community, she was the daughter of Warren Rector and Nancy Edwards. William was a confederate vetran who enlisted in 1862. He was assigned to Company l, 61st regiment NC infantry, along with several of his Cheek family. There was quite a few that enlisted in the same month. He was in many battles near the end of the war, and was taken prisoner by the Yankees on July 30, 1864. He was exchanged for a Yankee prisoner about 100 days after his capture in Richmond VA, and rejoined his regiment, but contacted pneumonia, and was never in good health again. William married Matilda Rector and they had two children, Sarah Ann Cheek and Crockett Columbus Cheek. William had a wound, possibly a gunshot wound, from the war, on his back that would not heal. His health went down hill and he got weaker and weaker. Matilda nursed William during his illness. Matilda would put William on a sled (that they used on grass) and would pull him up the hill where he enjoyed sitting under the cherry tree. When he died, he was buried there. They call it the William Cheek Cemetery, at Allegany Co. NC. This is a term they use for private burial grounds on private property. Matilda went on to marry James Collins but at her death she was buried beside William, at Matilda's request. Matilda was in her 100th year when she died. The place where William and Matilda are buried is on the Page Evans farm in the Vox Community of Allegany NC, but because William must have owned the land at the time of his death, it is referred to as the William Cheek Cemetery."

William and Matilda Cheek are listed in the 1870 census of Alleghany Co., NC, Glade Creek Township (HH#26).  William was 24 and Matilda was 19.  William's estate was probated in Alleghany County in 1874, but no will was recorded.  (NC State Archives, Box No. CR.004.508.4.)

After William's death, Matilda remarried to James COLLINS on Sept. 25, 1877.  They had five children: (1) Troy Horton Collins (b. 1879) m. Mollie HAMPTON, moved to Alberta, Canada; (2) Rosa Emily Collins (b. 1881) m. Robert L. EDWARDS; (3) Linnie M. Collins (1887) m. David Ferguson FIELDS, moved to Sheridan, Wyoming; (4) Nancy Lina Collins (1888) m. James Emmett FIELDS; (5) Cuba Warren Collins (1893) m. Iva TRACE, moved to Alberta, Canada.  Matilda passed away on Feb. 18, 1950, at the age of 99.  Her family buried her next to William, who predeceased her by 77 years.  James Collins, who died in 1933, is buried in the Collins Cemetery in Baywood, Grayson Co., VA.


Civil War. William Cheek enlisted as a private on May 3, 1862, in Alleghany Co., NC, in Company I, 61st NC Infantry. (Source: "Ashe & Alleghany County in the Civil War" by Jeff Weaver.)  He was taken prisoner at Weldon Railroad, Petersburg VA on Aug. 19, 1864. He was released on Mar. 14, 1865. William Cheek's name appears on a roll of prisoners of war at Point Lookout, Maryland:  Wm. CHEEK, private, 61st NC Infantry, captured Aug. 19, 1864, at Weldon RR; exchanged Mar. 14, 1865.  (Source: "Selected Records of the War Dept. Relating to Confederate Prisoners of War, 1761-1865" on

Feb. 4, 1868. Wiliam CHEEK and Matilda RECTOR were married in Alleghany Co., NC. (G.H. Lathan, Alleghany County Marriages (Heritage Books: 1996).

1870 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Glade Creek Twp. (HH#26):
WILLIAM CHEEK, 24, farmer, NC
-- Matilda, 19, VA
William Cheek & Matilda Rector Cheek Collins
Apr. 14, 1844
Dec. 19, 1873
JAN. 2, 1851
FEB. 18, 1950

Deed Abstracts

July 15, 1865. Phebe CHEEK, Thomas HIGGINS, Sarah HIGGINS, Richard CHEEK, Lucinda CHEEK, Elizabeth CHEEK & Gilly CHEEK, to William CHEEK, 5 tracts of land on Little River, for $500. 1st tract: 73 acres adj. last residence of Chesley CHEEK. 2nd tract: 100 acres adj. Wm. CONLEY's 650 acre tract. 3rd tract: 94 ¼ acres adj. Morgan EDWARDS, CHEEK, & COX. 4th tract: 30 acres adj. Morgan EDWARDS, CHEEK, & COX. 5th tract: 100 acres on Mockerson [Moccasin] Creek adj. LENOER's [LENOIR's] 300 acre tract & CONLEY. Signed: Phebe (X) CHEEK, Thomas HIGGINS, Sarah (X) HIGGINS, Richard CHEEK, Lucinda (X) CHEEK, Elizabeth (X) CHEEK, Gilly CHEEK. Wits: T.C. DOUGLAS, J.J. BLEVINS. (Alleghany DB 1:187.)

Apr. 19, 1871. William CHEEK & wife Matilda to Polly COX, 100 acres on Mockerson [Moccasin] Creek adj. Morgan EDWARDS, William CHEEK, & fork of Mockerson Creek, for $300. Signed: William CHEEK, Matilda (X) CHEEK. Wits: Wm. H. JOINES, Andrew WILLEY. Proved Aug. 12, 1871 (ack'd). (Alleghany DB 2:29.)

July 14, 1874. Dower interest of Matilda CHEEK in the lands of William CHEEK, dec'd, laid off by a jury summoned by the Sheriff; about 100 acres adj. R.M. CHEEK, Morgan EDWARDS, Meredith CHEEK, R. CHEEK, "including all the dwellings & houses & meadows & orchards". Signed: Wm. H. JOINES, T.C. DOUGLAS, George R. COX, M.T. NORMAN, Solomon FENDER. Reg. Jan. 17, 1889. (Alleghany DB 8:18.)

May 30, 1889. T.S. HIGGINS, Morgan EDWARDS, & Martin A. HIGGINS, Comm'rs, pursuant to a court order dated Mar. 21, 1889, to divide the undivided land belonging to Sarah Ann FENDER & Columbus C. CHEEK, heirs of William CHEEK, dec'd. Lot No. 1 to Columbus C. CHEEK: 168 acres adj. R.M. CHEEK & Richard CHEEK. Lot No. 2, to Sarah Ann FENDER: 140 acres adj. Morgan EDWARDS, DICKENS, COX, & CHEEK. Signed: T.S. HIGGINS, Morgan EDWARDS, M.A. HIGGINS. Proved Mar. 27, 1890. (Alleghany DB 8:216.)

Mar. 3, 1894. C.C. CHEEK to Henry JENKINS, 15 ½ acres on the Little River adj. R.M. CHEEK, for $131. Signed: C.C. CHEEK, Matilda (X) COLLINS, James COLLINS. Wit: Morgan EDWARDS. Proved May 25, 1894. Reg. Aug. 27, 1894. (Alleghany DB 9:571.)

Dec. 20, 1900. C.C. CHEEK, L.A. CHEEK, Matilda COLLINS, & James COLLINS of Grayson Co., VA, to Fanny M. RECTOR, 22 ½ acres in Glade Creek Twp. adj. Morgan EDWARDS, John FENDER or S.A. FENDER, Will MOXLEY & Tamsy M. RECTOR, & the School House lot, for $220. Signed: C.C. CHEEK, S.A. CHEEK, Matilda (X) COLLINS [cut off]. Proved Jan. 19, 1901 (ack'd). Reg. Feb. 18, 1901. (Alleghany DB 14:553.)