Rives, William Waller (1824 VA - 1909 UT)


Rives, William Waller


Father: Joseph Rives
Mother: Mary Frances Prunty

Birth: 5 Feb 1824, Gladehill, Franklin County, Virginia
Birth Source: CW Records

Death: 7 Dec 1909, Salt Lake City, Utah
Death Source: Death Certificate

Spouse1: Sarah Ann Hatcher, m. 15 Sep 1845, Franklin County, Virginia


Children of William Waller Rives and Sarah Ann Hatcher:
  1. Joseph Henry Dillard Rives, b. 10 Jun 1849
  2. Mary Ellen Rives, b. May 1852, m. John E. Legg
  3. William Thomas Rives, b. Nov 1854
  4. Robert Troupe Paine Rives, b. 18 May 1858
  5. Charles Elwin Rives, b. Jun 1863
  6. Benjamin Steele Rives, b. 23 Nov 1868

From Reliques of the Rives:
William Waller Rives, like his brothers and sisters, was born at Gladehill, Franklin county, Virginia, February 5, 1824. He attended Emory and Henry College during the sessions, 1841-43. At the out break of war he enlisted and served as a private in Co. K, 10th Virginia Cavalry, C. S. A., of which his father-in-law, Thomas Hatcher, was Captain. In the early days of the war the 10th Cavalry was ordered to proceed to Kentucky and refused to go, the men alleging that they had enlisted to defend Virginia and not Kentucky. During the night following this refusal the regiment was moved into a ravine and was there surrounded by a detachment of artillery. In the morning the ultimatum was delivered to the mutineers that the regiment would give assurances of its willingness to proceed to Kentucky in obedience to orders; otherwise, the members of it might make their preparations to go to hell by the route of the cannon ball. The regiment moved.
During the war Mr. Rives was discharged from his military duties to fill the post of sheriff of Franklin county. This was a difficult position to fill at this time, involving as it did the apprehension of deserters and tax evaders who were all too numerous in that section of the State. Immediately following the surrender, Mr. Rives moved with his family to Fairfield, Wayne county, Illinois, where he took an active part as a Democrat in the political campaigns of the community. He later removed to Maysville, Colorado, and was elected Mayor of that town in 1883. His tenure of office was highly successful : he put the town on a firm financial basis ; compelled the saloons to pay the back taxes which they had hitherto evaded ; induced the building of a railroad through the town; and initiated subscriptions for the building of an opera house.
"I loved my father," Mr. B. S. Rives, his son, writes, "with an everlasting devotion that has never dimmed. He is with me today, almost as real, as when in life. I never remember receiving an unkind word from my father, and I never can remember doing any thing he did not wish me to do. Just a few minutes before he passed [December 7, 1909, in Salt Lake City, Utah] we said the Lord's Prayer together. He knew he was going, he was ready, and just like a trusting child he fell asleep. He died without an enemy in the world, like he came into the world possessing nothing material. * * * His name was untarnished, his hands clean, and as one of his heirs, he left me a rich heritage indeed. I would not trade it for all the gold in the world."

William is buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Research Notes

Civil War records state he was born 5 Feb. Reliques states 24 Feb.


Birth:          U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 (Ancestry)
Marriage1:  Virginia, Compiled Marriages, 1740-1850 (Ancestry)
Death:        Utah Death Certificate, William W. Rives, 1909

1860 Census:  Franklin County, Virginia
1900 Census:  Salt Lake County, Utah

Childs, James Rives. Reliques of the Rives, p408