Captain William Roark

Company F, 120th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Submitted by James Ron

William Roark was born on Nov. 25, 1820 to Micheal Roark and Nancy (Evans) Roark in Muhlandburg County, Ky. June 19, 1845 and Served in the Union Army as Captain of Co. "F" of the 120th. Ill. Vol. Inf. from Oct. 29, 1962 until 1864 His first wife was Mahulda Bourland. Five children were born of that Marriage: Mary O. Roark, Sarah Catherin Roark, Rachael Roark, Columbus Washington Roark, and Nancy Ellen Roark.

Mary married James W Hankinson Sept. 3, 1871

Sarah married Samual Bellah Dec. 25, 1866

Rachael married James Henry Cannon March 11, 1861

No information about Columbus Washington except that he was born on Feb. 29, 1848

Nancy Ellen married James Thomas Guard on March 10, 1872.

William's second wife was Martha A Risinger, they were married on March 27, 1861 The children of that marriage were William S. Roark, (born Feb. 26, 1862)---Michael E. Roark (d. o. b. not known) and Charley A. Roark (d. o. b. unknown). Martha and William were granted a divorce in May of 1875. William S. was sent to Shawneetown to live with Sarah and Samuel Bellah, (his half sister).

The Harrisburg Directory of 1898 list M. E. Roark as the City Attorney. (I assume that this is Michael, The son of Cap. William Roark and Martha Risinger.

Martha was previously married to a man by the name of Allen and had at least one son, John Benjamin Allen.

An ad in the Saline County Chronicle Dated on Nov. 2, 1859 states that Wm. Roark is back in his General store with Fall and Winter stock of merchandise,

Cap. William Roark died at the home of his Daughter Mrs. James T. (Nancy) Guard on E. Church Street in Harrisburg, Il. on a Sunday Morning after a short Illness in his 84th. year. Martha moved to Junction City, Ka. with her Son Charles Hargraves to be with 2 other Roark-04 pg. 2of 2 sons by George Hargraves, Segil and Mike, who had moved to Kan. before. Another son of Martha and George Hargraves (Bob) was born but no mention of him otherwise. Only Segil came back to the funeral. "Cap" belong to one of the oldest families in the county and was buried in Cottage Grove Cemetery close to the graves of his father (Michael) and his grandfather (William) Cap. William Roark was Sheriff of Saline County in 1857, was a member of the Harrisburg lodge, A. F. A. M. Was made a mason in Equality Lodge #2 A. F. A. M.. He was also a Merchandiser in Harrisburg. Information from the history of Harrisburg lodge # 325 says that "Cap" was raised to a master mason at Harrisburg Lodge #325 in 1858. Another article in the History of the Lodge (dated Nov. 22, 1864) is copied below.


-----Capt. Wm. Roark has just returned home, having been released on a special parole by the rebel Exchange Commissioner at Meridian, Miss. The conditions of his parole are that he procure the release of one of eight or ten officers held as prisoners by the U. S. In case he fails to do so, he is to report back to the rebels in 30 days. The Captain is in good health. He gives an interesting description of his adventures among the Rebels." It states that this item was copied from "The Harrisburg Chronicle"-----Stated elsewhere in the history of Harrisburg lodge, it says that Wm. served in the Mexican War as well as the CIvil War.

W. I. REYNOLDS M. E. ROARK Master in Chancery Attorney at Law
107 1/2 E. Poplar
James Thomas Guard was my Great grandfather

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