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William Melvin Faulkner

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Compiled and written by Kimberli Faulkner Hull © Chasing Light Media
Niece of William Melvin Faulkner
The contents of this website, including images and photos, may neither be copied nor otherwise used or posted elsewhere without explicit permission.


William Melvin Faulkner was born on February 24, 1908, in Memphis, Tennessee, the first child of Charles Fountain Faulkner and Lora E. Swafford Faulkner.1 The family soon moved to Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois and then, a few years later, on to Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.2

William Melvin Faulkner and Lucille Whitley marriage

“William M. Faulkner and Lucille Whitley Marriage,” wedding announcement, Dixon (Lee County, Illinois) Evening Telegraph, 12 Jul 1928, p. 9, col. 5.
“William M. Faulkner and Lucille Whitley Marriage,” wedding announcement, Dixon (Lee County, Illinois) Evening Telegraph, 12 Jul 1928, p. 9, col. 5.

On 6 July 1928, William Melvin married Lucille Whitley of Sterling, Illinois at the Baptist church.3

The couple made their home in nearby Polo, Illinois where William Melvin worked as an auto mechanic.4

"Mr. and Mrs. William Faulkner Living in Polo," news article, Dixon (Illinois) Evening Telegraph, 24 Aug 1928, p. 8, col. 1.
“Mr. and Mrs. William Faulkner Living in Polo,” news article, Dixon (Illinois) Evening Telegraph, 24 Aug 1928, p. 8, col. 1.

Betty Lou Faulkner was born to the couple about December 1929.5

Lucille suffered a fractured skull in an auto accident while driving with friends in Sterling, Illinois on 15 June 1930.6

William Melvin moved back to Chicago with Betty Lou, to live with his parents and family and was working as a mechanic.7 Lucille was living in Sterling with her mother.8

Lucille Faulkner Auto Accident, Moline, Illinois, 19 Jun 1930
“Lucille Faulkner Auto Accident,” news article, The Dispatch (Moline, Illinois), 19 Jun 1930, p. 14, col. 4.

Betty Lou Faulkner Love

Betty Lou Faulkner, ca. 1940- Faulkner-Hull Family Papers, privately held by Kimberli Faulkner Hull.
Betty Lou Faulkner, ca. 1950, Faulkner-Hull Family Papers, privately held by Kimberli Faulkner Hull.

At some point before 1935, Betty went to live in the Methodist Deaconess Orphanage in Lake Bluff, Illinois, where she was living in 1940.9

Methodist Deaconess Orphanage, Lake Bluff, Illinois, ca. 1927, postcard.
Methodist Deaconess Orphanage, Lake Bluff, Illinois, ca. 1927, postcard.

By 1949, Betty had moved to Sterling, Illinois and was working and living at 710r 12th Avenue.10

R. L. Polk, compiler, Sterling, Illinois, City Directory Sterling, Rock Falls and Morrison, R. L. Polk Directory Co., 1952), Betty L. Faulkner, p. 63.
R. L. Polk, compiler, Sterling, Illinois, City Directory Sterling, Rock Falls and Morrison: R. L. Polk Directory Co., 1952), Betty L. Faulkner, p. 63.

About 1951, Betty Lou married George H. “Joe” Love, Jr. and the couple was living at 810 E. 5th in Sterling, Illinois in 1952. George was working as a bale tie operator at NW Steel and Wire.11

R. L. Polk, compiler, Sterling, Illinois, City Directory Sterling, Rock Falls and Morrison, R. L. Polk Directory Co., 1952), George H. Love, Jr. and Betty L., p. 103
R. L. Polk, compiler, Sterling, Illinois, City Directory Sterling, Rock Falls and Morrison: R. L. Polk Directory Co., 1952), George H. Love, Jr. and Betty L., p. 103.

Two known children were born to Betty and George. When Betty’s grandfather died in 1955, his obituary cited two great grandchildren. No other known great grandchildren of Charles and Lora Faulkner had been born by 1955.12

In 1958 and 1959, George and Betty Love were living at 2101 Canal RF in Sterling, Illinois.13 George and Betty divorced in November 1965. Betty was granted custody of the children.14 George Love died in Cook County, Illinois on 29 June 1986.15

William Melvin Faulkner and Bonnie Virginia Harned marriage

William Melvin married second to Bonnie Virginia Harned on 1 February 1939 in Shelby County, Tennessee.16

William Melvin and Bonnie had one son, Gary Earl, on 11 March 1950.17

William Melvin worked as a horse trainer.18

William Melvin, Bonnie, and Gary Earl Faulkner. 1952.
William Melvin, Bonnie, and Gary Earl Faulkner, ca 1952. Back reads: “Faulkner.” Faulkner-Hull Family Papers, privately held by Kimberli Faulkner Hull.
"Sunshine Park Race Form, Ninth Race, W. M. Faulkner, Trainer," news article, The Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 6 Feb 1953, p. 4-B, col. 3.
“Sunshine Park Race Form, Ninth Race, W. M. Faulkner, Trainer,” news article, The Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 6 Feb 1953, p. 4-B, col. 3.

William Melvin died on June 8, 1979, in Hillsborough, Florida, at the age of 71.19

William Melvin Faulkner, obituary, Tampa (Florida) Tribune, 9 Jun 1979, col. 1.
“William Melvin Faulkner,” obituary, Tampa (Florida) Tribune, 9 Jun 1979, col. 1.

Bonnie Virginia Harned Faulkner died on 25 Oct 1982 in Hillsborough County, Florida.20 Gary Earl Faulkner died on 26 July 2013 in Tampa, Hillsborough, Florida.21


Citing this page: Kimberli Faulkner Hull, author, “William Melvin Faulkner,” Chasing Light Media, Cool Adventures ( https://cooladventures.com/genealogy/william-melvin-faulkner-1908-1979/ : posted 2021).

  1. State of Tennessee, Delayed Certificate of Birth, William Melvin Faulkner, 24 Feb 1908. Birth: 24 Feb 1908, Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee.

  2. 1910 U.S. census, Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 16, sheet 8-B, family 162, Philip Taylor household. Notes: All of the birth locations and parent’s birth location are incorrect. Lora was listed as widowed; she would have been married in 1910. William Melvin is listed as Milton and Charles was not enumerated with the family.
    Milton, age 3, born in Illinois, both parents born in Tennessee.
    Also, 1920 U.S. census, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, ward 7, enumeration district (ED) 444, sheet 4-A, dwelling [blank], family 71, Charles Faulkner household.
    William Faulkner, age 13, born in Tennessee.

  3. “William M. Faulkner and Lucille Whitley Marriage,” wedding announcement, Dixon (Lee County, Illinois) Evening Telegraph, 12 Jul 1928, p. 9, col. 5.

  4. “Mr. and Mrs. William Faulkner Living in Polo,” news article, Dixon (Illinois) Evening Telegraph, 24 Aug 1928, p. 8, col. 1.

  5. 1930 U.S. census, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, Block no. 136, population schedule, ward 8, p. 5 (stamped), enumeration district (ED) 16-341, sheet 5-A, dwelling 46, family 113, Charles Faulkner household.
    William Faulkner, age 24, son, married, born in Tennessee, occupation: automobile mechanic
    Betty Faulkner, age 4 months, granddaughter, single, born in Illinois, both parents born in Illinois

  6. “Lucille Faulkner Auto Accident,” news article, The Dispatch (Moline, Illinois), 19 Jun 1930, p. 14, col. 4.

  7. 1930 U.S. census, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, Charles Faulkner household.
    William Faulkner, age 24, son, married, born in Tennessee, occupation: automobile mechanic
    Betty Faulkner, age 4 months, granddaughter, single, born in Illinois, both parents born in Illinois

  8. Lucille Faulkner was living with her mother, Cynthia Weaver, 1930 U.S. census, Whiteside County, Illinois, population schedule, Sterling, enumeration district (ED) 98-36, sheet 20B (penned), dwelling 478, family 509, Cynthia Weaver.

  9. Betty Lou Faulkner living in orphanage, 1940 U.S. census, Lake County, Illinois, population schedule, Lake Bluff, enumeration district (ED) 49-65, sheet 1B (penned), Betty Lou Faulkner.

  10. R. L. Polk, compiler, Sterling, Illinois, City Directory Sterling, Rock Falls and Morrison: R. L. Polk Directory Co., 1952), Betty L. Faulkner, p. 63.

  11. R. L. Polk, compiler, Sterling, Illinois, City Directory Sterling, Rock Falls and Morrison: R. L. Polk Directory Co., 1952), George H. Love, Jr. and Betty L., p. 103.

  12. Children both living, names withheld. DNA match with descendant, MyHeritage match, 1st cousin 2x removed, 210 cM across 7 segments. Also, “Faulkner-Charles F.,” obituary, Chicago (Illinois] Tribune, p. 67, col. 5.

  13. R. L. Polk, compiler, Sterling, Illinois, City Directory Sterling, Rock Falls and Morrison: R. L. Polk Directory Co., 1958), George and Betty Love, p. 255. Also, R. L. Polk, compiler, Sterling, Illinois, City Directory Sterling, Rock Falls and Morrison: R. L. Polk Directory Co., 1959), George and Betty Love, p. 275.

  14. “Betty and George Love Jr Divorce,” news article, Sterling Daily Gazette, (Sterling, Illinois), 9 Nov 1965, p. 2. col. 4.

  15. “Cook County, Illinois Death Index, 1908-1988,” George H. Love, file no, 37308, death date 29 June 1986.

  16. Shelby County, Tennessee, Marriage licenses 1939, marriage license with return, Faulkner–Harned, 1 Feb 1939. Also, Shelby County, Tennessee, Marriage Bonds, 1938-1940, Z2, A3:420, Faulkner–Harned, 1 Feb 1939.

  17. “U.S. Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 2,” Gary Faulkner, Tampa, Florida, birth 11 March 1950.

  18. William Melvin Faulkner’s occupation listed on death certificate. State of Florida, Bureau of Vital Statistics, certificate 79-047343, local file no: 02739 (1979), William Melvin Faulkner, 8 June 1979. Also, “Sunshine Park Race Form, Ninth Race, W. M. Faulkner, Trainer,” news article, The Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 6 Feb 1953, p. 4-B, col. 3.

  19. State of Florida, Bureau of Vital Statistics, certificate 79-047343, local file no: 02739 (1979), William Melvin Faulkner, 8 June 1979; privately held by Kimberli Faulkner Hull. Also, “William M. Faulkner,” obituary, Tampa (Florida) Tribune, 9 Jun 1979, col. 1.
    Also, Find A Grave, memorial 189702490, Lora E. Swafford Faulkner (1888–1964), cremation; memorial created by Kimberli Faulkner Hull (contributor 49572158).

  20. State of Florida, Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, Florida Death Index, Hillsborough County, Bonnie Virginia Faulkner, 25 Oct 1982. Birth: 20 Mar 1913.

  21. “Gary Faulkner,” obituary, Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Florida), 2 Aug 2013, p. B6, col. 1.

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