Thomas Butler King Wylly (13 Oct. 1847-24 Jun. 1900)

King Wylly was one of the sons of George Washington Wylly (1816-1906), a slave trader, and his wife, Sarah Anne Revel (1830-1875). ( George W. Wylly was also an alderman of Savannah, Georgia, almost continuously from 1858 to 1869, and he was among those who surrendered the city to Gen. Sherman. (Harden; City of Savannah)

It seems likely that Thomas Butler King Wylly was named after Thomas Butler King (1800-1864) who was “a state senator in Georgia in 1832, 1834, 1835, 1837, and 1859; a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1833 and to the State Whig conventions in 1835 and 1843. … He was elected as a Whig to the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1839-March 3, 1843), and to the Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth, and Thirty-first Congresses, and served from March 4, 1845, until his resignation in 1850.” He served as the collector of the port of San Francisco from 1850 to 1852 by Presidential appointment. (Biographical Directory)

King grew up in Savannah, GA, then attended the University of Virginia in sessions 43-45 (1866-1869). In 1866, he joined Chi Phi Fraternity. Among the subjects he studied were Latin and Greek, Modern Languages, Chemistry, Medicine, Physiology and Surgery, Anatomy, and Demonstration. As the last five classes indicate, King earned his M.D.  (U.Va. Matriculation Books)

Within a couple of years after he graduated, the Franco-Prussian War broke out, between France and Germany. “Lasting from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871, the conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification …” (Wikipedia) Dr. Wylly volunteered as a surgeon in the French Army. He was presented with the Legion of Honor for his distinguished service in the Battle of Paris. (Harden)

About 1895, King Wylly married a woman named Louise M. (I cannot locate her surname) who was born in January 1866. The 1900 U.S. Census, which was taken on 1 Jun. 1900 (just 3 weeks before his death), indicates that the couple had been married for 5 years, and had no children.

Dr. Wylly had a medical practice in New York City, at least in the late 1870s, according to Schele de Vere. He also worked in Florida—one of his later projects was to establish a hospital in Sanford, Florida for the “Plant system.” The Plant system was a conglomeration of various railroads throughout the South, purchased in the late 19th century by Henry Plant. (Florida Star) Dr. Wylly died of apoplexy while on a trip to Saratoga Springs, New York, and was buried in the Bonaventure Cemetery, in Savannah, GA. (Daily Times (Troy, NY);


  • Chi Phi Fraternity. The Chi Phi Fraternity Centennial Memorial Volume. The Council of Chi Phi Fraternity, 1924, p. 111.
  • City of Savannah, GA. A List of Mayors and Aldermen of the City of Savannah, Georgia, 1790-2012.
  • Harden, William. A history of Savannah and South Georgia. Chicago, IL, 1913, v.2, p.564-565.
  • “[Dr. King Wylly obituary].” The Daily Times (Troy, NY). June 25, 1900, p.3.
  • “King, Thomas Butler (1800-1864),”  in Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present.
  • “Latest News and incidents.” [King Wylly obituary] Florida Star (Titusville, FL), 29 Jun. 1900, p. 1
  • Schele de Vere, Maximilian. Students of the University of Virginia; a semi-centennial catalogue. Baltimore, MD, 1878.”
  • United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 7 January 2020), Louisea M Wylly in household of King Wylly, Militia District 3 Savannah city Ward Jasper, LaFayette, Monterey, Chatham, Georgia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 67, sheet 31, family 308, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,186.
  • University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
  • Wylly tombstones, Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, GA.
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