King, William Philip (1820–1836)

By: Bill Groneman and Russell S. Hall

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: February 1, 1995

William Philip King, Alamo defender, son of John Gladden and Parmelia (Parchman) King, was born on October 8, 1820, in Cotton Gin Port in Monroe County, Mississippi. By the mid-1820s the family moved to Louisiana and arrived in Texas in April 1830. Traveling by covered wagon, the family went to Gonzales and registered in Green Dewitt's Colony on May 15, 1830. In 1836 King lived with his family on land on the Guadalupe River northwest of Gonzales, Texas. When his father was about to ride to the Alamo with the relief force from Gonzales, William, only fifteen years old, persuaded his father that his family needed him more than Col. William Travis did and to let him go in his place. John G. King agreed to his son's request. William Philip King reportedly manned a cannon and was the youngest defender killed in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. King County was named in his honor.

Clipping File, Library of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, San Antonio (Historic Sites, Alamo, Alamo Defenders, William Philip King). Daughters of the American Revolution, The Alamo Heroes and Their Revolutionary Ancestors (San Antonio, 1976). Bill Groneman, Alamo Defenders (Austin: Eakin Press, 1990). Ron Jackson, Alamo Legacy: Alamo Descendants Remember the Alamo (Austin: Eakin Press, 1997). Walter Lord, A Time to Stand (New York: Harper, 1961; 2d ed., Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978). Phil Rosenthal and Bill Groneman, Roll Call at the Alamo (Fort Collins, Colorado: Old Army, 1985). R. L. Templeton, Cannon Boy of the Alamo (Quanah, Texas: Nortex Press, 1975).
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Bill Groneman and Russell S. Hall, “King, William Philip,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995