DAN KING. While Kansas has been the scene of many struggles involving principles of nationality, freedom and other fundamental questions it has been to an even greater degree the stage of action where hundreds and thousands of individuals have fought their fight for home and for a reasonable share of the world's prosperity. There have been many defeats, but the victories are all the more notable because of the hardships encountered and the stress of the conflict while it lasted.
One of the men who came to Kansas with the ambition to establish a home of his own and refused to give up the fight until victory had perched on his banner is Dan King, of South Brown Township, Edwards County. He arrived at Kinsley on August 10, 1878. He had come by railroad from Madison County, Indiana, and he brought with him his family. He first took a pre-emption, then a tree claim, and finally a homestead, all in South Brown Township. The homestead is where he still lives, the northeast quarter of section 2, township 26, range 18. His first home here consisted of one room, a sod house 10x12 feet, the roof covered with cane stalks and dirt. He did not bring sufficient capital to obtain a complete line of farming equipment, and he secured his plowing and other farm work by swapping his own services with those of his neighbor for a couple of years.
Having come from a corn country Mr. King naturally tried to raise corn in Edwards County. His first crop was four or five acres. It gave him nothing but a little fodder. During his second winter in Kansas he had to go to New Mexico and work on the construction of the Santa Fe Railroad to support his family. When he came home after three months there he had, it is said, "more money than any one on the south side of the river, about $30." This capital Mr. King invested in seed potatoes and that investment and the labor that went into the planting and cultivation all went for naught. Repeated reverses failed to discourage him, and he held on to the idea which had first impelled him to seek a home in Kansas, and in time his patience was well rewarded. By the year 1896 wheat became a reliable crop in his neighborhood and since then his prosperity has been of increasing ratio.
When he had been in Kansas three or four years Mr. King was able to buy a frame house 14x16 feet and moved it on to his farm to replace the soddy. Another source of revenue for a few years was sheep shearing. The profits from that work he invested in a couple of cows, and the milk and butter went a long way toward keeping the larder from becoming empty. He also entered the cattle business, but the seasons and prices were too uncertain and eventually he settled down to general farming as his chief crop. Mr. King's experience has been very favorable toward wheat and the most complete failure in all came in the year 1917. Even so he did not lose the use of the land, since he plowed up his wheat acreage and planted corn and kaffir instead, consoling himself for the loss of the wheat crop by the fact that the land needed a rest from wheat anyway.
About 1902 Mr. King was able to put up a substantial country home, a 1 1/2-story nine-room house. He also has a barn 46x36x13, granaries with a capacity of 12,000 bushels, blacksmith shop, hog house, and has a complete assortment of farm tools and machinery for the efficient working of his land. In 1915 he paid $1,100 for a quarter section of raw land, and about the same time for another quarter section he paid $3,750. His ownership now extends to five quarter sections, and nearly all of this is recognized as first-class wheat land.
Dan King was born November 1, 1842. His grandfather, William King, was an Ohio pioneer. His father, Thomas King, was a native of Ohio but grew up in Indiana and died in that state in 1863, at the age of forty-seven. He married Rebecca Worley, who was born in Virginia and died in Madison County, Indiana. Her mother was Charity Worley. The children of Thomas and Rebecca King were: Dan, Charlotte, Cornelius, Washington L., Stephen C., Mary and Jane.
Dan King had the advantages of the common schools in Indiana. His life was spent very much as was typical of Indiana farm boys, and he married in that state, followed renting until his prospects seemed to narrow instead of broaden, and he then sought the freer and better opportunities of Western Kansas, with what excellent results has already been noted.
He was married in Indiana January 29, 1865, to Sarah J. East. Mrs. King was born October 19, 1843, daughter of John and Elizabeth East, who went to Indiana from Virginia. Mr. King not only has a number of capable children but has thirty-seven grandchildren. His oldest child is John W. King, living near Woodward, Oklahoma. He married Fanny Shrock and has ten children. Charles T. King, living at Rockland, Idaho, married Lou Spriggs and has two sons. Mary married Sherd Cornelius, and both are now deceased. They left two sons and one daughter. Cora is the wife of Warren Dugger, manager of the Farmers Elevator of Lewis, Kansas, and they have two daughters. Rosa married Dave Brown, of Edwards County, and is the mother of six children. Ollie was married to Jim Smith, of Rostan, Oklahoma, and has five children. Edna married Fred Kennedy, of Edwards County, and their household comprises seven children. Myrtle is the wife of Harry Shannon, living near Madison, Colorado, and she is the mother of three children. Clarence G. King, still at home with his parents, married Iva Eggleson.
Mr. King gave his children the best possible advantages at home and in school. Most of them had to walk three miles from home to the schoolhouse. His family has stimulated him to take every reasonable degree of interest in the local schools. He has been a member of the board and helped to organize and build the school in district No. 6 and district No. 21. Mr. King has voted the democratic ticket all his active life, though he has never been a seeker for office. He gave his first vote to Stephen A. Douglas. While not a member he has also supported churches and other movements for general benefit. Besides his farm and country home Mr. King is a stockholder in the Lewis Elevator and Centerview Elevator, being a director in each, and has stock in the Centerview Bank. As a farmer he keeps enough good grades of cattle to clean up his farm and also raises Poland China hogs.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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