JOSEPH F. KING GRAVESTONE PHOTO
From History of Montgomery County, Kansas, By Its Own People, Published by L. Wallace Duncan, Iola, Kansas, 1903, Pg 645-646:
King, Joseph F. Bio
The “old soldier!” How shall we repay him, how measure the value of his services to his country? Shall it be in paltry dollars and cents? Far be it from us, the beneficiaries of their loyalty, to think that the mere pittance received as a pension, discharges the obligation owed to them! Let us, in the few brief years they are to be here, pour forth upon them, in addition, the benedictions of a grateful posterity. Stand with uncovered heads, as each year their lessening ranks file by, resolved that the glorious country which they saved with their blood, shall continue its benign mission of uplifting humanity to a higher plane of excellence. The biographer is always proud to record the few brief facts that tell of duty done in the dark days of the Rebellion, and, in Joseph King, of Caney township, is a subject which furnishes the necessary material.
Mr. King landed on Kansas soil in 1857, and was, thus, in the thick of the fervid battle for supremacy, then going on between the forces of the Free-State patriots and the Border Ruffians. When the war cloud actually burst, he was one of the first to enlist, first, in the Home Guards, and then, in a company commanded by Capt. J. B. Forman, which became part of the Tenth Kansas Infantry. After a year’s service in this organization, he received honorable discharge, and, immediately, returning to his old home in Indiana, reenlisted in Company A, of the Twelfth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. In this company he served during the remainder of the war, participating in many of the hard-fought battles and long wearisome marches of the Army of the Cumberland, and, later, with grand old “Uncle Billy,” to the sea. A partial list of the battles in which Mr. King had a part, follows: Richmond, Kentucky; Siege of Vicksburg, Jackson, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, Big Shanty, Big and Little Kennesaw, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Macon, Savannah, Columbus, Bentonville, Raleigh, together with numerous other skirmishes, not mentioned in the reports. At Richmond, Kentucky, Mr. King was unfortunate enough to get within the enemy’s line and was captured. He, however, was paroled on the fourth day. Again, at Atlanta, his zeal carried him too close to the enemy. His stay with the “Johnnie Rebs” was even shorter than before, as he was enabled, by he lax discipline of the guards, to make his escape, and to participate in that “glorious march to the sea.” His company had the distinction of being selected to lead the Grand Review at Washington, an honor which it richly deserved, and which its battle scarred members bore with distinguished credit.
A few brief facts concerning the family of Mr. King will not be amiss. He was born in Jennings county, Indiana, on the 17th of September 1842, a son of George W. and Nancy (Boyd) King. The parents were natives of Ohio and, in 1857 removed, with their family, to Anderson county, Kansas. Here, they lived out their days, as farmers, loyal to the free institutions of their adopted state, which the father served during the war, in the home guards, and in several different offices of trust. He died at the age of sixty-eight, the mother surviving him an dying at seventy-four years. They reared a family of twelve children, the four now living being: Joseph F., Elizabeth, William and Robert C. Those deceased are: James, David, Benjamin M., Emma, John, George, Lena and Cynthia.
Upon his return from the war, Mr. King was joined in marriage with Catherine F. Lewellin, the date being June 24, 1865. Mrs. King was a native of Jennings county, Indiana, born the 20th of November, 1844, the daughter of James and Sidney J. (Scroggins) Lewellin, who were from South Carolina, and early pioneers to Green county, Indiana.
The year of his marriage, Mr. King returned to Anderson county, Kansas, where he engaged in farming until 1883, when he bought his present farm of eighty acres in Caney township. It lies two miles south of the village of Havana, and shows the care of a practiced hand, in the many substantial improvements to be found thereon. Mr. King is a man of parts, in his township, having served as treasurer and clerk of the school board a number of times, and in various other positions of trust. In political belief he is a staunch Republican, and delights to promote the interest of that party. To him and his wife have been born a family of ten children, but four of whom are living: Nancy, wife of Fred Wolsch; Minnie, wife of David M. Spring; Joseph D. and Amos. Those deceased are: James, Mary, George, Etta J., and John A.
Mr. and Mrs. King and their son, Amos, comprise the family living at home, and all are regarded with much respect in the community.
Contributed by Mrs. Maryann Johnson a Civil war researcher and a volunteer in the Kansas Room of the Independence Public Library, Independence, Kansas