Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
BENJAMIN KING is a retired farmer
residing in Davenport, Washington. Born July 23, 1839, in Mercer
county, Pennsylvania, the son of William and Margaret (McClaren) King,
both deceased, at an early age he migrated with his parents to Jackson
county, Iowa, in the territorial days of that commonwealth. The family
was among the first to settle in this county, going there in the days when
Indians and wild game were so numerous as to render farm life extremely
unpleasant. The father of Benjamin enjoyed the distinction of having
cast a vote for the first governor of Iowa. After growing to manhood
on the farm our subject enlisted in September, 1861, in Company M, Second
Iowa Cavalry, and for three years was engaged in the Civil War, fighting
for the most part in the states of Missouri, Tennessee and Mississippi.
During this time he was engaged in some hotly contested battles, among
which might be mentioned the Corinth and Iuka (Mississippi), as well as
in numerous skirmishes and brushes with the enemy. He was given an
honorable discharge at the close of the war and returned to Iowa, where
he engaged in farming, and where, on January 26, 1865, he was married to
Margaret A. Dupuy, a native of Jackson county. Mrs. King's parents
were Lemuel and Nancy Dupuy, pioneers of that locality.
In the spring of 1870 Mr. King fitted up a
"prairie schooner" and started west with his wife and two children.
The family remained one year in Richardson county, Nebraska, and from there
went to Jewell county, Kansas, where he was among the first of the early
settlers. Here Mr. King took a homestead and a pre-emption, five
miles from his nearest neighbors in a country where wild buffalo were so
numerous that more than once he has stood in his door and killed these
animals at short range. While in this county, where the family lived
in a primitive plains "dug-out" a pair of twins was born to Mr. and Mrs.
King. These children were known far and wide throughout the state
as "the Centennial Twins," for the reason that they arrived on the fourth
day of July, 1876.
In the spring of 1882 the family started again
with the covered wagon, to Colorado, and in the fall of that year they
came to the Black Hills. In the spring of 1884 they drove to Umatilla
county, Oregon, where Mr. King farmed until the spring of 1888, when he
came overland to Davenport. Three years later he removed near Wilbur,
where he owns 320 acres of choice grain land. He also owns a beautiful
home in Davenport where he lives. Mrs. King died April 22, 1899,
leaving the subject of this sketch and seven children; Elmer E., married
to Dilla Charlton; William W., married to Grace Phar; Clara C., wife of
C. A. Bryant; David D., married to Viola Alley; Alva A.; Alma A., wife
of Charles McKennon--the two last named are the "Centennial Twins," and
The brothers and sisters of Mr. King are:
Marinus, J. H., Mrs. Rebecca Sweesy, Mrs. Sarah E. Jenkins, Mrs. M. M.
Phillips, Mrs. Martha J. Lydell, living, and Robert M. and Elizabeth M.
Benjamin King is a prominent member of the
G. A. R. of Wilbur, and one of the foremost citizens of Davenport.