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., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Daniel B. King

HON. DANIEL B. KING. Twice a member of the State Legislature of Kansas, prominent in political circles and public life in Lane County for many years, widely and honorably known in banking and other business lines, the name of Daniel B. King carries weight wherever mentioned. He has been identified with Lane County since October, 1885, when he came into the state and entered land in Wilson Township. Mr. King was born in Henderson County, North Carolina, December 25, 1861. His parents were Benjamin and Rachel (McPike) King.

Benjamin King was of Scotch-Irish stock, but was born in North Carolina. After the Civil war, in which he participated as a private under General Lee in the Confederate army, he settled near Curryville, Pike County, Missouri, and died there in 1882, at the age of sixty-six years. He married Rachel McPike, who was of Irish origin and the daughter of a farmer. She died in Pike County, Missouri, in 1892, when aged sixty-eight years. They had twelve children born to them, and the following grew to maturity: J. Ladson, who was a Confederate soldier, died in Pike County in 1902; E. Pinckney, who was also a Confederate soldier, died there in 1911; William, who was a soldier in the Confederate army, was killed at Petersburg, Virginia; Annie, who is the wife of Thomas Beshears, of Pike County; Samuel, who is a merchant at Curryville, Missouri; Mollie, who is the wife of Ralph Tinker, of Bowling Green, Missouri; Aaron A., who lives in Pike County; Sallie, who married Jefferson Penix, of Bowling Green, Missouri; Daniel B., of Dighton, Kansas; Thomas, who is serving in the office of tax collector of Pike County, Missouri; and James, who died in 1904 in Key West, Florida.

Daniel B. King grew to manhood on his father's farm and attended the public schools. When he was twenty-one years of age and proposed to start out for himself, his father gave him $200 as a nest egg. The experience he had gained on the home farm was helpful to him during the two years he remained in Pike County as a farmer, but he was not satisfied with the small returns while others had gone as cowboys and into the cattle business in Texas. Mr. King followed their example and remained in Texas for eighteen months, during this time having his first experiences in trading in cattle. He then turned his attention to Kansas, and as some of his friends had already settled in Lane County, he came to this neighborhood, and Lane County has practically been his home ever since. With capital amounting to $1,500, Mr. King bought a few cattle and embarked in the business of trading, but before he had much encouragement he found almost all his money had been used, and, as he puts, it, he was down to "bedrock."

In 1886 he located on public land, but of course it brought no returns for a long time, and he managed to exist by working at anything that offered itself. He helped to grade the Missouri Pacific Railroad, then building, assisted other settlers, and did much ploughing for homesteaders, chiefly old soldiers who had their pension money. On his own claim he made himself as comfortable as possible, building a dugout, 12 by 10 on the inside, roofed it with boards and covered them with sod. The earth made a sufficiently satisfactory floor. He was not without some modern improvements, because he had a window and a ship-lap door, with real hinges. On the first land he broke he raised a good crop of sorghum. In the succeeding fall he bought sixty head of cows in Barton County, and this was a fine venture, because he was able to sell them to homesteaders and get ready cash. Things began to look up and in the second year he had satisfactory crops and was able to accumulate quite a bunch of stock by ploughing for others and taking a cow or calf for his labor. Mr. King kept on in this foresighted business way and by 1892 had about 150 head of cattle, and then began to ship, engaging in the business from September, 1892, until February, 1893, and shipped 4,400 head of cattle in that time from Shields, Kansas. This successful venturing brought him capital enough to purchase extensively, and he continued to trade, in 1895 bringing a trainload of cattle from Arizona. In 1896 he closed out his cattle business, his entire career in this line having been both creditable and profitable. From 1896 until 1912 he was interested, with heavy profits, in the mule business. He then sold his ranch of 2,000 acres and turned his attention to merchandising, conducting a store at Shields, Kansas, until July, 1916, when he disposed of it and moved to Dighton. He continues as president of the Farmers' State Bank of Shields, the pioneer financial institution of that place, and is vice president of the First State Bank of Healy, and is one of the directors of the First National Bank of Dighton.

In his business undertakings Mr. King is one of the successful men of Lane County, and in no less degree has he acquired leadership and reputation in public affairs. In the fall of 1887 he cast his first vote in Lane County, and his first presidential vote was given in support of Grover Cleveland, the regular democratic nominee, and with this party Mr. King has always been identified. In 1896 he was elected sheriff of Lane County, succeeding Jacob Knoll, and served two years in that office. During his administration, no great outrages of the law occurring, the main duties of the office being the foreclosure of mortgages. Mr. King had, however, won the confidence and respect of the people, and in 1898 he was elected to the State Legislature, and when up for re-election Mr. King tied his competitor and was counted out by the judges at Topeka, but in 1902 he was re-elected and served his full term, and during this time was a member of the committee on roads, bridges and county lines, concerning which he was well informed. He retired from the Legislature with a clean record and the consciousness that he had performed his duties faithfully

Mr. King was married September 4, 1901, to Miss Lou Robison, who is a daughter of John C. Robison, now of Montgomery City, Missouri. Mrs. King was born in Pike County, Illinois, December 4, 1867, and has one surviving sister, Mrs. Lorena Sees. Mr. and Mrs. King have one son, Ralph M., who was born August 23, 1902. Mr. King is identified fraternally with the Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen.