From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1198
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


   More than twenty years have passed since David Washington Duke came to Rice county, Kansas, and nobly has he performed his duty in establishing and maintaining the material interests and moral welfare of his community, having exerted a wide influence among the agriculturists of his adopted state.  He claims Iowa as the state of his nativity, his birth having occurred in Henry county, near Mt Pleasant, February 19, 1851.  His father, James M Duke, was a native of Kentucky, in which commonwealth the grandfather, John Duke, was also born.  James M, the father of our subject, removed to Iowa when a young man.  He was a sawyer by trade and operated many mills in Iowa and in the west.  His wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Williams, was a native of Ohio and a daughter of Nehemiah and Cynthia (Burden) Williams.  The father was a native of the Old Dominion and was a member of a prominent family of that state.  He was married in Iowa.  Unto James M and Elizabeth Duke were born four children, three now living:  Cynthia, the wife of James Rankin, of Victoria township, Rice county; David Washington; and Harriet Holmes, a resident of Lyons, Kansas.  They also lost one child, Francisca, who died in infancy.  The father of this family died in Weiner, Arkansas, when seventy-six years of age.  He was a prominent business man, and in early life he affiliated with the Greenback party, but afterward was identified with the Democratic party.  He was an intimate friend of General Weaver.  His widow still survives, and now makes her home with her children in Rice county, having reached the age of seventy-four years.  She is a worthy member of the Baptist church, and her husband also held membership relations with that denomination.

   D W Duke was reared to the quiet pursuits of the farm in the state of his nativity, where he was early taught farm labor in all its departments.  The public schools of the neighborhood afforded him his educational advantages, and through reading, study and observation he has become a well informed man.  At the age of twenty-two years. He went to Taylor county, Iowa, locating on a farm.  In Page county, that state, he was united in marriage to Miss Anna E McFarland, who was born in Licking county, Ohio, but was reared in Iowa.  Her parents, William and Caroline (Bixler) McFarland, were also natives of Licking county, Ohio.  In 1851 they took up their abode in Pratt county, Missouri, but in the following year they located in Page county, Iowa.  They now reside at Clarinda, that county, honored and respected pioneer settlers.  The father, who has reached the age of seventy-four years, affiliates with the Republican party and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.  They are the parents of five living children, as follows:  Anna E, the wife of our subject; William, a resident of Page county, Iowa; Milton, also of that county; Mrs Vessie Laub, of Page county; and Mrs Alta Hutchinson, of Taylor county, Iowa.  The deceased children are:  Franklin, who died at the age of three years; Mose, deceased in infancy; and Abigail M Dougherty, who died in Page county, Iowa, at the age of twenty-five years.

   In April, 1879, Mr Duke sought a home in Rice county, Kansas, and homesteaded a claim of eighty acres.  For five years he resided near Galt, where he was engaged in mercantile pursuits.  He now owns a well developed and valuable farm of one hundred and sixty acres situated on section 28, Victoria township, and the place is under a high state of cultivation.  In addition to the raising of the cereals best adapted to this soil and climate he is also engaged in the stock business and the raising of Percheron horses.  Mr Duke votes with the Populist party.  He was the choice of his party for township trustee, in which he served for four years, was also township clerk for two years and was a member of the school board.

   The union of Mr and Mrs Duke has been blessed with five children, namely:  Charles A, of Victoria township; James W, at home; Stella, wife of O Batterton, of Victoria township; Maud D; and Bessie Ann, at home.  Both Mr and Mrs Duke are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.