Obit: King, John Franklin (1831 - 1884)

Contact:  Crystal Wendt

Surnames: King, Wight, Ferguson, Wge, Sturdevant, Neverman, Covill, Foote, Chamberlain, Vine, Bone, Markey, Brothers, Templeton, Hendren

----Sources: Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 16 Dec. 1884

King, John Franklin (10 April 1831 - 1884)

The people of Neillsville were surprised last Wednesday morning to learn that one of our most widely known and highly respected citizens was dead. Many did not even know that Mr. King had been sick and to those who did know of his poor health his death was almost as much of a surprise.

John Franklin King was born April 10, 1831 at Taunton, Bristol Co., Mass. When only eight years old he worked as a paint boy in calico works at that place at which he continued two years. His parents move to Elyria, Ohio, when he was nine years old and settled in what was then a wilderness. Mr. King worked at home until he was 22 years old and then spent three years learning the carpenter trade at Cleveland. He came to Clark County, Wis., in 1858 remaining one year. He then returned to Ohio, but went shortly to New Orleans, where he worked on a plantation at his trade of carpenter. Sept. 30, 1860, he was married to Rosilla Wight and with her came in the same year to Clark County, Wis., to carve out in our forests a home. During the winter of 1860 Mr. King built a home on the farm where he has ever since lived, while his wife taught school in the town of Lynn. Mrs. King taught school in Neillsville in the spring of 1861.

When his country called Mr. King obeyed the summons. He enlisted in Co. I., 14th Wis., Vol. Dec. 26, 1863 and was mustered out Oct. 9, 1865. In his company were James W. Ferguson, Fernando Wage, Judge J. R. Sturdevant, Wm. Neverman, W. S. Covill, Charles Foote, Henry Chamberlain, Thomas J. Vine, Charles Bone and E. H. Markey.

Since that war Mr. King has lived on the farm almost completed a beautiful brick house into which the family moved only two weeks ago. He has been Justice of Peace and when he died was town treasurer of Pine Valley and at the last annual meeting was elected treasurer of the Clark County Agricultural Society. Mr. King’s sterling integrity and attention to business commended him for these positions of trust. His father and mother survived him at Elyria, Ohio, and it is significant that his father was 88 years old the day of his son’s burial.

He has also two brothers and three sisters living. Mr. King leaves a wife and six children. Ernest, the oldest, of the age of twenty-three, is doing a prosperous business as machinist, at Anoka, Minnesota, in company with Frank Goss, formerly of this county. Herschel, Florence, Elsie, Myra, and Bessie live at home.

Mr. King had been in poor health for several months. He was taken worse last Tuesday evening and Dr. Templeton was called and remained until 2 o’clock. On Wednesday morning he was taken worse and died about nine o’clock. The funeral was held from the court house on Friday at 2 p.m., Rev. J. D. Brothers conducting the services assisted by Rev. W. T. Hendren. The order of Odd Fellows, of which deceased had long been an honored member, appeared in a body as did also the Grand Army. The court room was filled to overflow with sorrowing friends. This completes a brief record of a good man, a kind husband and father, a warm hearted friend and neighbor, a trusted public officer and a patriotic solider. There was no sham about Mr. King. He was a practical earnest worker in all the walks of life. Few men in the community will be more missed than John F. King.



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