David Ward King - Family


Mrs. Mary Wylie King was active in women's organizations of the church. She worked for many years as an enthusiastic member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. She was an active member of Eastern Star, being chaplain of that order for many years. She did not like staying home while Ward travelled, a fact which she mentioned repeatedly in her letters to him. Even so, she did serve as his "manager" under one spelling of her maiden name of "M.B. Wylie". She served as the practice audience for his speeches. She edited and typed his letters, often serving as his "emergency secretary". Some called her the "Mother of Good Roads." By all accounts, she was a very strong-willed woman, with a flair for the dramatic. Family members point to the photo she had taken of herself in "widow's weeds" as an example of her endearing way of dramatizing events—in that case, the recent death of her husband. She also never lost her staunch devotion to the cause of temperance, which the repeal of Prohibition did nothing to dampen. One family member reported that there was a time when she came upon another family member having a beer. After she finished telling him in no uncertain terms what she thought about that, the two of them remained thereafter permanently estranged. However, she and Ward, the great promoter of his world changing invention, were undoubtedly the perfect pair.

David Ward and Mary Wylie King had four children, who were all born in Maitland, Missouri. They were Lettie Reed King, who was born on December 29, 1881; Robert Quigley King, who was born on December 11, 1886; Miriam Danforth King, who was born on October 24, 1892; and David Bryant King, who was born on September 9, 1897.

Lettie Reed King went by her middle name of "Reed". She followed the King family tradition, which started with the original David King, of remaining a Presbyterian. In fact, she was a charter member of the Presbyterian Church of Maitland. She married Ralph Crider of Atchison, Kansas. After her father's death, she was the family member to whom all family members "took their problems." She also was a frequent source of information about her famous father.

Robert Quigley King II served in World War I. He became an osteopath, graduating from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. He practiced in Maitland, Missouri and Cushing, Oklahoma. His first wife, Margaret Isabel Moore, died on October 8, 1916. He then married Esther Harrison of Madison, Missouri and had four children with her. He died June 5, 1931 in Rosedale Gardens, Michigan. His wife Esther died on June 29, 1951.

David Bryant King took over the Maitland farm when he was eighteen and operated it for the rest of his life. He was always active in community affairs and was a member of Protective Credit Association and the Holt County Farm Bureau. He married Gladys Elizabeth McHenry of St. Joseph, Missouri. They had three sons. David Bryant King died on May 29, 1944 in a Maryville, Missouri hospital. After the death of her husband, his widow Gladys inherited her husband's interests in the family's real estate holdings in Springfield, Ohio and brought a legal action that forced the sale of those interests. Gladys died January 5, 1955 in an automobile accident.

Miriam Danforth King married Ralph LeVerne Caywood, who was born in Maitland, Missouri on May 3, 1891. They had three children, who were all born in Maitland. She lived for many years in Coral Gables, Florida and did much to look after her mother in her mother's later years. Miriam died on March 28, 1957.

As was the case with Lettie Reed King, all of the Ward and Mary's children remained lifelong Presbyterians.

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