King Family Reunion at Kings Valley School

June 21, 1997

Charlotte Wirfs presided over the meeting.  Just before meeting day, she had received notice that the school gym was being treated and also that the water at the school was contaminated.  Charlotte solved these problems by bringing several gallons of bottled water for coffee and washing.  We weren't allowed to use the gym, but everyone managed to squeeze into the entrance are by the kitchen.  The weather was rainy and cold or we could have met outside.

Florence Gross came with an idea.  She had copied a number of small sheets so each person could show their descent from Nahum King.  We wore these during the day and could easily be identified with our King ancestor.  She will take these sheets and type them for reference.  Florence brought her booklet of her first 25 years, which can be purchased from her for $10.00.

Charlotte explained that our dues of $10.00 is divided into two parts:  $4.00 will go toward tombstone repairs and $6.00 for printing and mailing King Folk newsletter.  There is now $400.00 in the cemetery fund.  Dues will not be collected at the meeting.  A notice will be printed in the newsletter when due.

The Baby (King) tombstone will be returned t the Locke Cemetery, where it was fund.  Charlotte has a list of other stones to be repaired.  Send information about broken stones to her.  Suzanne San Romani said she would work with the Locke Cemetery people to repair and return the stone.

The youngest member of the King clan was recognized:  Edward Joseph San Romani, born April 27, 1997.  He is the grandson of Carol Nelson and son of Suzanne (Nelson) San Romani.

Audrey Theurer gave a report on the Fort Hoskins Historic Park and handed out brochures.  Benton County purchased the land in 1992.  Restoration will take a few more years.  It is on the National Historic Register.  A grant was received to begin work but more funds will be needed to continue the effort.  The original hand-dug well is not up to standards and will have to be replaced.  Our group will be on her mailing list.

New members were welcomed:  Frances King Ramsey, and her niece, Sandra Edwards and grandson Robert M. King.  Also attending for the first time are Donald and Jaoma Jones and their daughter, Crystal Jones.  David Trask introduced his wife, Libia, who was attending for the first time.  Other newcomers were Earl Kiger and Carol Hagel, descendents of Sol King through William B. Kiger and Fred Kiger.

Jim King agreed to be Vice President, replacing Carole Putman.  Charlotte Wirfs will remain President, Pat Bearden as Secretary, and David Trask as Historian.

Carol Nelson volunteered to help with new ideas for the reunion, cemetery clean up, continuing the King T-shirts, and collecting stories and information of our ancestors.  She mentioned that Aunt Dort had called and said hello to all.

Glenva Chotard reported that Wren has started an historical society.  Contact Dorothy Brown of Wren for more information.

Earle Greig has pictures to identify which he will show after the meeting.  His mother, Retha (Allen) Greig sends her greetings.

It has been a tradition for many years to have the King reunion on the first Saturday following Father's Day at Kings Valley School.  It was decided to continue with the tradition.

Florence Gross related a story about her brothers and sisters.  Mary and Walt were mischievous pals.  They enjoyed experimenting with matches out by the woodpile.  They would see who could hold a match.  One time a sister saw a fire develop in the wood chips.  Their story was that the sun was so hot, it started a fire!

Joan Larsen tells of a strange kettle she has.  It was found a the old Watson homestead where the Prices lived.  It came from the old smokehouse and was a big black cast iron kettle with handles and a large domed lid with a spout at the top. Someone said it was used for clambakes.  Then the secret came out.  It was a still for making moonshine.

Audrey Theurer announced that the WPA interviews by Mark Phinney will be in the reference library in the Philomath Museum.

About 35 people attended, including three children.  Charlotte closed the meeting by encouraging people to come with stores to tell.  A developing story is of the Isaac King ghost, reported by a family living on part of his DLC.  Perhaps there will be more to tell on that at the next meeting.

Submitted by Carole Putman for Pat Bearden who was absent.