Back When in Benton County

Part 8

Roots of the King Family

by Kenneth Munford

We have a new author this week in the history of Benton County column.  Charlotte (Price) Wirfs is a descendant of two branches of the Kings of Kings Valley.  Her ancestors include Isaac and Almeda (VanBebber) King and Rowland and Lovisa (King) Chambers.

Charlotte was born in Salem, attended schools in Lane and Tillamook counties, and graduated from Oregon College of Education (now knows as Western Oregon State College) at Monmouth.  After teaching fifth and sixth grades in Lebanon for three years, she settled down as a wife and homemaker for Walter Wirfs, superintendant of the Willamette Industries mill at Dallas.  They have two children, Carolyn, 6, and Matthew, 4.  

Charlotte edited the recently published Volume IV of the Polk County Historical Society series, "Historically Speaking".  We welcome her as one of the contributors to our Kings of Kings Valley series.

Charlotte Wirfs

Nahum Kings's American ancestry dates back to 1635 when his great-great-great grandparents, William and Dorthy (hayne) "Kinge," and their five children arrived on the ship "Abigail", out of Waymouth in Doretshire, England.  They settled in Salem, Mass.  Some of the family moved west to New Salem in central Massachusetts.  There Nahum was born, July 25, 1783.  His parents, Amos and Hopestill (Haskins) King, moved on to New York state, settling south of Albany in New Lebanon, Columbia County.  Siblings of Nahum were Luther, Hiram, Isaac, Louisa Sherman, Betsey Warne, Hopestill Johnon, William O., Horace, and Lydia Sherman.

In Columbia County, Nahum, 24, and Serpta Norton, 15, were wed on May 9, 1807.  She had been born on November 12, 1991, the fourth child of James and Dulany Norton.  Her brothers and sisters were Solomon, John, Cloe Howe, Abigail Dominic, Keziah Knapp.  Many of these given names appear throughout later generations of Kings.

Serepta and Nahum's first three children were daughters, none of whom traveled to Oregon with the family in 1845.  Saretta, born in New York on March 18, 1808, later married Moses Moore and lived in Madison County, Ohio, and in Illinois, where Moses died.  In a letter from Oregon in 1846, Anna Maria King wrote that Moses Moore was expected in Kings Valley, but he never arrived.  Younger generations of Kings referred to Saretta as "Aunt Saret" so she remained in contact with the family.  She had one son, who died in the Civil War, and three daughters.

Lucretia, the second daughter, was born July 5, 1809, in New Yourk and later married Heman S. Hallock in 1827 in Madison County, Ohio.  Heman had been born in Vermont, in 1803.  The Hallocks apparently remained in Ohio when the rest of the family moved to Missouri.  They too were expected in Kings Valley in 1846 but did not arrive until 1853.  They settled on a land claim just south of Kings Valley on March 15, 1854.  "Aunt Crish," as she was known, died May 14, 1860, and is buried in Kings Valley cemetery.  The probate record of Nahum King lists her heirs as Sally Edleman, Hope Mason, Rhoda Pitman, Amos Hallock, Serepta Rexford, and Margaret Irwin.

Dulany, the third daughter, named after Serepta's mother, Dulany Norton, was born April 12, probably in Ohio, and died at the age of 12 on October 1, 1823.

Next:  John King's Family