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Daniel and Sarah Jane King – Trotter Cemetery, Lewis, Edwards County, Kansas


Leaving Indiana, Daniel and Sarah King brought four of their 10 children to Kinsley in August of 1878. Dan first took a preemption claim and then a tree claim and finally a homestead.


Daniel King was born in Indiana in 1842. On January 29, 1864, he married Sarah Jane East. Five of their 11 children were born in Indiana with the remaining six born in Edwards County. One daughter, Charlotte, died at the age of two and is buried in Indiana.


The King family traveled by train to Kinsley and settled in Brown Township south of Kinsley. Their first home was a 10x12 feet one-room sodhouse where several children were born.

Indiana is known for its corn, so Dan planted four acres. It did not grow. The winter of 1878 found Dan working for the railroad in the New Mexico territory. The money he earned was sent back to his family who purchased potatoes for planting. They also failed as did most of Dan’s crops before turning to wheat. After a few years, Dan built a 14x16 frame house for the family. Little by little, the King family was able to purchase a few dairy cows and chickens which were used by the family and sold for needed money.

Sadly, in 1879, Stephen Layfette King was the first burial in Trotter Cemetery. He was eight years old. The cause of death is unknown.


Eventually, all the work paid off and by the turn of the century, Dan had built a nine-room home with a barn and several granaries. He was also owed five quarter sections of land.

Dan & Sarah wanted to provide their children the best of what they could offer, and this included education. The children walked three miles to school before a school near their house was built. Dan helped to organize two one-room schoolhouses and was a member of the school board.


The rest of the story: “Layfayette King took sick, then grew worse. Lafe Rumsey walked about 15 miles to get the doctor. The doctor came, gave medicine and left a lot more. Three days later ‘Layfy’ died.”1 Robert Trotter offered the King family two acres of land in what would become Trotter Cemetery. Stephen Layfayette King was the first burial in Trotter Cemetery.

1 The Kinsley-Edwards County Centennial 1878-1978 p. 21

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