PVT Curtis King

PVT Curtis King

Culpeper County, Virginia, USA
Death 7 Jul 1863 (aged 80)
Muscatine, Muscatine County, Iowa, USA
Burial Chillicothe, Wapello County, Iowa, USA
Plot Richland Twp Section 19
Memorial ID 8487884 · View Source
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I took these pictures in 2000.Taken before this cemetery name was changed.

CLICK ON IMAGES FOR BEST VIEW~~~~~~This is the way the memorial looked when I did the walkthrough. The other plaques were added later and cemetery was then renamed to CURTIS KING MEMORIAL~~~~~~~

The Oldest Man in The Civil War~~~~~~~One of the Greybeards
**King, Curtis.Age 80. Residence Muscatine, nativity Virginia. Enlisted Nov. 9, 1862. Mustered Nov. 9, 1862. Transferred to Company H

No other stones are in this location. I think they were plowed under when the new road was built. Either that or stones were washed away by flooding which happened lots of times in this area in the Spring.

SOURCE: "The Times of the Rebellion In the West" by Henry Howe published in 1867 (PAGE 200-203)

We turn from such a sad, melancholy dereliction of duty to the more pleasant contemplation of a sketch of the faithful FATHER KING, aged eighty-two years. It is drawn by one who knew and probably loved him. This father in the Greybeard camp makes a good picture of a Western pioneer. He may, indeed, be termed a "representative man."

The venerable CURTIS KING, "high private" in Company H of the celebrated 37th Iowa, the regiment of "Silver Greys," or "Greybeards," has deservedly attracted much attention, alike from his great age, elevated character and exemplary patriotism. the following authentic particulars, obtained by an interview with him, can not fail to be read with interest:

"FATHER KING" as his friends love to designate him, is six feet and an inch in height, of massive and well knit frame, genial presence, careful and kindly speech, good health and spirits, and will be eighty-two years of age on the 10th of May next. He is able to perform his military duties with alacrity, and has sustained the fatigues of guard duty with much less inconvenience than many younger soldiers. While those who were his juniors by scores of years, have been rendered invalids through patrol duty at night, this veteran of more than four-fifths of a century, has unintermittenly returned to his post with cheerfulness and comfort. For this extraordinary power of endurance, at so advanced an age, he is indebted to a constitution derived from a family remarkable for strength, vivacity, stature, and longevity, and to his healthful habits of toil and religious sobriety.

Prior to the Revolution his grandfather King left Ireland and with his wife and six sons emigrated to the colony of Virginia, where, in the valley of the Rappahannock and in Culpepper County, he located on a mile square of land, leased from Colonel Carter. On this tract the children were reared, married and brought up their families. THENCE KING, youngest of the six sons and the father of CURTIS, died at the age of fifty years from the bite of a copperhead - a fact which does not help to lessen the son's detestation of our more venomous modern copperheads. CURTIS'S father fought under Washington through the Revolutionary War and was guarding prisoners at Winchester when relieved by the return of peace. Among the first emigrants to the free soil of Ohio, was Curtis's only brother and two of his five sisters, while he and three sisters, remained with their widowed mother on the old farm. At the age of nineteen, Curtis obtained the consent of the rest of the family to transfer their residence to the Great West, and after a journey of eight tedious weeks over the rugged mountains, they rejoined their friends at Hillsboro in Highland County, Ohio.

It is worthy of remark, that in Virginia, neither the wealthy gransire, nor any of his descendants ever used slaves. Curtis rented a cottage for his mother and his three sisters, but before long he found the latter married and himself and mother alone. He thereupon, as he states, considered what he should do to make her happy, and concluded to marry a certain attractive young widow, of thirty-six years, "of good report, pious, and well-disposed." He was then not 20 years old. Locating his wife and mother together, he devoted himself arduously to "trying to make a living," and "found the labor of his hands blessed abundantly, so that before long he was comfortably fixed in his sphere of life." Then new territories were discovered beyond the Mississippi and he was still led after them and was successful in his locations, and continued on the gaining land abundantly. In the town of Danby, Hendricks County, Indiana, his mother died and was buried at the age of one hundred and three years. Her name was OBEDIENCE and she was the daughter of COLONEL BLACKWELL of Virginia, a connection of the family of John Randolph, of Roanoke. Subsequently Curtis and his increasing family removed to Richland Township, Wapello County, Iowa near the Des Moines River, where they have now resided nearly sixteen years.

He has now been twenty-five years married to his second wife, who is just half his age, or forty-nine years, and was sixteen when united in marriage with him, he being then fifty-seven years old. By her he has nine sons and three daughters and by his former wife had six sons and three daughters --in all twenty-one children, 15 of them sons. The Irish ancestor, Curtis grandfather, lived to the age of one hundred and fifteen years, and was six feet and six inches in stature. Several of Curtis' uncles were seven feet in height and lived to extreme old age. His mother's father migrated from England to Virginia and here lived upon the rental of his ancestral estates in the old country. After his demise, the oldest son, CURTIS BLACKWELL, removed from America to England, to manage the estate of his father.

The venerable Iowan has been in active military service since the 25th October last. He may well be excused a feeling of pride in his personal history and antecedents, and a desire that the facts of his life and family, since they have excited curiosity and comment, should be correctly published. May he be spared to hail the return of peace and the restoration of the union!

**Click on images for better viewing
Info donated by Theresa E. Smith

Source: Hendricks County Indiana History Bulletin Vol. 2 No. 1 (1971)

"Old Hendricks Loss was Corn Huskers Gain"

To Iowa goes the distinction of the oldest trooper and the only over age regiment to serve for the North during the War between the states. However; Hendricks County can claim a small part of the recognition through a man whose historical and descriptive nature is truly one of the unique soldiers to serve either side during the great conflict.

Curtis King, a lineal decendant of Pocahontas was born in Culpepper County, Virginia in 1783, the son of a Revolutionary War Veteran. Married at nineteen, emigrated to Ohio in 1815 residing there until the late 1820's when removed to Hendrick's County, Indiana, purchasing property in Danville on May 29, 1829. During the next five years he was actively engaged in farming. He owned two farms, one 80 acres just east of present road southwest edge of Danville along White Lick Creek in section 10. When selling these lots and parcels of land, Hannah King, wife signed by an "X" on all instruments through August 31, 1838, and in Oct,1841, Curtis made his own mark alone indicationg her death during this time. In November of 1840, Curtis married Matilda Sharp in Hendricks County.Leaving Hendricks county in the early 1840's, the family lived a short time in Hancock county until moving to Wapello County Iowa, where he farmed until he felf his affairs and family welfare were in order for him to answer President Lincoln's call for volunteers. At the great age of 80 years, Private King mustered into Company H. of the 37th Iowa Infantry on November 9, 1862. This regiment was called the Greybeards comprised of men over 45 years old. Iowa was the only state to form such a regiment receiving authorization from Secretary of War Staton upon promise that they would be used only for guard duty. However, the unit did see action on June 5, 1864 when some 50 troopers engaged a band of Confederate guerrillas resulting in the death of two enlisted men. Private King's enlistment into the Army of the Mississippi was not easy as he was blind in one eye. Two or three companies refused him entrance until he was at last successfull with Company H. Upon his discharge on march 19, 1863, he was described as one of the most efficient men of his regiment; a stalwart figure standing 6 foot 2 inches in height, dark complexion, blue eyes and grey hair.

Curtis King, emigrant, father patriot, veteran, died at Muscatine, Iowa, the same year of his discharge at the age of 81, but, of him the half has yet been told. At his death he was the father of 21 children, the youngest only 15 months old at his death. Mr. king could never read or write but had such retentive powers that he claimed to repeat every word of the Bible for, Genesis to the end of Revolation through the help of a daughter who read to him from scriptures.

Transcriber notes: Family informant gives birth date for Curtis as possibly May 10, 1781. First marriage to Hannah ended in divorce March of 1840. He married her Aug. 3, 1813 at Hillsboro, Highland County, Ohio. They had nine children; six sons and 3 daughters born to them. Second wife was Matilda Sharp; aged 16 years. To this union 12 children were born; being nine sons and three daughters. He married her Nov. 17, 1840 in Danville, Hendricks County Indianna. Curtis King is buried at what was know as Williams Cemetery of Wapello County Iowa.

Civil War Marker
Company H. 37th Iowa Infantry Civil War.
Enlisted at the age of 80.

Curtis King purchased land in the area from the government in 1848. Recently the area of the cemetery has been enclosed with a fence and a new Memorial Plaque to Curtis King has been placed.

  • Added: 9 Mar 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8487884
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for PVT Curtis King (10 May 1783–7 Jul 1863), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8487884, citing Williams Cemetery, Chillicothe, Wapello County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by IRISH EYES ARE SMILING (contributor 46591610) .