Our Bennett/Simpson Roots

A Distinguished Heritage


HYRUM SMITH KING (7 Oct 1844 – 17 Oct 1937) was born in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois the son of Enoch Marvin King and Mary Bigg Ware.

Hyrum married Alice Bennett 1 Jan 1864 in Kaysville, Davis, Utah.  Hyrum and Alice had twelve children of record:

  • Mary Ann King (27 May 1864 – )
  • Hyrum Smith King Jr. (19 Jan 1867 – )
  • Joseph Smith King (21 Jun 1869 – )
  • Alice Angeline King (23 May 1871 – ) born in Kaysville, Davis Utah.  Married Joseph Mack Bybee 6 Feb 1889 in Leeds, Canada.
  • Elizabeth Emiline King (18 Nov 1873 – ) born in Kaysville, Davis, Utah.  Married William Richard Flinders 6 nov 1895 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.
  • Ellen Matilda King (11 Jun 1876 – ) born in Kaysville, Davis, Utah.  Married Oscar Thomas Jones 17 Feb 1897 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.
  • Charlotte Isabell King (21 Oct 1878 – ) born in Kaysville, Davis, Utah.  Married Walter Frank Blake 25 Mar 1903 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.
  • James Henry King (1 Apr 1881 – ) born in Kaysville, Davis, Utah.  Married Mary Ellen Patterson 11 May 1904 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.  Married Clara Johana Dorthea Youngberg 28 Jun 1916 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.  Married Susie Belle Singleton Thurgood 1 Sep 1943 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.
  • Enoch Marvin King (3 Feb 1884 – 8 Feb 1884) born in South Hooper, Davis, Utah.  Buried 10 Feb 1884 in Kaysville, Davis, Utah.
  • George Riley King (11 Mar 1885 – 30 Mar 1885) born in South Hooper, Davis, Utah.  Buried 10 Feb 1884 in Kaysville, Davis, Utah.
  • Archa Williard King (8 Nov 1885 – ) born in South Hooper, Davis, Utah.  Married Leona Whitehead 19 Jan 1916 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.
  • Olive May King (16 Aug 1889 – ) born in South Hooper, Davis, Utah.  Married Ralph Senior King 21 Dec 1911 in Ogden, Weber, Utah.

Hyrum died 17 Oct 1937.   He is buried in the Kaysville City Cemetery, Kaysville, Davis, Utah.


This brief sketch of the life of Hyrum Smith King Sr. has its beginning in Nauvoo, Illinois where he was born 7 October 1844 to Enoch Marvin King and Mary Bigg Ware King. (Mary’s birth record has her name as just Mary Ware but she has also been recorded during her life as Mary Bigg Ware.) His father was born in West Bloomfield, Ontario, New York and his mother in Lenham, Kent, England. They were married in Nauvoo 30 March 1841. At Hyrum’s birth he joined an older brother Enoch George, who was born 14 January 1843 in Nauvoo. Their good mother had arrived in Nauvoo with the first organized group of Saints from England, under the direction of William Clayton, on 27 November 1840 and was met by the Prophet Joseph Smith. He placed her in his brother Hyrum’s home to work and assist with the children. Because of her love for the prophet and his brother, she named this second son in honor of this great patriarch. Thus the name Hyrum Smith King was his to bear throughout his mortal life and to be revered by his large posterity.

On 4 May 1846, they left their home with the last of the Saints, after their beloved temple had been dedicated, and started their trek westward. It was to be a long grim experience of 3 years before they would reach their destination.

They arrived at Mt. Pisgah late in the year of 1846. There is a discrepancy as to where the third son, Alonzo Marvin, was born because his death certificate gives his birth date as 3 February 1847, which would have placed the family at Mt. Pisgah. His mother’s history states that she had three sons when she left Nauvoo with her husband. Since her history was written after her death, this could be an error. His death certificate also states that he was born at Council Bluffs, Iowa, but again the mother’s history says that they remained at Mt. Pisgah where her fourth son, Joseph Smith King, was born 24 January 1849. They made this their home until May 1849. Since Council Bluffs is west of Mt. Pisgah, it seems likely that Alonzo must have been born at Mt. Pisgah if the family left Nauvoo in 1846 and his birth date was 1847.

They left Mt. Pisgah, according to the mother’s history, in May 1849 and continued on toward Utah by ox team. At Council Bluffs the older child, Enoch George, died at the age of six. Thus, Hyrum became the oldest living child of a family which would eventually reach ten in number.

The following are brief statements made by him on 23 April 1928. Quote: “My parents came to Utah in September of 1849 in the William Hyde Company, traveling with ox teams and carts. I was about five years of age at that time.” (The first company left Nauvoo in February of 1846 and established cities at Sugar Creek first then at Garden Grove in April, at Mt. Pisgah in May and by 14 June reached Council Bluffs on the banks of the Missouri River where a third permanent camp was made. Sugar Creek was just a stop over place to get organized. Garden Grove and Mt. Pisgah were set up as encampments where soil was tilled and grain planted so that those who would follow would have a place to stop over long enough to make preparations to continue their journey west. Men were left to supervise these camps. The first group of saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847.) “We were about four months making the trip from Mt. Pisgah to Salt Lake City where we arrived 24 September 1849. Being so small, all I can remember is coming down over Little Mountain which is just east of Salt Lake City.” There are two dates listed for Hyrum’s baptism. The West Point Ward record states 7 October 1852 and the Salt Lake 19th Ward record states 10 October 1852 by William Hawk.

Again quoting: “We lived in Salt Lake about five years and then moved to Kaysville, Davis, Utah, now known as East Layton, in the fall of 1854 where the family lived in a wagon during that winter. The next year we built a log house where we lived until the spring of 1856. We were then compelled to leave because Johnson’s army was coming to Utah. We left our homes and moved as far south as Sanpete County, but returned the same fall to harvest our crops. Our home was in Kaysville until 1859 when I joined the Utah Militia and served under Colonel Robert I. Burton of Salt Lake in the Marisite War of 1862.

Recalling the days when he rode with President Brigham Young of the Mormon Church, Hyrum Smith King, 86 of Ogden, points out that in those days, ox teams speeded over the highway at the rate of about 15 miles a day. “It took two days to go from My home in Kaysville to Salt Lake City and back by ox team in 1863.” Mr. King points out, “Whereas today the trip is made in a couple of hours by motor car.”

“In those days, I belonged to the Horse Company of Kaysville, and fast traveling was done in buggies. There were no houses from Layton to Riverdale, except two herd houses, one at Syracuse belonging to Judson Stoddard of Farmington and the other at Hooper belonging to Captain Hooper.”

Father and I in company with five other men, made a trip to Boise, Idaho (a distance of over five hundred miles) in the year of 1856, making the entire trip with a team and wagon.

I was married in Kaysville, 1 January 1864 to Alice Bennett. She was born 5 May 1848 at Mosquito Creek, Pottowatamie, Iowa; the 8th child of 14 children born to James Bennett and Ellen Pincock Bennett.

July 4th, I was again called to Sanpete County, to serve in the Black Hawk War. I served there in the army three months, returning again in Kaysville. Here we lived until 1881 when we moved to South Hooper, now called West Point. I received my first check of $1440.00 in 1923 as pension from the Black Hawk War. I got $20.00 per month until April 1927, but since then I have received $50.00 per month.

The Hyrum Smith King home in West Point was made of logs. Later, they built a large room on the back – just 2 x 4’s with rough boards nailed on, and afterwards covered with rustic. Then a small room was built on the side. One end was used for a clothes closet, and the rest used to bath in. There was a well south of the house, and a stable on the west side of the house, down by the pasture. Later, it was moved up north and Hyrum’s son, Archie, built a barn over it.

From 1881 to 1886 I was a ward teacher. I was chosen first counselor in the Elders Quorum in 1882 and served until 1886. In that year (1886), I was asked to serve as Superintendent of the Sunday School. I filled this position until 1889. I was first counselor to the Superintendent of the Sunday School from then (1889) until 1893. I also served as a Bishop’s second counselor from 12 June 1898 until 1910. At the present time, 23 April 1928, I am a member of the North Davis High Priest Quorum.”

Hyrum Smith King and his good wife were rebaptized 6 July 1866 and were endowed and sealed for time and all eternity in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah 7 July 1866.

They traveled to the Logan Temple where they had their oldest daughter, Mary Ann, sealed to them 14 May 1866. Mary Ann and her husband, George Riley Bennett, were also sealed to each other that day and had their oldest son, Joseph Henry, who had died as a baby, sealed to them.

Quoting again: “My wife died 21 June 1910. Since then, I have lived with my youngest daughter, Olive, except for the times or on the occasions when I visited with my other children. I am the father of six sons and six daughters, nine of whom are still living and have families of their own. I am a firm believer of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Through all the years of trial and trouble, my faith has not been shaken and I do all in my power for the progress of our church. I have seventy grandchildren, sixty living, and eighty-six great grandchildren, sixty-nine of whom are living.” The living children at this time in 1928 are: Mrs. George Rile (Mary Ann) Bennett, Mrs. Walter Frank (Charlotte) Blake, James Henry King, Archie Willard King, and Mrs. Ralph Senior (Olive) King all of West Point; Joseph Smith King and Mrs. William Richard (Elizabeth) Flinders of Clinton; Mrs. Oscar Thomas (Ellen) Jones of Ogden; and Mrs. Joseph Mac (Alice) Bybee of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

His daughter, Alice, preceded him in death on 28 July 1936. Three sons also died before he did. They were Hyrum Smith, Jr. on 28 May 1918, Enoch Marvin (infant) on 8 February 1884, and George Rile (infant) on 30 March 1885.

Grandfather continued to live with his daughter, Olive, and enjoyed good care under her loving hands. He really enjoyed having other children and grandchildren visit with him in his room, which was added onto Aunt Olive and Uncle Ralph’s home so that he might rest or just be by himself. This daughter and her family showed a great love for him which he sincerely appreciated.

In July 1937, Uncle Ralph and Aunt Olive took a much deserved vacation up into Idaho, so grandfather came to stay at our home. He was a grand old fellow and although he was ninety- two years old, he was not too old to tell his grandchildren some his life’s stories and experiences. During the day he would sit by the living room window and watch us children playing outside. He had a deep love for children and I am sure he enjoyed being with us. He watched us haul hay and wrestle on the lawn, all of which would bring back memories to him of his younger days. At night, we loved to gather round his chair and listen to his stories.

I recall very vividly the story he related of a trip he took across the sand ridge above Clearfield and Layton. He was riding a horse, along with several other young men on horseback, accompanying President Brigham Young on his way to Cache Valley. The conversation had lulled, silence had fallen around the group and President Young was deep in thought when suddenly he pulled his horse and carriage to a stop. Facing west, where the Ogden Arsenal was later built, and pointing down across the valley he made this promise to those young fellows: “Boys, you see this land which looks like a great desert stretching out before you from Salt Lake to the Weber River? Someday in the future, this desert will blossom like a rose. Where at present it sustains nothing but wild animals, sagebrush and grass lizards, there will be orchards filled with all kinds of fruit trees and gardens filled with flowers and vegetables. It will seem as if someone’s dream really came true. No, I will not live to see it, but I promise that some of you will see that very thing unfold before your eyes.”

What a promise this was to these young fellows. As grandfather related this incident, tears filled his eyes and he said, “Yes, that was a wonderful promise, and to think that I was permitted to stay here long enough to see that very thing happen. As far as I know, I am the only one of those boys who is still alive today.” (Fall of 1937)

He also related that at one time, for the sum of $300.00, he could have bought all of the property west of the Arsenal, from about where the D. & R.G. tracks are, to the Great Salt Lake. This would have taken in all of West Point, and parts of Clinton, Clearfield, Syracuse and Hooper, but he dared not take the chance because he feared water would not be brought to this land.

It was a real treat for us children to have this lovable old patriarch, declining in years, follow us up and down the sugar beet rows with a hoe in his hands, setting an example for us to become good workers and urging and advising us to finish any worthy task which we set out to do. He always offered words of encouragement in everything that was good.

Grandfather went through many trials and hardships, but up until the time of his death, he said he would gladly go through them again for the sake of his religion and family.

He told us of the time when he fought in the Black Hawk War. He was there when Chief Black Hawk was shot. After the old Indian Chief was shot in the stomach and the skin of his abdomen was split open, he rode holding his intestines in his hand for nearly a mile.

On 7 October 1937, grandfather turned ninety-three years old. Our home was open to the hosts of relatives and friends who came to see him that day. Soon after his birthday, he became seriously ill and received tender care from my father and mother until he passed away ten days later. His only fear was not of dying, but that he would be alone at his passing. He needn’t have feared this for some of his children were with him constantly, night and day, until he passed to his eternal rest on 17 October 1937.

Another great life lived and left as history. His life was a shining light and an example to all who knew him. He was a great believer in the Word of Wisdom and tried to live it. We, as his descendants, have only memories of him left, but those memories will live forever and ever and we will profit greatly by trying to follow in his footsteps.

At his death, his survivors numbered eight children, sixty-eight grandchildren, one hundred and twenty-four great grandchildren, and ten great-great-grandchildren.

Those of us who are his descendants can pay him no greater respect and homage than to follow his example. We should work hard for all we expect to gain, whether it is in worldly goods or in keeping the commandments of God. In doing so, we can look forward to being joined with him and grandmother as one great family in the eternities.

The following quotations were made by James Henry King about his father, Hyrum Smith King. “Pa was a bodyguard for President Brigham Young. The guards rode horses but President Young always rode in his buggy. He was with President Young when he decided to build Brigham City. The church formed a Cavalry, which Pa joined, and they had to go to the Arizona territory to fight the Indians. He also fought in the Black Hawk War, and was there when Old Chief Black Hawk was captured.

My father was a farmer and water boss, and he and George Riley Bennett used to go up to Boise, Idaho and shear sheep. Pa used to cut grain on shares with a scythe. Every third stroke was his. They had cradles, which were prongs fastened to the handle of a scythe, and the grain fell into the cradle as it was cut, and dropped off in a row with the heads of grain all turned one way. Then they would bind it into bundles by wrapping a handful of straw around an armful of grain and tie it by twisting the ends tight to make a knot. They thrashed it with a merry-go-round affair that they hitched horses to. They spread the grain on wagon covers on the ground and drove the horses around over it to tromp out the grain. Then they had to wait for a wind to blow so they could sift out the straw and chaff. Later, they had a fanning mill which they turned by hand. It had a fan on it to blow the straw out and was called a straw piler.

My father and George Riley Bennett owned and operated the first header here and also the first thresher. The name of the first one was a Cyclone and the second one was a Case. It blew up and burned in Thomas Steed’s field in Clearfield. William Criddle bought in on the third one. They were all operated by horsepower.

When he was a young man, this whole country was an open prairie from Kaysville north to the Weber River. There were no roads or fences. People in Kaysville used to brand their cattle and turn them loose to roam this whole country. During the winter, the men took turns riding out to check on the cattle, especially near spring. The winters were hard and cold, and the losses were very heavy. One particular hard winter, Hyrum came out with Jim Ware (Hyrum’s uncle) to check on the cattle. He said so many cattle had died of starvation and cold that he could walk from one-half to three-quarters of a mile stepping on the backs of dead critters and not step on the ground. He saw cattle chewing limbs off trees along the river as big as his arm, and many so weak and poor they could hardly stand up. It was almost dark when he turned toward home , about where Hill Air Force Base is now, and he could hear the wolves howling. At first, the sound was faint and far away in the falling twilight. Then nearer and nearer the savage cries came as the wolves closed in around him. Hyrum had a fine horse and a very intelligent and strong dog. Knowing he had some distance to go and that it would soon be dark, he started his horse on a fast lope with his faithful dog staying close at his side. The realization that the wolves had closed in upon him terrified him and he gave his horse the reins. The wolves kept pace with the horse, skimming over the ground with the ease of a bird, staying close to his side. They seemed at times to be a very part of horse and rider, snapping fiercely at his legs. The dog fought them off and it wasn’t long until grandfather saw lights which told him that he was almost home. It was an exhausted dog who slept on the floor at his master’s bedside. The horse and dog were given all the credit by the young man for his reaching home unharmed. Although the wild beasts ripped his pant legs into shreds, he received only a few scratches on his legs. (This account was also given by someone else that places Hyrum with only his horse and dog, but not his uncle, Jim Ware.

Pa was a great hand with horses; breaking and training them. He never had any use for a whip. The first teams of his that I can remember were called King and Queen. They were as black as coal when they were born and then turned gray. Queen lived to be twenty-four years old. King died when he was a young horse.

I can remember how Pa knitted all of our woolen stockings, the real long ones that came right up to our knees. I never could figure out how he made the heels. He bought the wool yarn in big skeins and then balled it up. I had to roll it on my hands while he balled and I sure got tired of it.”

Sources of Information:
1. A history of Hyrum Smith King, Sr. written in 1928 by a grand daughter.
2. Information given in 1937, by Hyrum Smith King, Sr. to a grand daughter, Ruby King Hart, 2 January 1966 Caldwell, Idaho
3. Article printed in Standard Examiner Newspaper. “Contrast Seen in Olden Days, Modern Times”


2 thoughts on “HYRUM SMITH KING

  1. Jordan Marshall on said:

    My name is Jordan Marshall. I am the great great grandson of Hyrum Smith King. My Grandma is Olive’s daughter, Which as you probably know, is who Hyrum lived with in West Point. I grew up next door to that home. I love this account of Hyrum. Thank you for posting it. Grandma sadly passed away this morning and we (the family) and I have spent the last week looking at many old photos of Hyrum, and the King home as well as pictures of the family!! I decided to do a search when I ran across this post!!! I wish Grandma could have seen this, She loved genealogy and talked so dearly of everyone of her Aunts uncles and so forth. I will be sure to show the family this beautiful tribute to Grandpa King!!!

  2. Jordan Marshall on said:

    I should specify that my grandmother is Letha Olive King Read.

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