David Ward King

Born Oct 27, 1857

David Ward King, a farmer who lived near Maitland, Missouri, was the inventor of the King road drag. His invention, which was the horse-drawn forerunner of the modern road grader, had great influence on American life because his invention improved the widespread dirt roads of his day to the extent that they could accommodate the advent of the automobile, rural mail delivery and mail order catalogues.… Read More

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Robert Q. King married Miss Harriet A. Danforth at New Albany, Indiana on January 15, 1857.


1877 19 Years Old …  Probably as early as 1877 or 1878, his father, Robert Quigley King, obtained some near Maitland in Holt County, Missouri. … Read More


1878 20 Years Old Almena Caldwell King died of diabetes on May 30, 1878, from which she had suffered greatly for a long time before it finally claimed her. … Read More
1879 21 Years Old So, Robert Quigley sent his son Ward to this farm in the spring of 1879 to begin farming it. … Read More
1880 22 Years Old …  On December 29, 1880 he married Mary Willie (often spelled "Wylie") Burbank of Danville, Kentucky in Springfield.
1887 29 Years Old In 1887, he sent his other surviving son, Robert Leffler King (who also went by his middle name, "Leffler"), off to develop that land and farm it. … Read More


1891 33 Years Old Miriam Danforth King married Ralph LeVerne Caywood, who was born in Maitland, Missouri on May 3, 1891. … Read More
1896 38 Years Old It was in 1896 that D. Ward King first dragged the road with an old frostbitten pump stock and an oak post. … Read More


1906 48 Years Old 1 More Event
…  In 1906, the state of Iowa amended its statutes to use the King system on the country roads. … Read More


1908 50 Years Old David Ward King further widely publicized the process in a U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers' Bulletin #321 in 1908 under the title The use of the split-log drag on earth roads He also wrote articles explaining his drag, including one that appeared in the May 7, 1910 issue of The Saturday Evening Post titled "Good Roads Without Money."
1917 59 Years Old Ward's father, Robert Quigley King, died suddenly on November 26, 1917 in his apartments in the King Building in Springfield. … Read More


1920 62 Years Old …  He had just finished a board meeting when he suddenly died of a fatal cerebral hemorrhage on February 9, 1920 in St. Louis, at the Hotel Marquette. … Read More
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