MARQUIS FAYETTE KING, son of Col. Samuel Hall and Eliza (Shaw) King, was born
in Oxford, Maine, February 18th, 1835. Of a family of ten children, he and his brother, Rev. Henry Melville King,
D. D., of the First Baptist Church, Providence, R. I., are all that survived childhood. His grandparents, Samuel
King, born in Raynbam, Mass., and Gilbert Shaw, born in Middleborough, Mass., were among the early settlers of
Paris, Me. Their farms, located on the westerly slope of the “Singepole,” joined, and each is yet occupied by descendants
in direct line.
Mr. King’s father’s first settlement was at Craigie’s Mills in the town of Hebron, Me., where he actively participated
in the werk of developing the splendid water privilege afforded by Thompson Pond, the endowment of the flourishing
village of Oxford. In company with another, he bought a large tract of land from the heirs of Andrew Craigie of
Cambridge, who had built the saw-mill that gave a name to the early settlement. The purchase included much of the
land now occupied by the village. The partnership was of short duration, for Mr. King, reserving a sufficient amount
of land for a large farm, sold the balance to his partner and proceeded to clear up his own land and put it in
shape for cultivation. He had learned the trade of housewnght of his father, and built his own buildings. He was
also a trader and largely engaged in lumber operations. He was Selectman in Hebron; an advocate of a division of
the town, and was elected chariman of the first board of Selectmen of Oxford after that town was incorporated.
In 1827 he was commissioned Colonel of the First Regiment of Infantry by Governor Enoch Lincoln. He had been advanced
through every grade by regular promotion, his first commission, that of Ensign, bearing the signature of John Brooks,
Governor of Massachusetts. He was a man of commanding presence, and whether exercising his regiment on the Paris
muster-field, or superintending his business at home, he always exhibited a large amount of mental and physical
In 1845 he removed to Portland, Maine, and engaged in trade, in which he continued until his death in 1865. The
change of residence of his parents gave the subject of this sketch experience in both farm and city life, that
has been very useful and is dearly cherished. At the age of nineteen he engaged in photography, and in its various
branches has found emyloyment to this day.
While a young man he was a member of the Portland Light Infantry, serving most of the time as Sergeant and Clerk;
he was elected to a Lieutenancy, but declined, as he had concluded to ask for his discharge.
During the late war, Governor Washburn, as Commander in Chief, thought it necessarry to organize the Militia of
the State, by forming companies and selecting officers. Mr King was appointed Orderly Sergeant by General Virgin,
with orders to prepare the rolls of the companies in Ward Five, Portland warn them for, and preside at, an election
of officers. This was done, and Mr. King was elected one of the Captains. Elections where held throughout the State,
as appears by the report of the Adjutant General, but no commissions were issued to the officers elect, nor was
any service called for.
Mr. King’s father being a zealous Whig, he naturally adopted views in harmony with the political doctrines of that
party. New issues, however, brought about a disrupture of the old parties about the time of his attaining his majority,
and his first presidential vote was cast for the nominees of the first Republican Convention, and he has since
acted with that party.
He was a member of the Portland City Council from Ward Five in 1868; of the board of Aldermen in 1871, 1872, and
1882: and in 1884 was elected Mayor of the city by a larger vote than had ever before been given to any candidate.
He declined a renomination. He was elected a member of the Executive Council of the State of Maine in 1891, and
re-elected in 1893 for a term of two years. He has been a director of the Union Mutual Life Insurance Company since
1881, when it moved its principal office to Portland.
Considerable of Mr. King’s leisure time has been devoted to genealogical and historical research. He is a member
of the Maine Historical Society, of the Old Colony Historical Society at Taunton, Mass., and several other similar
societies. He has been for several years President of the Majne Genealogical Society, and to his efforts it owes,
in a large degree, the prosperity which it is at present enjoying. He is a member and one of the Managers, of the
Maine Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, tracing his descent from no less than four different soldiers.
He has been considerably interested in Masonry, and has won its highest honors. He was made a Mason in 1859, in
Ancient Land-Mark Lodge, in Portland, and received the other degrees of the York Rite in that and the following
year. In 1863 he received the degrees of the Scottish Rite, and on May 18, 1865, received the thirty-third degree,
and became an Honorary Member of the Northern Supreme Council, and September 17, 1885, was made an Active Member,
and has continued to be such ever since. He held offices m the Lodge, Chapter, Council, and Commandery, and in
the Grand Chapter, Grand Council, and Grand Commandery. He was two years Grand Master of Masons in Maine, and has
been Deputy of the Supreme Council for Maine, since 1886.
In 1856 Mr. King married Miss Frances Olivia, daughter of Samuel Pomeroy and Sabrina (Perkins) Plaisted, of Portland.
They have had five children; a daughter and three sons are now living. Mr. King is of large physique, being upwards
of six feet in height, and well proportioned. He has always enjoyed vigorous health, and thus been enabled to accomplish
a large amount of work of varous kinds that have fallen upon him.
Whatever he undertakes to do, he does thoroughly. He exemplifies in very high degree the saying “What is worth
doing at all is worth doing well,” The consequence has been that whatever position he has held, he has discharged
its duties zealously and faithfully. This is illustrated by the fact that under his administration the various
organizations have enjoyed a season of great prosperity. He has the faculty of creating an interest in others in
that which interests him, so that he has always been able to supplement his own efforts by the efforts of his associates.
Mr. King is a man of strong will, inflexible purpose, unwearied perseverance, and of large executive ability; his
opinions and decisions are not hastily formed, but when formed are adhered to with tenacity; selfcontrolled and
calm amid excitement, he possesses sound judgment. He is devotedly attached to his friends and ever ready to sacrifice
himself for them; he counts a favor to them a favor to himselç and resents a wrong done to them with almost
unforgiving intensity. Of unflinching integrity and of moral courage that knows no fear of personal consequences,
the practical rule of his action is to do the right “as God gives him to see the right.”