Biography of Franklin D. Kingman


FRANKLIN D. KINGMAN was born at Worthington, Mass., December 8, 1802. His father was Isaiah Kingman, a native of Bridgewater, Mass., born February 17, 1774, and was married in 1799 to Lucy Daniels, of Worthington, Mass.; she was born December 6, 1780. They were the parents of twelve children—six sons and six daughters—of whom but two are now living, Samuel and Albert. Samuel is a lawyer and in early life removed to Kansas, where he practiced his professian, and for a long time was a judge of the Supreme Court. until failing health compelled him to resign. Albert was a lawyer in Hickman, Ky., and sometime mayor of that city. Isaiah Kingman died in 1864 and his wife in 1872.

Franklin D. Kingman was the second son. He acquired his education in the common schools of his native town, which he supplemented with much reading and close observation. He remained at home with his father until he reached his legal majority, assisting him in every way possible. In 1825 he severed his home connection and started for what was then known as the West. For a time he stopped at Riga, Monroe county, and later came to Bergen, where he purchased the Elliot Stuart farm on the Town Line road.

In 1826 he was married to Miss Sophia Smith, of Northampton, Mass.; they both went to work in good earnest, and after many years of hard labor they accumulated enough to erect a fine, substantial farm house, at an expense of $3,000, besides his own labr, which was an item of no small importance. On account of the death of his wife and his own failing health, he sold his farm and removed to Bergen village, where he spent the remainder of his days.

Mrs. Kingman died in 1538, and in 1854 he was married to Theodosia, daughter of Eliphalet Parish, of Bergen, and widow of Chester W. Smith, of Northampton, Mass., who survives him.

Mr. Kingman was a man of pleasing personality; genial and sympathetic in his nature, he won the love and confidence of all. Visitors at his home, of whatever age, were all happily entertained; the infant was contented with him; little children would sit on his knee and chat as freely as with a playmate; and so on, to those of old age, all were made to feel at home. He was a great reader and encouraged study in his family. During the long winter evenings the whole family were usually gathered around the table supplied with books and newspapers, which were read and discussed by all. He had great sympathy for the needy and counted them among his special friends; nothing gave him greater pleasure than to extend relief to such on every proper occasion; he said, “Build no costly monument over my grave—I prefer that the money be given to the poor.” In this lie unconsciously built his own monument in the grateful hearts of those who had received his benefactions, given so secretly and kindly that no one but the recipient knew of the gift.

He took a lively interest in political as well as social affairs, and was up to date in a general knowledge of current affairs. He was a strong Republican in his political faith, and as such was elected to the Legislature in 1854, where he served one term, ill health preventing his acceptance of a second nomination.

He was subject to attacks of inflammatory rheumatism, from which he suffered acutely, but without complaining. At the time the news of the assassination of President Lincoln—a man he revered—came to him he was suffering from an unusually acute attack of rheumatism, which, with his great grief that cannot be told, crushed his heart, and he passed away on April 26, 1865. Death came to him suddenly; but he long had been an earnest, active Christian, and he was ready and willing to go.

Mr. Kingman had two sons and two daughters: Albert, Legare, Cecelia and Malissa. Albert removed to Des Moines, Ia., in 1850; he located a farm just outside the limits of the city, set fruit trees on part of the land and succeeded well in fruit growing; he is considered one of the wealthy men of Des Moines; in 1854 he was married to Eliza J. Hegby, of Missouri. Legare died at the age of thirteen years. Cecelia was married to Charles P. Mott; they settled on a farm near Des Moines, Ia.; she is deceased. Melissa was married to Lucius P. Wilcox, of Bergen; they removed to Iowa in 1857, where he was a farmer; they had four sons and one daughter. Mr. Wilcox is deceased.

Mr. Kingman had three sisters who were married and left children, namely: Sophronia, Lucy and Mary. Soplironia was married to Elisha H. Brewster, of Worthington, Mass.; he was one of natur&s noblemen, respected and loved by all who knew him for his many virtues. Lucy was married to Jonathan Daws, of Cummington, Mass.; they have one son, Charles K. Mary was married to George Davis, of Bergen; their children were three: Helen, Emma and James; Helen was married to Paul Knowles, of Riga, and bore him two children: Emily and Jennie; James enlisted in the Civil war in 1862, was wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg, May 3, 1863, and died at Stanton Hospital, Washington, D. C., on June 29; his funeral was held at his home in Bergen on July 4, 1863. Emma was married to James Gillette, of Bergen; their two sons, George and William, reside in the village of Bergen. Sophronia Kingman Brewster left five children, two of whom survive—Charles K. Brewster and Mrs. George M. Green, of New York city.

Our County and it's people
A descriptive work on Genesee County, New York
Edited by: F. W. Beers
J.W. Vose & Co., Publishers, Syracuse, N. Y. 1890



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