Kingsley Farm

A squatter is one who settles on a new or uncultivated land without a title.  One of the many squatters in this area was William A. Kingsley.  A Civil War veteran, born in 1833 in Lebanon, New York.  He was an eighth generation American.  His Puritan ancestor, John Kingsley, emigrated to Boston, Mass., in 1634.

William married Harriet Sherman of Sherbourne, New York, in 1853.  In 1865, he moved west in search of the best homestead land available.  He found what he wanted in Griggs County on land not yet surveyed.  He moved there with his family in 1883.

William and Harriet's children were Helen, Tyla, Alice, and Frank.  Their oldest son, Fred, was killed while working as a brakeman on a railroad in Michigan.  All their children homesteaded in Griggs County.

In 1899, he died as a result of injuries suffered in the Civil War.  Harriet died in 1912.  They are both buried in the Cooperstown Cemetery.

Frank Kingsley was born in 1877 in Michigan.  He was William and Harriet's youngest son.  He married Marie Falla Stoneburg, a widow with three children.  They were Milo, Vanetta, and Avelow.  Frank and Marie's children were Fred, Frank, Harriet, Burton, Evelyn, Ira, and Alger.  Frank farmed the old homestead, his own land and other land for forty years.  He believed in acquiring large acreage and the latest farm machinery.  In 1906, he built a modern grain elevator on his farm.  It had a weigh scale, a dump pit, cleaning mills, a storage capacity of 25,000 bushels.  He owned a huge gasoline Twin City tractor that pulled a sixteen-bottom plow.  He operated steam engines and threshed his own crops as well as those of many of his neighbors.  At one time, he farmed in excess of six sections of land.

Frank drove a white Paige touring car, about a 1920 vintage.  It had a collapsible top and side curtains.  The car was large enough to take the whole family of ten on a drive.

The great depression of the thirties left Frank disillusioned and unwilling to reacquire the land he lost. He died in 1938.  Marie died in 1967 at the age of 90.  Both are buried in the Hartman Cemetery at Sutton, North Dakota

The next Kingsley to own and operate the homestead was Ira, son of Frank and Marie.  He was married to Helen Honey.  Ira is also deceased, and at this time the homestead belongs to his widow.  Their son Dennis is the present Kingsley to farm this homestead, which is located one and one-half miles west of the town of Sutton, on SE of Section 32-146-61.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial page 84

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