Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

Lincoln Out Of Date

Matthew E King

 

With progress being made toward reconstruction of the historic Matt King House, it seemed like a good time to take a look at what 'Goldpans and Singletrees," the history of the Lincoln area published by The Upper Blackfoot Valley Historical Society in 1994, has to say about the man .

On the edge of some tall pines, one-half mile north of Highway 200 lies some of the richest farm land in the Lincoln valley, its fields irrigated by Spring, Keep Cool, Sucker, and Liverpool creeks, all of which flow into the Big Blackfoot River.

In 1885 this area was just being settled. Today sightseers, walkers and runners, logging trucks, snowmobilers, tourists, gun club members, and area residents use Sucker Creek Road, once known as "Sloan Lane."

Among the earliest settlers of the area was Matthew King, of Scottish background. King homesteaded one-half mile east of what is now Sucker Creek Road; in 1993 one could find the land by noting the first turn-off after crossing Spring Creek bridge.

'Progressive Men of Montana' notes, that "Mr. King has the distinction of having been the first bonafide settler in Lincoln Valley being the first to file government and railroad land claims in this section."

On April 13, 1882, Matthew E. King paid Three dollars in Register's and Receiver's fees to file a Declaratory Statement for the right to homestead the North East (NE4), Section 18, township 14 ct. of range 8 W. containing 160 acres.

Matthew King, born January 9, 1844, in Linwood, Renfrewshire, one of the smaller Scotland counties, went to sea, at eighteen, on a shipping boat that sailed to various Mediterranean ports. In 1869, King came to the United States, arriving in New York City on the day when the remains of President Lincoln lay in state at the city hall.

King went to St. Louis, Missouri, then by steamer up the Mississippi and Missouri to Fort Benton, Montana, where he arrived June 1869. He proceeded to Helena, arriving there on the morning when the town was practically destroyed by the memorable fire of that year. He spent one day in Helena and then went on to Lincoln Gulch where he devoted his attention to mining for several years. King then began homesteading, eventually acquiring some 720 acres, all of which was in the Keep Cool Creek area.

In June 1910, King sold to Joseph E. Hooper all real estate consisting of 720 acres situated in Section 18 and `7, T. 14 N. R. 8 W, all the livestock, the water rights, and the interest in leased land for $9,500.

Matthew King remained a bachelor and in later years became blind. He then lived with his sister, Mary Sloan, on her homestead west of the Matt King Homestead. Matt King died in 1923 at the age of 79. The Sloan Homestead was located 400 yards west of the Matt King Homestead.

The original 720 acres of King's Homestead was owned in 1993 by the Grosfield family; the house and barns still stood as the oldest remaining buildings in the Lincoln area.

 

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