"R. L. King received a telegram Monday evening stating that his brother, D. Ward King, died suddenly at Hotel Marquett in St. Louis, Missouri, at noon Monday. Mr. King left at 9:00 P.M. Monday to meet the widow of D. Ward King and her members of the family and assist in making arrangements for the funeral. While Mr. King had been in ill health for several years he was able to attend to his own business. Just what caused his death is unknown as the telegram received simply announced his death. D. Ward King was known all over the world as the inventor of the split-log drag. He invented the drag and gave it to all persons for the improvement of the roads. Letters were received by Mr. King from persons in different countries complimenting him upon his method of road treatment. Several years ago Mr. King directed the improvement of the roads across the state of Iowa in one day. The improvement was from Omaha to the Mississippi river. Mr. King left his home at Maitland, Missouri, Saturday and was in St. Louis to attend a meeting of the directors of the Farmers Federal Loan Bank, of which he was an officer, when he was taken suddenly ill. Mr. King was born in Springfield, Ohio, October 27, 1857. He was a son of the late R. Q. King. His education was obtained in the Public Schools here and in Wittenberg College. Last November Mr. King was in this city visiting R. L. King and family and other relatives. D. Ward King is survived by his widow and 4 children: Miss Reed King, Mrs. Miriam Caywood and David Bryant King of Maitland, Missouri, Dr. Robert Q. King, of Omaha, Nebraska; Colonel David King, an Uncle; Miss Jennie King, an Aunt; Mrs. George Brain, a cousin; Dr. D. King Gotwald, a cousin; Mrs. H. J. Warrick, a sister and R. L. King all of this city."
Additional Information: David Ward King died February 9, 1920, in Saint Louis, Missouri while attending a directors' meeting for the Farmers Federal Land Bank. David Ward King's middle name comes from, close family friend (long story), Isaac Ward, on whose farm Wittenberg University is now located. The Ward Street that runs through Wittenberg takes its name from Isaac Ward. David Ward King and my grandfather, Robert Leffler King built the Arcue ("RQ", "Robert Quigley") Building at Fountain and High, which they named after their father, Robert Quigley King (who developed much of downtown Springfield and was second Fire Chief of Springfield). As the obituary mentions, David Ward King was the inventor of the long-forgotten "King Road Drag", which improved country roads so much, that contemporary sources credit him with making possible the advent of the automobile. While history has long pretty much passed him by, he was very famous in his day.