Benjamin F. King, from New Brunswick to Maine to L.A.

This dapper gentleman came to me from my fellow photo collector Chase from Canada. It is identified as

“Benjamin F. King”

and the photo was taken in Old Town, Maine, in the United States.

Benjamin Frederick King was born on October 9th, 1876, in Prince William, New Brunswick in Canada. Father George William King (1848-1922) was a New-Brunswick born farmer. Mother Catherine née Thiboutot (1855-1925) had been born in Ontario.

In 1881, Benjamin, his brothers Joseph H. and Charles A. and their parents were living in Prince William. Benjamin was the oldest child of at least 14 children of the couple! I haven’t checked the life story of each and every one of them, so I don’t know how long most of them lived and what became of them. For information, I copy the list of Benjamin’s siblings as found on FamilySearch.

Benjamin Frederick King 1876–1952 

Joseph Herbert King 1879–?​​

Charles Augustus King 1880–? ​​

Mary Agnes King 1882–?

William Andrew King 1883–1959 

Frederick M. King 1885–?​​

George Albert King 1887–1956 ​​

Mary Elizabeth King 1888–?​​

Martha King 1888–?​​

George King 1891–?

Madeline A. King 1894–1942 ​​

Mary Gladys King 1898–?

Marguerite King 1898–1921

Irene Dorothy King 1903–2001 

In 1891, Benjamin was 14 years old and still living in Prince William.

I wonder when Benjamin came to Maine. Maybe it got a little crowded with all the siblings and Benjamin was sent to work and earn his wages elsewhere. Maybe it was his own choice. There was a Benjamin King from Canada living as a boarder in Rumford, Oxford, Maine in 1900. Perhaps he had arrived in Maine in 1899 as a young labourer. Another source says, that he immigrated in 1895. Well, that source also says that he was born in 1880. Probably noone could cross-check since his birth records were back in Canada?

Benjamin married Edith Willett on August 24th, 1907, in Old Town, Maine. Benjamin was 30 years old at the time and his bride was 10 years younger. He worked as a labourer in Old Town. Neither of them had been married before.

In 1910, Benjamin and Edith were living in Brewer Ward 4, Penobscot, Maine. Benjamin was a “collector” at the Sewing Machine Company. He had not been naturalised at the time, his status was “Alien”. The couple was living in a rented house at 20 High Street.

Edith had been born in New Brunswick, Canada, as well. The 1910 Census shows that the year of her immigration to the United States was 1905. Unfortunately I don’t know if the couple had any children.

According to the information on FamilySearch, Benjamin passed away in April 1952 in North Hollywood, Los Angeles. I have not found any official record for that, the information was added by a family relations. I’m truly curious now when and how Benjamin ended up in California! Did he move to California looking for work, or did he choose to spend his days of retirement in the sunshine state? What happened to his wife Edith?

Since this photo came to me from New Brunswick, Canada, I’m wondering if Benjamin sent it to his parents or siblings from the United States to let them know that he was doing well for himself. He looks quite content with his life, don’t you agree!

I will add his photo to FamilySearch. Let me know if you recognise him!

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