Estella Marie Masters King, David Earl King and their son, Denver.

Estella Marie Masters King, David Earl King and their son, Denver.

David was born in 1910 at Valley, NC, near the Yellow Mountain Road, now Avery County, to Franklin and Elizabeth Perry King. The family moved to Bakersville when David was a child and he lived the remainder of his life in a house off Hwy 261 just outside the town. He was married to Estella for 15 years and had two children, Denver and Delores. David was actively involved in the Berea Church of the Brethren located at the intersection of Hwy 261 and Cub Creek; originally a school house, it served as the Berea Church founded by Hoke Masters. Today it is home to the New Day House of Prayer.

This picture was taken the day of the accident and most likely the three men shown on the right are David E. King and the Millers with the huge dirt wall behind them.

On July 6, 1951, David and two other workers, Luther and Wade Miller from Red Hill, were preparing a foundation footing for a retainer wall along the recently widened Highway 261 in Bakersville. Suddenly tons of wet clay toppled over on them, covering David completely and the Millers up to their faces. Despite the desperate efforts of coworkers, it took fifteen minutes to remove the heavy clay from David. He was pronounced deceased at the Spruce Pine Hospital. The Millers were successfully rescued and, although injured, survived.

Today, as we travel the roads, especially with all the local construction going on, we should do two things: 1) Take seriously the worker caution signs, and 2) Offer a blessing to these folks who help to make our travels easier whether for groceries, doctor appointments, or family visits. David was the victim of a tragic accident; however, he is remembered by his family as a hard worker and by us as a representative of other often unsung everyday heroes who make our lives easier and more convenient. Thank you, David.

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