Henrietta Chamberlain King
Henrietta Maria Morse Chamberlain King was born on July 21, 1832, in Boonville, Missouri. She married Richard King on December 10, 1854. In 1854 the King’s established their home, the King Ranch, in Santa Gertrudis. During the Civil War the ranch was an official receiving station for cotton and in 1863, when Richard King had to leave the ranch to escape capture by Union forces, a pregnant Henrietta stayed. Her husband died in 1885 and Mrs. King then assumed full ownership of his estate, consisting chiefly of 500,000 acres of ranchland and $500,000 in debts.
Henrietta, with the assistance of her son-in-law, Robert Justus Kleberg, freed the Ranch of debt and increased its size. In 1895, Henrietta gave Kleberg her power of attorney and increased his ranch responsibilities. She went on to help develop the area around the Ranch, construct churches, invest in local business, and make charitable donations to many deserving causes. A mounted honor guard of 200 vaqueros flanked the hearse, each rider cantering once around the open grave.