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Discovering Who We Are, Were and Can Be

The world is changing, new discoveries are being made and understanding the world and our place in it is an ever evolving awareness. The Museum provides a space and an atmosphere to hold the world still, for just a moment to reflect on this amazing river town and its flow of life.

Last Saturday was not my day to host, but I stopped by to visit with our hosts for the day Mandy Sandford and her grandfather Al Shannon. I especially enjoyed conversation about the upcoming school year with Mandy and hearing about the new teachers on staff this year, two of whom graduated from Entiat High School. Their youthful enthusiasm and interesting life experiences will surely benefit our kids, the community and the world. Entiat has a strong history of educating and preparing young people for the future. The following Wikipedia entry on Charles Glen King , a man born and raised in Entiat is impressive, and may surprise some who may doubt the benefits that a small rural school in the heart of Washington State offers graduates.

" Charles Glen King (October 22, 1896 – January 23, 1988) was an American biochemist who was a pioneer in the field of nutrition research and who isolated vitamin C at the same time as Albert Szent-Györgyi. A biography of King states that many feel he deserves equal credit with Szent-Györgyi for the discovery of this vitamin.

King was born in Entiat, Washington to Charles Clement King and Mary Jane Bookwalter. He entered Washington State University early, as his local one-room school did not have a twelfth grade. ... World War I interrupted his college studies, where he served in the 12th Infantry, a machine gun company. He did not receive his B.S. in chemistry until 1918. He immediately departed for the University of Pittsburgh, earning his M.S. in 1920 and Ph.D. in 1923. From the outset of his graduate studies, the nascent field of vitamins interested him. He remained in Pittsburgh as a professor until 1942 when he left to become the first scientific director of the Nutrition Foundation, Inc., which worked to promote scientific and public health research, both in the U.S. and internationally.

King's contribution to the science of nutrition revolves around his isolation of vitamin C in 1931-1932 by studying the antiscorbic activities of guinea pigs with preparations from lemon juice. Albert Szent-Györgyi was conducting similar research at the University of Szeged in Hungary, focusing on hexuronic acid. The chemical identity of King's active substance was almost identical to Szent-Györgyi's hexuronic acid, but the research of S.S. Silva had declared the hexuronic acid was not vitamin C. However, within two weeks of each other in the spring of 1932, King first, and then Szent-Györgyi, published articles declaring that vitamin C and hexuronic acid were indeed the same compound. Szent-Györgyi would later win a Nobel Prize for his part in the discovery, and controversy remains over whether both men deserve equal credit. King later established the important functional role of vitamin B, and throughout his 40-year research career made many significant contributions in the areas of fats, enzymes and vitamins. King authored over 200 articles on good nutritional practices and the positive effects of vitamins.

Apart from his work with the Nutrition Foundation, King's public service activities involved creation of the USDA's Plant, Soil, and Nutrition Laboratory in Ithaca, New York. He helped establish the Food and Nutrition Board, dealing with food and nutrition problems in military and civilian populations, beginning in World War II and continuing through 1970. He also helped create the Food Protection Committee, the Recommended Dietary Allowances, the Protein Advisory Group, and the International Union of Nutritional Sciences. He also served on the advisory council to the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases. King officially retired from the Nutrition Foundation in 1963, only to begin a second career as associate director of the Institute of Nutrition Sciences and a consultant to the Rockefeller Foundation."

In researching Dr. King, I came across this letter by his son, Dr Robert B. King, who was a leader in American Neurosurgery to Irene J. Stare of Welles, Massachusetts, an editor at Nutrition Reviews. I loved reading about his father's experiences roaming the hills of the Entiat Valley and fishing in the river.

I also found this map of the property of his family's home in Entiat. Several accounts of C.C. King are to be found in "Under the Guard of Ole Tyee" , by Albert Long. From page 19, "Charles Clement "C.C." King with his wife, Mary, and family came to the Entiat Valley about 1895 and settled one and a half miles up the river. The Kings had one daughter and four sons: Anna ( Hanan) , Roy, Lawrence, Paul and Glenn. "

This quote is from Entiat Valley Early Settlers , by Arden Harris , pg 3 of Under the Guard of Old Tyee: " Charlie King was the first postmaster and had the reputation which he still holds, of being able to tell the best and the biggest deer hunting stories of any man in the valley. "

There is always something new to learn about our history, and how it affects our lives today. We are fortunate residents of a community that sees itself as ever changing, and with great potential.

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