Mention the Sampson County History Museum and two names automatically come to mind — David and Jeannie King.
Truth be told, people probably wouldn’t even utter the words History Museum were it not for the couple who have put their heart, mind, body and soul, — not to mention a great deal of blood, sweat and probably a few tears — into making the treasure trove of Sampson heritage a place people want to visit.
There are others who shared the dream — Claude Moore, Fes Turlington, Oscar Bizzell, George Upton, Dan Bailey and more — but none have been any more instrumental in ensuring it became a reality than the Kings, who retired a few months back after putting untold volunteer hours into developing, promoting, growing and maintaining the museum.
They were honored Saturday by the History Museum board and countless well-wishers who understand their value to this county. It was a tribute befitting the service the couple have given to the museum and to Sampson County.
Though humble and unassuming, often diverting credit for the History Museum’s success to everybody but themselves, the Kings have set the bar high for what will follow their departure from the facility, particularly in terms of ensuring more growth, more promotion and more traffic to a place that truly is one of Sampson’s greatest treasures.
At Saturday’s dedication, the Law Enforcement Building, one of about a dozen on the museum property, was named in the Kings honor, yet another well-deserved accolade, particularly given David King’s long tenured service to the N.C. Highway Patrol and his wife’s time working with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office.
The naming of the building will be a long-standing tribute to the Kings, a reminder for generations to come of the dedication and the hard work of two very deserving people.
In his tribute to the Kings Saturday, History Museum board member Tim Howard touted the Kings for their service and their deep devotion to the museum. In his words, “On behalf of everyone in Sampson County who has ever had the joy of walking into this marvelous place, (we have) to thank Jeannie and David King for what they have done for Sampson County and, in particular, for this magnificent museum.
We echo those remarks today, tipping our hat to a couple who have truly made an indelible mark on our county’s history.
Howard is right, words really cannot do justice to what the Kings have done to further the dream so many, including themselves, had for the history museum.
In fact, in this case, actions do speak far louder, and those actions, found in every building on the museum grounds, contribute volumes about the time, tenderness, tenacity and devotion David and Jeannie King put into making the facility the success it continues to be today.
We thank them and we applaud them for jobs very well done.