The subject of this sketch, H.F. King, is one of the solid, substantial farmers and stock men of Lyon township. He started upon his career with out a shilling in his pocket, but by shrewd management and industry, has gained a comfortable fortune. Through these qualities a magic change has been brought about and today his farm products and stock interests yield him a handsome income.
Mr. King was born in Trumbull county, Ohio, in 1852. His parents were Richard and Maria (Wiley) King. His father was a native of Connecticut, but removed to the state of New York and later to Ohio, He visited California in 1854 and after remaining in that state several years returned to Ohio, where he died in 1860. He was a wagon and carriage maker by trade. Our subject's paternal grandfather was a patriot of the Revolutionary war, and the bayonet he carried is in the possession of one of Mr. King's brothers, and bears the scars of many battles. Mr. King's mother was born in Cattaraugus county, New York. She was of English ancestry. Mr. King received a common school education and continued to live in Trumbull county until he attained his twenty-fifth year. He was but eight years old when his father died and his mother's limited means of support prompted her to find a home for her son where he could earn his board and clothes. When seventeen years of age, he started out with the determination to stem the tide of fortune upon his own responsibility and resources. After working as a farm hand one year, and about the same length of time in a cheese factory, he entered the employ of an extensive tinware concern and sold their goods throughout the country districts. With this firm he acquired his start in the world, saving a thousand dollars in the five years he was associated with them. Imbued with the desire to own land he came westward and after looking over the situation in Iowa, he came with his brother, C.C. King to Kansas, in 1878, and homesteaded in Ottawa county. He also secured a timber claim adjoining. In 1878, Mr. King bought one-half section of land where he now lives. It was an unimproved tract, owned by James R. King, an iron bridge manufacturer of Ohio, to whom it was deeded by a brother, Chas. King. Mr. King sold his homestead in Ottawa county, but retained the timber claim and bought eighties. He now owns eight hundred acres of valuable wheat and pasture land, five hundred acres of which is under fence. The family lived in a basement from 1883 until 1897, when it was used for a foundation for a substantial frame house. The farm is well equipped with stock, barns and sheds. He keeps a herd of about eighty head of Herefords and feeds a half hundred hogs in ordinary years.
January 2, 1880, Mr. King was married to Caddie Stoddard, a daughter of Frank and Delia (Earl) Stoddard. Her father was born in Chenango county, New York, January 8, 1838, and was married to Delia Earl, July 3, 1861; she was born in Delaware county, New York, in 1840. Mrs. King was also born in Delaware county, in 1862. When about eight years of age she came with her parents to Rock Island, Illinois. One year later they removed to Macon county, Missouri, where they lived on a farm for eight years. The then came to Kansas and are now residents of Norton. Her father was a member of Company K, One hundred and Forty-fourth New York Infantry, served throughout the Civil war and was mustered out in August, 1865.
By occupation Mr. Stoddard has always been a farmer and carpenter. Of a large family of children he is one of five that are living. A sister, Mrs. Mary Teed, of Denver; a brother at Asbury Park, N.J.; Chester Stoddard is a resident of Sidney, New York; and George, of Moline, Illinois.
A brother, the late C.H. Stoddard, who started life in a very humble way, became prominent in both social and financial circles. From a "ginseng" peddler he rose to prominence, acquiring a fortune and an enviable reputation as a civil engineer and financier. For forty years he lived in the city of Rock Island, Illinois. Early in life he learned engineering, receiving academic instructions in Oxford academy, New York, following that vocation throughout the states of New York and Pennsylvania. He assisted in laying the first railroad over the Alleghany mountains in 1849-50. He was principal of the public schools of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. In 1851 he located in Rock Island, where he was engaged in civil engineering for forty years. He assisted in locating the Rock Island railroad from Davenport across the state of Iowa; also the old Rockford, and the Rock Island and St. Louis railroad, now the C.B. & Q. During the early part of his career he devoted much time in locating government lands in Iowa. He represented many financial interests; was a stockholder in the Rock Island Watch Company; the Rock Island Glass Company, and the Rock Island Stove Company, and was a director of the Rock Island and Milan railroad; the Rock Island National Bank and the Moline National Bank.
Mr. King is the eldest of six children, - three sons and three daughters, - all of whom are living. Earl, the eldest son, is a bridge builder, and resides in Trenton, Nebraska; Charles is a farmer of Lyon township; Anna is the wife of Freeman Nicholson, of Norton, Kansas; Hardin is a farmer of Norton county; and Myrtle, the youngest daughter and child in the family.
Mr. and Mrs. King's family consists of four children. Their eldest, Richard Franklin, graduated from the Glasco high school and has taught two terms of school. He made a record worthy of mention. While attending the Glasco high school, he rode from home, a distance of six miles, through all sorts of weather and was neither tardy nor absent for one year. He has just attained his majority and occupies a prominent place in the management of the farm and stock. Clara Stella is an accomplished young lady of considerable musical talent. She graduated from District No. 46, in 1901, and is now a student in the Glasco high school. The two younger children are Horace and Anis Alberta. Politically, our subject is a Republican. Mr. and Mrs. King are very worthy people and contribute to the support of every worthy cause.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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