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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Harry King

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois," by J. O. Cunningham, 1905


HARRY KING, a dealer in coal and feed, at No. 413 North Neil Street, Champaign, Ill., was born in Suffolk County, England, May 14, 1845, the son of Henry and Elizabeth (Borham) King. The parents were natives of England, and both died there. The father was a blacksmith by trade, but followed the occupation of farming for fifteen years before he retired. He died in 1900, at the age of eighty-two years, his wife's death having occurred in 1896, when she was about seventy-eight years old. Both were members of the Established Church. Harry King is the eldest of three children: the others being Bessie (Mrs. J. L. Clover), who resides in England, and Walter, a clerk in the American Car & Foundry Company, in St. Louis, Mo. The subject of this sketch received his education in St. John's College, England. Later he taught in two private schools in England, and also prepared students for Rugby College. In 1866 he came to the United States, and secured a position as steward in the Erie Hotel, at Dunkirk, N. Y., where he remained for six months, then moving to Xenia, Ill., where he engaged in house painting. He next went to Rantoul, Ill., continuing in the same trade, and them removed to Gibson City, where he was engaged in the grain business for three or four years. From there he went to Farmer City, where he married. Later he went to Indianapolis, Ind., and from there, in 1886, to Champaign, where he has since remained. In 1886, Mr. King entered the employ of Fred P. Rush & Co., and remained with them for fifteen years. Their old elevator was torn down in 1889. On August 7, 1900, he engaged in his present business, dealing exclusively in coal and feed, and has been very successful. In politics Mr. King is a Republican, and socially he is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having passed all the chairs; has also been a member of the Encampment and of the Patriarchs Militant, and has served five times as representative in the Grand Lodge of Illinois. In religion he is a Presbyterian, his wife being a member of the Lutheran Church. Mr. King was first married July 4, 1878, to Elvira Jane Gibson, a native of Illinois, and daughter of John and Mary Gibson, both of whom are deceased. Two children were born of this union-Charles W., who assists his father in business, and Henry H., who died when two years old. Mrs. King, who was a devout member of the Presbyterian Church, died January 31, 1888, aged thirty-three years. On December 23, 1891, Mr. King took, as his second wife, Mary Lavina Weidlein, a native of Henry County, Ill., and a daughter of Andrew and Sarah Weidlein, who reside in Geneseo, Ill. Of this union five children have been born, namely: Jessie May, Nellie Hazel, Laura Ivy, Florence Myrtle and Henry Weidlein. Source: History of Champaign County , 1905 by J. O. Cunningham. Submitter's Note: A sixth child, Sarah Elizabeth King, was born in 1913. Submitted by Mary Margaret Jones

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