Biography of George W. King

George W. King, of near Basalt, Garfield county, was born on January 11, 1854, at Huntsville, Alabama, and grew to maturity there with his young life overshadowed by the momentous issues of the Civil war. He is the son of Joseph and Sarah J. (Johnson) King, who remained in Alabama until 1885, then moved to Arkansas, and later on to Texas. The father was a physician and farmer, and met with fair success in both lines of usefulness. He was an active Democrat in politics and a Freemason and an Odd Fellow in fraternal relations. Both he and his wife were Methodists. The mother died on February 5, 1890, and he on February 5, 1899. Seven of their ten children survive them: John H., of Dallas, Texas; James E., of Greer county, Oklahoma; William H., of Mt. Vernon, Missouri; Joseph H. and Clara L. (Mrs. E.H. Curtis), both of Dallas; George W., of Garfield county; Mattie, wife of John S. Routt, of Fannin county, Texas; and Ledonia, of Basalt, this state. George W. King is a self-made man. He attended school very little, being obliged at an early age to aid his parents on the home farm, which he did until he was twenty years old. He then rented a farm for himself and worked it two years. In 1877 he located in Washington county, Texas, where he was given the entire management of a large plantation in the interest of John S. Smith, who was an extensive cotton-grower. In 1878 he moved into Indian Territory, and soon afterward into Lawrence county, Missouri, where he farmed until 1879. He then started across the plains to Colorado with mule teams, and after his arrival in this state he freighted until 1880, then traded his outfit for cattle, and while developing his stock industry worked as a ranch hand for W.H. Berry at the head of Current creek, remaining in his service until June, 1882, when he formed a partnership with Sterling P. Sloss (see sketch on another page) under the firm name of King & Sloss, and started a dairy business that they continued until October of that year. At that time Mr. King moved to South Park and later to Pueblo, devoting the greater part of his time to painting. He next located at Ashcroft, where he conducted a dairy until October 6, 1883. From there he moved to Aspen and continued his dairy business at that point until the summer of 1884. Disposing of his interest to his partner, in June of the same year he purchased a ranch on Sopris creek and was occupied in ranching and raising cattle until November, 1900, on this place. He sold it at that time and moved to the one he now occupies, which he bought on October 23, 1902. This ranch is near Basalt and comprises one hundred and fifty acres, and on it crops of hay, potatoes, corn and other grain are successfully raised, but cattle are the chief product and main source of profit. The ranch is conceded to be one of the best in the region, and his management of it is first class. He belongs to the Woodmen of the World and the Odd Fellows, and in political affiliation is an unwavering Democrat. On November 5, 1882, he married Miss Sophronia M. Martin, a native of Marshall county, Alabama, and daughter of Asbury and Martha (Pogue) Martin, who were born and reared in Georgia and moved to Alabama soon after their marriage. The father was a planter, and in the Civil war gave his life in defense of his convictions, being killed in the Confederate army in 1863. He was an earnest and zealous working Democrat and prominent in the councils of his party in his section. Five children were born to them, all of whom are living: James H. resides in Pitkin county, this state, on Sopris creek; William T. on Frying Pan creek, Eagle county; Emanuel C. at Santa Ana, California; Mrs. King in Garfield county; Josephine, wife of W.H. Barker, at Fruita, Mesa county; and her mother lives with her there. Mr. and Mrs. King have had six children. Everett died on October 31, 1897, and Geneva, Joseph S., Sallie, Ella and Lizzie B. are living. The parents are members of the Methodist church. Being prosperous in their business, well esteemed by the people around them, and in full view of the progress and development of the state, they are well pleased with Colorado, and loyal to its interests in every way.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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