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Alexander King 

Alexander and Medora King
Courtesy Rev. J. Keith Cook

Alexander "Alex" King was born on Sept. 1, 1837 in Somerset County, PA, the son of Thomas R. and Sarah "Sally" (Younkin) King.

When he was age 23, in 1860, Alexander resided at home with his father and step-mother and helped with farming chores. 

A year later, in the autumn season of 1861, Alexander migrated west to Illinois. His sister and brother in law, Susan and Dr. James G. Elder followed in about 1868. They all settled initially in Padua, McLean County.

After arriving in Padua, on Sept. 25, 1865, Alexander married a local woman, Anna Bell Morain (Sept. 1,1844/1846-1876), daughter of Jonathan and Zipporah (Outen) Morain. Their marriage lasted for 11 years until the separation of death.

They were the parents of William Sherman King and Nora E. King.

Census records for 1870 show the family in Padua, with Alexander marked as a farmer.

Sadly, Anna Bell died on March 11, 1876, at the age of 32, in McLean County. The remains were interred in Frankeberger Cemetery in Ellsworth, McLean County.

Alexander grieved as a widower for about 19 months. Then on Nov. 2 (or 29), 1877, when he was 40 years of age, Alexander was united in marital union with his second wife, Medora R. "Dora" Morris (April 1851-1937), a native of Ohio and the daughter of Israel Morris. Their wedding ceremony was held in Champaign County, IL.

The couple produced three more children -- Charles Morris King, Richard "Dick" King and Maggie May King.

Alexander became a member of the local Methodist Episcopal Church in Fisher, Champaign County in 1879. Federal census records for 1880 show the family residing on a farm in Condit, Champaign County. They pulled up stakes in 1883 and moved to Nebraska, settling on a homestead near Emmet, Holt County, where daughter Maggie May was born in 1885. After a stay of nine years in Holt, they moved once more to a rented farm in Enterprise in the Mira Valley section of Valley County, NE. They are shown there in the 1900 federal census enumeration record.


Sunday School rally in Ord, Nebraska, early 1900s


Alexander wrote and signed an affidavit in February 1903 in support of his sister Susan Elder's efforts to secure a Civil War soldier widow's pension.

In February 1909, living in Ord, Valley County, NE, the Kings made news in the gossip columns of the Gibson City (IL) Courier when they traveled to Illinois to visit Alexander's widowed sister Susan Elder in Fisher.

The United States Census of 1910 lists the family as farmers in Vinton, Valley County. That year, 29-year-old bachelor son Dick and 25-year-old daughter Maggie were unmarried and living in their household and providing labor on the farm.

Alexander passed into eternity in Ord on Nov. 2, 1918. Rev. Hosman officiated at the funeral service, followed by burial in Ord Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave] An obituary in the Ord Quiz said that "When at the end of a long and useful life, a man can lay down the burden with the knowledge that he has so lived his life that everyone who knew him or came in contact with him, grieves at his going, he had not lived in vain. Such a man was Mr. King, a faithful neighbor, a true friend, a good man. He left his impression upon the community where he lived and though his body has been laid in the cemetery on the hill north of town, he will still live on in the minds of those who knew him and loved him."

Medora outlived her spouse by 19 years. The Angel of Death carried her away in Ord at the age of 85 on Feb. 12, 1937.

~ Son William Sherman King ~

William and Anna King. Courtesy Rev. J. Keith Cook

Son William Sherman King (1866-1954) was born on Nov. 17, 1866 in Champaign County, IL. He may well have been named for the famed Union Army general of the Civil War, William Tecumseh Sherman. After the death of his mother, when he was about 10, he lived with his father and stepmother in Condit, Champaign County circa 1880. Then in 1883, he likely joined his family in a move to a homestead farm near Emmet, Holt County, NE. During that period of time, on April 24, 1890, in nuptials held at Fisher, Champaign County, the 23-year-old William was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with 19-year-old Anna Elizabeth Cochran (Aug. 5, 1870-1943), the daughter of John Cornelius and Louisa (Gibson) Cochran. The couple almost immediately established a home with or near his parents in Holt County, NE. Five children were born to this union -- Nellie May King, Clara Belle King, Maggie "Grace" Royer, William Irving Cochran King and Theodore Roosevelt King. Grief cascaded over the family at the deaths of daughter Nellie May in infancy on May 31, 1891, with burial in Vinton Cemetery. Inscribed at the bottom of her small grave marker is the Scripture verse from Matthew 19:14, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven."

William and Anna migrated with his parents in about 1891 to a farm in Enterprise in the Mira Valley section of Valley County, NE. They appear to have spent the rest of their long lives farming in the valley. Reported the Ord Quiz, "In youth Mrs. King affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal church but later united with the United Brethren church at Midvale and at the time of her death was a member of the U.B. Church of Ord. She was active in church work, serving in various capacities most efficiently. She was a member also of the Jolly Sisters club and of the Woman's Home Missionary society." They retired in 1930, a year in which William celebrated his 64th birthday, and moved into the town of Ord. The couple were members of the Evangelical United Brethren Church. In April 1940, they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Anna suffered a long decline in health and passed into eternity at age 72 on May 16, 1943. Rev. P.W. Rupp preached her funeral sermon. William outlived her by 11 years. Sadly, at the age of 87 and after enduiring a year of poor health, William died in Ord on April 12, 1954. Burial was in Ord City Cemetery, and an obituary published in the Quiz. A short death notice in the Lincoln (NE) Journal Star noted that he was a "farmer and long time resident of Valley County."


Left: Clara Belle and Maggie Grace. Right: William and Anna in later years..
Courtesy Rev. J. Keith Cook


  • Granddaughter Clara Belle King (1892-1985) was born on Aug. 30, 1892. Evidence suggests that she did not marry. She became a teacher of English at Washington High School in East Chicago, Lake County, IN. She is known to have been there in 1929-1954. She made news in the gossip columns of the Munster (IN) Times when she traveled to see her parents in Nebraska in June 1936 and then took a driving trip to New Orleans. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1940, she and fellow teacher Lillian Sowerby shared an apartment in East Chicago owned by Wayne and Florence Wilson. At the end of her life, she was back in Ord, Valley County, NE and died at the age of 92 on March 30, 1985.
  • Granddaughter Maggie "Grace" King (1896-1974) was born on Sept. 11, 1896 in Valley County, NE. Upon her graduation from high school, she became a school teacher and taught in Ord and other communities in Nebraska. She obtained a degree in 1922 from York College and a masters degree in home economics in 1928 from the University of Chicago. She accepted a position with the University of Mississippi in Oxford and eventually created its Home Economics Department. She relocated to California in the 1940s, where on March 19, 1949 she wedded fellow school teacher Clinton Stover Royer (July 15, 1895-1968), a native of Arcadia, CA and the son of David and Emma (Quinten) Royer. He was divorced from Nene Sorensen (1896-1980) and brought an adult son to the marriage, James S. Royer. He also was a U.S. Army veteran of World War I and a recipient of the Purple Heart. They made a residence in Lancaster, Los Angeles County, CA, where he belonged to the Lancaster United Methodist Church, Antelope Valley Post of the American Legion and Porter Lodge of the Masons. Clint died at the age of 73 on Aug. 31, 1968. His remains were shipped to Ord for interment, with an obituary appearing in the Ord Quiz. As a widow, Grace maintained her residence in California until the last year of her life, when she returned to her old hometown of Ord to reside with her sister. She passed into eternity at the age of 77 on Feb. 2, 1974. Burial was in Ord City Cemetery following funeral services in the United Methodist Church of Ord.
  • Grandson William "Irving" Cochran King (1899-1993) was born on June 12, 1899 in Ord, Valley County, NE, where he spent his entire life. Irving married Esther Bethene Ingerson (1899-1958), daughter of James Eber and Addie (Mayers) Ingerson. She was a native of Gresham, NE who had grown up in Worthington, MN and then in Ord. Their four known children were Neola Bethene King, Thelma Marie Harkness, Harold Irving King and Eva Esther Rice. Sadness swept over the family at the death of infant daughter Neola in 1923. The Kings lived on a farm for years southwest of Ord. Esther died from lingering heart problems at the age of 59 on July 9, 1958. An obituary noted that her funeral service was held at the Ord Methodist Church, led by Rev. E.H. Sohl, with music performed by Orel Koelling and Mrs. Orin Kellison.
  • Grandson Theodore Roosevelt "Ted" King (1903-1979) was born on Sept. 20, 1903 in Valley County, NE. He was named for the popular President of the United States. He did not marry. After graduation from high school, he received a degree in 1926 from the Nebraska College of Agriculture in Lincoln. He applied that knowledge to a lifetime of farming near the town of Ord in Valley County. He belonged to the Sod House Society and was an honorary member of the Alpha Gamma Rho Agricultural Fraternity. He died at the age of 75 on May 12, 1979. Burial was in Ord City Cemetery, with Rev. Earl Reed presiding over the funeral service. In an obituary, the Ord Quiz reported that "Michael Johnson sang, 'The Old Rugged Cross' and 'Abide With Me', accompanied by Mrs. Freda Beerline. Pallbearers were Gary Harkness, James King, Alan King, Ronald Rice, and Mike Rice."

~ Daughter Nora E. King ~

Daughter Nora E. King (1868- ? ) was born in about 1868 in Illinois. Shew grew up in Condit, Champaign County, IL. She was deceased by 1918.

~ Son Charles Morris King ~

Son Charles Morris King (1878-1977) was born in Oct. 1878 in Champaign County, IL. He was three years of age when he was brought by his family to a farm near Emmet, Holt County, NE. Then in 1892, the 14-year-old migrated again to Mira Valley in Valley County, NE. On New Year's Day 1903, at the age of 24, Charles was joined in wedlock with Myrtle Belle Stark (1877-1957), daughter of James Jefferson and Druzilla A. (McNeff) Stark. The couple's only known son was Charles "Merritt" King. They farmed in Mira Valley for about 43 years, until retirement circa 1946. From there they moved in 1946 to Central City. They joined the Christian Church in Central City and were active members. After their son apparently relocated to California in the 1950s, Charles and Myrtle moved there as well and made a home in Redlands, San Bernardino County. Myrtle passed away in Redlands at the age of 80 on Nov. 27, 1957. Her remains were lowered into repose in Hillside Memorial Park. Charles spent the next two decades as a widower and returned to his old hometown of Ord. He enjoyed attending services at the Christian Church in Ord until he became too infirm to go. He died in Ord at the age of 97 on Oct. 2, 1977. Funeral services were conducted at his church by Rev. R.E. Buchtel, with music performed by vocalist Eldon Mulligan and organist Mrs. Paul Wray. Pallbearers included Paul Wray, Charles Hackel, Leonard Marks, Russell Hackel, Fern Johnson and Archie Mason. He rests in Ord City Cemetery.

  • Grandson Charles "Merritt" King (1914-2002) was born on Oct. 14, 1914 in Ord, Valley County, NE. He relocated to Southern California and lived in or near San Bernardino County. He was married. Merritt died in California on Aug. 17, 2002, at the age of 87. An epitaph on his grave marker reads "Always Smiling."

~ Son Richard "Dick" King ~

Son Richard "Dick" King (1881-1939) was born on March 13, 1881 in Champaign County, IL. Then in 1883, he relocated with his family to a homestead farm near Emmet, Holt County, NE. After a stay of nine years in Holt, they moved once more to a rented farm in Enterprise in the Mira Valley section of Valley County, NE. On June 14, 1910, in nuptials held at Grand Island, NE, the 29-year-old Dick wedded 30-year-old Emma Prien (April 21, 1880-1954), a native of Fulton, IA and the daughter of Henry George and Johanna Wilhelmina (Selk) Prien. The couple produced a family of three known children, including Irma B. King, Richard Alec King and Irene E. Jelinek. For the first decade of the marriage, Dick and Emma lived on his parents' farm in the valley. The Kings were plunged into grief in 1915 at the untimely death of three-year-old daugher Irma. Then in 1920, they moved to a farm near North Loup, NE, remaining for good. In poor health for several years, and bedfast for the final six weeks, Dick died on March 11, 1939, just two days shy of his 58th birthday. At his funeral service, a quartet of singers provided musical selections, with Mamie Young officiating as a representative of the United Brethren Church. Burial was in Ord Cemetery. Emma survived her spouse by 15 years. She died at age 74 on July 8, 1954. Funeral services were held in St. John's Lutheran Church of Ord, with an obituary printed in the Ord Quiz. Interment was in Ord City Cemetery.

  • Grandson Richard Alec King (1916-1991) was born on Nov. 4, 1916 in Ord. He married Helen B. Kess (July 31, 1912-1981), widow of Fred W. Kess. They were the parents of Richard "Rick" King. Over the years, Richard belonged to Local 404 of the Brotherhood of Carpenters Union. She passed into eternity on Jan. 8, 1981. Richard lived for another decade, with an address of 6800 A Street. On April 6, 1991, Richard died in Lincoln. A death notice was published in the Lincoln Journal Star. They rest in Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, with Helen next to her first husband. Son Rick married Tami and they have a son Jesse.
  • Granddaughter Irene Emma King (1918-2008) was born on Dec. 10, 1918 in Ord. She married Jelinek ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of Kenneth Ray Jelinek, Connie Jelinek and Randy Jelinek. In 1973, her address was 1545 South 26th Street. At her 80th birthday, in 1998, she held an open house and was pictured in the Lincoln Journal Star. She was gathered in by the spirit of death at age 89 on March 27, 2008. Interment was in Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln. Son Kenneth Ray Jelinek moved to Madison, WI and on Nov. 27, 1987 married Dr. Jane Marshall Pembertson.

~ Daughter Maggie May King ~

Daughter Maggie May King (1885-1986) was born on Feb. 9, 1885 near Emmet, Holt County, NE. As a young girl, she moved with her parents to a rented farm in Enterprise in the Mira Valley section of Valley County, NE. She never married and lived to the age of 101. She dwelled for decades in Ord, Valley County, NE, and in 1940 lived by herself in her own household, with no occupation. She succumbed to death in Ord in May 1986.


Copyright 2014, 2019, 2022

Research for this page graciously shared by the late Donna (Younkin) Logan, Sylvester Everhart Jr., Linda Marker, Marian (Smith) Posey, Laurel Posey, Loretta (Adams) Kelldorf and Kay Lynn Younkin.