Tama County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Star Clipper Supplement
Traer, Iowa, February 25, 1887
History of North Tama
By Daniel Connell

Chapter XXI
William B. King

Mr. King was born May 12, 1812, in Geneseo county, New York, and until 1855 resided in that State engaged in farming. That year he removed to Tama county, settling in Union Grove, Spring Creek township, where he resided for thirty years. Mr. King was and active man and interested himself in all public matters. Seeing that railroads were needed and would be largely determined by local effort after the terminal points were established, he exerted himself to the utmost to early obtain a road through his neighborhood. In 1862 he was a member of the board of supervisors, serving two years. In 1863 he was elected Senator by the Republican party for this district, then as now composed of the counties of Benton and Tama, and served in the eleventh and twelfth General Assemblies. The convention that nominated Mr. King was held at Buckingham. Originally a Democrat, the repeal of the Missouri compromise led him to leave that party and unite with the Republican party, and from them obtained his political honors.

About 1873-4 he changed his views on questions of finance and became a member of the Greenback party. As a legislator in county and State business Mr. King was indefatable, painstaking, scrutinizing, attentive. He mastered the scope and detail of all questions before the body, and while not given to formally addressing the Senate in set speech, no one was in ignorance of his views on subject at issue. In the sense of interesting himself in public matters Mr. King is a politician in his nature. He is endowed with strong convictions, positive opinions and an inclination to express them. He is a good conversationalist, has an easy flow of language, courteous, hospitable, honest. Few men have been more popular among their neighbors.

In 1881 he was his party candidate for Senator, and in his town received twenty-five more votes than his party strength. The strength of his party in Spring Creek was largely due to his ceaseless zeal. In 1886 he removed to Nebraska. While in the Senate it was the great privilege of Mr. King to vote for the ratification of the amendment to the constitution of the United States prohibiting human slavery within its boundaries. It should have been said early in this sketch that Mr. King was one of the prime movers in procuring the establishment of a mail route from Vinton to LaFayette, and the first postoffice in his town called Spring Creek, of which he was the first postmaster in 1857-a matter of importance to his settlement at the time.

Continued next week

Chapter XXII

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