The King Family – Early Pioneers of the Texas Panhandle

This article was written for the White Deer Land Museum by Linda Olson, great-granddaughter of C.W. and Mary Ann King and grand-daughter of Martha Elizabeth(Mattie) (King) Davis. C.W. and Mary Aim King moved to Mobeetie, Texas in 1907. The town of Mobeetie (Hidetown) was first established in 1875 as a trading post for Fort Elliott. Fort Elliott had been established in June, 1875 as one of the last strong-holds set up by Texas and the U.S. army for protecting pioneers from the Indians.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

Originally, known as the “Cantonment of Sweetwater”, Fort Elliott was erected half- mile south of the head of Sweetwater Creek. Good water was sacred to the early pioneers who settled the Panhandle of Texas. It meant the difference between survival and non- survival…success and failure. Mobeetie formally organized on April 12, 1879, has been called the Mother City of the Panhandle. It is the oldest town in the Texas Panhandle, according to some sources.

C.W. King, his wife Mary Ann, and children, Allen, Martha Elizabeth (Mattie), and Jim, settled in Mobeetie in the winter of 1907. C.W. preceded his wife and family to Mobeetie. He purchased the hotel from Mr. Grigsby. According to Mrs. Sally Harris, author of Hidetown – In The Texas Panhandle-100 Years in Wheeler County, Mr. King met Mrs. King and the children in Shamrock at the Rock Island train station. Mr. King arrived with “a fine set up in the hack. There was a coal stove with a pipe to take the smoke out of the inside and it was all fired up with coal this freezing winter day to keep them warm on the road to Mobeetie.”

C.W. later sold the hotel to move into the “Old Rock House” on Sweetwater Creek. The Old Rock House is now the site of a Texas Historical Marker and is currently owned by Joe VanZandt. According to Mattie, daughter of CW. and Mary Ann King, her father was the one who broke the land out for the first time on the flat top at the north side of the section and planted cotton. She said that her father had many fine cotton crops for several years. They were still farming the land in 1913 when Mr. King became post master at Mobeetie and served in that capacity for five years until they moved to Hansford County. Mr. Witherspoon was appointed to postmaster of Mobeetie on August 5, 1918. Mr. King was a businessman in Spearman and served as Hansford County Judge from 1925-1932.

Mary Ann (Klinglesmith) King, wife of C.W. is noted in many of the early historical accounts of Garvin and Cleveland counties of Oklahoma. From Bluestem to Golden Trend notes that she taught the first class of the Noble Academy which opened in 1890. She was the daughter of Louis P. and Elizabeth Klinglesmith of Hardin County, Kentucky. This branch of the Klinglesmith family left their home outside of Elizabethtown, Kentucky in 1876. Many homes in the south were burned down by the Union General Tecumseh Sherman. This home has been restored and is now the site of a Kentucky Historical Marker.

After their home was burned, life was hard in the post-civil war south. Circa 1876, Louis and Elizabeth Klinglesmith and their children left Kentucky and initially relocated in the Pottsborough/Fort Johnson area of Texas. Around 1887, they moved from this area to Pauls Valley, Indian Territory, just south of the present day Noble and Norman, Oklahoma. Mary Ann Klinglesmith, daughter of Louis and Elizabeth Klinglesmith married C.W. King on May 3, 1896.

Louis Allen King, the eldest son of C.W. and Mary Ann attended West Texas State Normal College in Canyon, Texas. He was a member of the Sons of Liberty Club at the college. He was also a member of the intercollegiate debate team composed of Grady and Emmett Hazelwood, Lester Hill, A.D. Payne, and Virgil Dodson. He graduated from West Texas State Normal College in Canyon during the Twelfth Commencement on June 3, 1922. He married Grace Perriman on May 27, 1923.

Martha Elizabeth (Mattie) King, the eldest daughter married J.W. Davis of Spearman on 9-4-1924. She was active in many civic and church organizations in Spearman.

James William (Jim) King, the youngest son, married Wanda Johnson on 9-8-1928.

This family lineage has been documented and traced to time Shipleys of Maryland who first came to Anne Arundel County, Maryland in the 1600’s.

Over 200 Articles, written by Eloise Lane, were published in the Pampa News. These articles may be accessed by clicking on each section below. A list of articles will be revealed that are linked to a page containing the text of the article.

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