Probably no one man has in a more marked degree stamped the impress of his strong individuality upon the community
than has Charles King, whose efforts to develop this section and open it up for settlement have been rewarded with
most gratifying results. The qualities which have made him prominent and successful have also brought him the esteem
of his fellowmen, for his career has been one of well directed energy, strong determination and honorable methods.
Charles King is a native of the state of Tennessee born August 2, 1855. He was educated in the private schools
and was reared to the life of a farmer, which vocation he followed until 1888, when he came to Hanford. Here he
engaged in the buying and selling of live stock for two years, but in 1890 established the first fruit packing
house in this section of the state. Progressive and enterprising in his methods, he has never hesitated to pioneer
in any line if his judgment told him it was the right thing to do. In 1900 he disposed of his packing house interests
and entered the real estate field. In this work he also showed his initiative, for instead of merely buying and
selling at a nominal profits for handling, he improved the land before offering it to the public, and thus made
it more attractive and more nearly insured a permanent settler. He handled large tracts, and many of them, so that
his work was a vital factor in the settlement of the San Joaquin valley. He platted many divisions and did a great
deal of colonization work, being recognized as one of the largest land developers in the district.
As an instance of Mr. King's methods, in 1910 he took up a large tract of land in Fresno county, then went before
the state legislature and had that land annexed to Kings county. He at once opened up this land to settlement and
in order to insure an outlet for the farm products he built and operated the Hanford & Summit Lake Railroad,
fifty two miles long. The result was a quick sale of the land. In 1917 he built what is known as King's Lake Shore
Railroad, twenty miles long, on the shores of Tulare lake, southwest of Corcoran. This road connects with the Santa
Fe Railroad and is largely used as a freight line and to haul out the grain produced in the Tulare lake district.
Thus Mr. King has not only advanced his individual interests, but he has contributed to an incalculable degree
to the convenience and prosperity of the people of his district. He is essentially public spirited and withholds
his support from no movement calculated to advance the welfare of the community. He is president of the First National
Bank of Hardwick.
Mr. King was first married in Tennessee on December 23, 1872, to Mary J. Biddle, by whom he had one son, Aubrey
V., now of Los Angeles, a speculator. The wife and mother died here in 1889. Mr. King was married in June, 1892,
at Los Banos, to Emma F. Parker, a native of Illinois. He belongs to the Presbyterian church and politically is
a democrat. Fraternally Mr. King is a member of Hanford Lodge No. 1259, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.
History of Tulare County, California
By: Kathleen Edwards Small
Kings County, California
By: J. Larry Smith
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
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