Biography of Major J. Berry King

J. Berry King is now engaged in the general practice of law in Muskogee. Born in Harrison, Arkansas, May 29, 1888, he is a son of Alfred and Laura (McCormick) King, the father a banker and merchant of Harrison for a number of years, there successfully carrying on extensive business interests. In 1909, however, he removed to Oklahoma, where he resided until his death, which occurred in December, 1918.

Major King received a public and high school education in Springfield, Missouri, and afterward attended the University of Arkansas, from 1903 until 1907. He then made preparation for his professional career as a law student in the University of Virginia and is numbered among its alumni of 1910. In that year he opened an office in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where he engaged in practice until. 1917, being associated with Hon. W. W. Hastings. Upon the election of Mr. Hastings to congress Major King removed to Muskogee, where he has since devoted his attention to general practice, and his clientage is now very extensive and of an important character. He is well grounded in the principles of common law and remains a diligent student of those elementary principles that constitute the basis of all legal science. This knowledge has served him well in many a legal battle before the court, in which he has won many cases. His mind is analytical, logical and inductive, and his ability to accurately apply law principles to the points in litigation is one of the strong factors in his effectiveness as an advocate.

Major King was devoting his entire attention to his law practice when war was declared in Washington, D. C. Soon afterward he was appointed an assistant to the alien property custodian of the United States and he it was who seized the first alien property in this country the Faber Pencil Works at Newark, New Jersey. For three months he was associated with A. Mitchell Palmer, A. P. C., in this work and then enlisted as a volunteer on the 4th of February, 1918, becoming an infantry private.

Shortly afterward he was advanced to the rank of First Lieutenant and was made aide-de-camp to General E. H. Crowder, under whom he served as assistant executive officer. Later he was promoted to a captaincy and subsequently was made major, being sent to Europe in September, 1918, as judge advocate of the Seventy-seventh Division. He was in France at the time of the signing of the armistice and later was with the Army of Occupation in charge of rents, requisitions and claims. As the army moved into Coblenz, Germany, he was with the Third Army Headquarters, serving as court officer for the troops and acting as president of a special court. He was named judge advocate to prosecute homicide cases before the superior provost court. Thus he was engaged until June, 1919, receiving his discharge on the 17th of that month. The office of United States district attorney for the eastern district of Oklahoma was tendered him but he did not accept, preferring to return to the private practice of his profession in Muskogee.

Major King is the vice president of the Kiwanis Club of Muskogee and also has membership in the Country Club, of which he is one of the directors. He likewise belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and is a member of the Sequoyah Club. He is fond of golf and all outdoor sports but never allows these to interfere with the faithful performance of his professional duties.

He fights his legal battles with the same ardor and earnestness that marked his service as a veteran in the World war, and he is now a valued member of the Muskogee Bar Association, also of the Oklahoma State and American Bar Associations.


Benedict, John Downing. Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma: including the counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922.

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