Biography of Rev. Ira W. King

Rev. Ira W. King, pastor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and a prominent citizen of Alexandria, was born December 3, 1819, in North Carolina. He is the fourth of eight children born to Prof. Tho. H. And Ann (Harris) King. The father was a native of Virginia, born about 1790, of Scotch-Irish descent, a son of Henry King, also a native of Virginia. Tho. H. was reared and liberally educated in his native State. He went to Rockingham County, N. C., when a young man, where he married about 1810. In 1820 he moved to Williamson County, Tenn., and in 1832 located in Smith County. A few years prior to his death he went to Jackson County. He died in 1865. Many years of his early life were spent as a schoolteacher in North Carolina and Tennessee. He served as deputy sheriff and captain of militia for several years. The latter portion of his life was devoted to agricultural pursuits. His wife was born in North Carolina about the same year of his birth and died in 1873, a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Our subject was mostly educated at Castalian Springs, Sumner County, and at Lebanon, where he married in June 1843, Miss Deborah, daughter of Jackson N. and Elizabeth (Whitson) Brown. Of the ten children born to this union, four are living: Dr. Robt. W., of Gordonsville, Smith County; James D., A merchant of Wilson County; Emily C. (wife of John A. Gwaltney, of Smith County), and Mary J. (wife of A. J. Sullivan, a merchant and farmer, of Wilson County). Mrs. King was born in Wilson County in 1819 and died in 1874. February 16, 1876, our subject married Miss Tobitha L. Roundtree, who was born and reared in Rome, Smith County. Mr. King first settled in Wilson County as a teacher, two years later moved to Granville, Jackson County, where he taught about three years, after which he began farming. In 1850 he located at Gordonsville, Smith County. He spent two years in traveling for the American Tract Society, and since that time has been engaged in ministerial work and looking after his farm. In 1856 he was elected trustee of Smith, serving with so much satisfaction, that he was twice re-elected, making six years in all, and though strongly solicited to continue, declined. In 1866 he became superintendent of public instruction, which office he held two years. From 1856 to 1864 he had charge of Ebeneezer and Union Hill Churches. In 1864 he was appointed by Gov. Johnson as sheriff of Smith County to reorganize civil government. Judge McCleain appointed him clerk of circuit court but he declined to serve. All of his political positions were filled with credit and distinction. In 1875 he sold his farm and moved to Wilson County, purchasing property in the Fourth District. In 1884 he sold out and located at Alexandria.

December 1885, he assumed the pastorate of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and still holds it. For many years he has worked faithfully in this noble cause. He is greatly beloved by his entire flock. For thirteen years he had charge of a congregation in Wilson County. Since August 1886, he has been connected with the drug business, in partnership with his nephew, Ira W. King, the firm being known as Ira W. King & Co. He owns a commodious dwelling in Alexandria, with pleasant surroundings. He is a total prohibitionist, an old and prominent member of the Masonic order, and a strong advocate of general education. His wife and three children are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.



Goodspeed Publishing Co. History of Tennessee from the earliest time to the present. Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1887.

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