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Horace P. King

At the Nome municipal election in April. 1904. H. P. King received the highest number of votes cast for any of the candidates for the office of councilman, and when the new council organized Mr. King was unanimously elected mayor of Nome. He discharged the duties of his office with ability and to the credit of the electors of Nome. Mr. King was not a stranger to politics when he was elected to the Nome council, as he had served two terms in the legislature of Nebraska, filled the office of county commissioner, was president of the council in Friend, Nebraska, for several years, and was president of the school board of his district for a period of nine years. Mr. King was born in Brooklyn, New York. May 26, 1847. His father was in the mercantile business. He moved to Warrensburg, New York, and engaged in business at that place until the subject of this sketch was eleven years old, when the family went west and located on a farm near Monroe County, Wisconsin. This change of residence and vocation was made on account of the failing health of the father. Here H. P. King lived until he was nineteen. As the country was new and without educational advantages, the young man did not have the opportunity to go to school. Up to the time of leaving Warrensburg he attended the public school of that place, and after his father's death he returned to Warrensburg and attended the Warrensburg Academy for one year. Returning from school he continued to reside in Wisconsin until 1870, when he went to Nebraska, locating in Seward County where he followed farming, subsequently settling in Friend, Saline County, and engaging in the mercantile business. He has represented both of these counties in the state legislature.

During his first term, the legislature elected a United States Senator. The contestants were A. S. Paddock and Charles H. Van Wyck. Mr. King supported Paddock, who was defeated by one vote. Six years later Mr. King was nominated by the Republican party as a candidate for the legislature from Saline County. After the convention had adjourned the chairman of the county central committee demanded that all legislative nominees pledge themselves to support Senator Van Wyck for re-election. Mr. King was the only nominee who refused to make the pledge. He said he would agree to support the caucus nominee, but this was not satisfactory, and the party machinery and the Republican press of the county, with the exception of one newspaper, opposed his election. When the ballots were counted it was found that Mr. King was the only Republican elected to the legislature from Saline County. The old political battle between Paddock and Van Wyck was renewed in the legislature, and this time Paddock won by a majority of one vote. Mr. King came to Nome in 1899, and returned to the states in the fall of 1900. He came back to Nome in the spring of 1901, and has resided in this part of Alaska ever since. In 1901 he went to Kewalik. Candle Creek had just been discovered, and Mr. King secured two lays from Blankenship on property that appeared to be very promising. One of these lays he traded for a grocery store on the Sandspit in Nome, and the other cost him some money trying to locate the pay-streak. Returning to Nome from this unsuccessful mining venture he conducted a grocery business on the Sandspit until after he was elected to the common council, when he moved his place of business to Front Street.

January 1, 1872, Mr. King and Miss Jennie Cunningham were married in Nebraska. Four children were born to them, two of whom, a son and daughter survive. H. Porter King, his son, a bright young man of 26 years, came to Nome in 1903, bringing his wife, and is associated with his father in business. The daughter, Maude, is the wife of Herbert Mclntyre of Omaha, Nebraska. Her mother resides with her.

Unpretentious and honest, possessing dignity and energy, Mr. King has won the respect, esteem and confidence of his fellow citizens of Nome, as indicated by the large vote he received for councilman and his unanimous election to the office of mayor.  

Source: Nome and Seward Peninsula by R. S. Harrison. Seattle: The Metropolitan Press, 1905.




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