My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

ALONZO STERLING KING, senior member of the firm of King Brothers, proprietors of the King Silk Mill at Easthampton, Mass., was born in West Springfield on February 26, 1838, son of William D. and Elizabeth (Brown) King, and grandson of Robert and Sarah (Conkey) King. Robert King was born in Chesterfield, Mass., in 1770. He spent a portion of his life in the wilds of New York; but his last days were passed in West Springfield, Mass. He died there in August, 1838, and rests in the Elmwood Cemetery. His wife, Sarah Conkey before marriage, who was of Scotch Presbyterian descent, was born in Worcester County, Massachusetts. They reared six of the twelve children born of their union, but all have since passed away. She died in 1845, at upward of eighty years of age.

William D. King, who was born in New York in 1798, chose for his vocation the trade of a stone cutter, which he followed with success throughout his life. In 1849 he settled in Easthampton, being induced to come thither at the solicitation of a Mr. Williston. He did the stone work on the Payson church and the Williston Seminary buildings. The stone posts and curbing around his last resting place in the old Main Street Cemetery were the last work of his hands. He was married in 1827 to Miss Elizabeth Brown, of Newbury, Essex County, Mass. Her mother's maiden name was Mary Plummer; and she was born in the old Plummer home, which was owned by members of that family from 1635 to about 1845. The union of Mr. and Mrs. King resulted in eight children, as follows: Dolly E., wife of Orrin Moore, of Brimfield, Mass.; Henrietta, who married Laban Smith, and died in Connecticut in 1893, at sixty-three years of age; Mary J., wife of Dwight L. Clark, living in Easthampton; Alonzo Sterling King, the subject of this sketch; Mrs. H. Adaline Thompson, a widow, and a regular physician with a large practice in Bridgeport, Conn.; Charlotte, who married George W. Flagg, and lives at Northampton; Asahel B. King, junior member of the firm of King Brothers; and Charles F. King, who is married and lives in Oakland, Cal. Their mother was a remarkable woman, and retained her mental and bodily activity to within a few days of her death, which occurred on December 11, 1893, in the eighty-seventh year of her age.

Asahel B. King, who was born in West Springfield, now Holyoke, Mass., in 1847, afterward removed with his parents to Meriden, Conn.; and there at fourteen years of age he began to learn the trade of machinist. For two years he was employed in the government gun works, and from there he went to New Haven, where he continued to work at his trade until 1865, at which time he left to enter the employ of the Florence Sewing Machine Company. In 1866 he went to Northampton to live, and from that time up to 1881 he was employed by the Nonotuck Silk Company and by other parties in Florence and Leeds. He afterward joined his brother in the purchase of what is now known as the King Silk Mill, where they are doing a very successful business. On November 12, 1874, he was united in marriage with Miss Lizzie L. Field, of Northampton, a daughter of William E. and Lucretia L. (Dickinson) Field, the former of whom died in 1873, leaving his widow with two children. She is now seventy-six years of age, and is living with her daughter. Mr. and Mrs. King's home has been brightened by the birth of a daughter, Bessie F. King, a charming young lady now in her teens and an attendant of the high school. Mr. King is a stanch Republican. He is a member of Ionic Lodge, A. F. & A. M. His wife and daughter are members of the Congregational church. The family reside on Centre Street.

Alonzo Sterling King spent his early years in his parental home. In August, 1862, he entered the United States Navy as a volunteer, and served one year before the mast. What is now known as the King Silk Mills was established in 1876 at Glendale, Mass., and was then known as the Glenwood Silk Mills. This he conducted in partnership with O. G. Webster until the latter sold his interest to Asahel B. King, since which time the business has been carried on under the firm name of King Brothers. In 1884 the present plant was erected. It is a brick structure, two stories in height, with a basement. The main mill is one hundred and twenty feet long and forty feet in width, and has an L thirty by thirty-six feet in dimensions. Near by is the dye-house, which is one story in height and covers an area thirty by thirty-six feet. Although about seventy-five hands were formerly employed in the mill, a few less than thirty are now engaged there. The specialty is the manufacture of silk floss, organzine, and tram silks.

Mr. King has never married. Nevertheless, he has not lived for himself alone. He is one of the most reliable and active business men of Easthampton. He votes the Republican ticket and has always upheld the principles of that party. At the present time he is holding the town office of Assessor, and for four years has been a member of the fire department, of which he is Chief Engineer. He is affiliated with the Masonic Order and a member of Northampton Royal Arch Chapter. He is also Past Commander of George C. Strong Post, Grand Army of the Republic, No. 166, of which he is an active member.

* * * *

This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.