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King, Richard

Born: 1824 AD
Died: 1885 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Businessmen, Entrepreneurs, Founder

1824 – Richard King, born on the 10th of July in New York City to poor Irish parents. He was a riverman, steamboat entrepreneur, livestock capitalist, and founder of the King Ranch. He was reared in Orange County, New York, until age nine, when he was indentured to a jeweler in Manhattan.

1835 – 1841 – With the exception of eight months of formal schooling with Holland’s family in Connecticut, He pursued steamboating on Alabama rivers; he was a pilot by age sixteen.

1835 – He broke his apprenticeship and shipped as a stowaway on the Desdemona for Mobile, Alabama. He was discovered, taken in as a "cabin cub," and schooled in the art of navigation by captains Hugh Monroe and Joe Holland.

1842 – He enlisted under Capt. Henry Penny for service in the Seminole War in Florida, where he met Mifflin Kenedy,qv who became his lifelong friend and business mentor.

1847 – He plied the muddy waters of the Apalachicola and Chattahoochee rivers, when he joined Kenedy on the Rio Grande for Mexican Warqv service. Commanding the Colonel Cross, he served for the war’s duration transporting troops and supplies.

1850 – 1866 – He remained on the border after the war and became a principal partner in the steamboat firms of M. Kenedy and Company and King, Kenedy and Company.

1854 – On the 10th of December, at Brownsville, He married Henrietta M. Chamberlain.

1860 – With partners James Walworth and Mifflin Kenedy, King established a livestock concern, R. King and Company, to manage the holdings, and he moved off the Rio Grande to the Nueces rancho to develop the ranching business.

1869 – 1884 – He sent more than 100,000 head of livestock up the trails to northern markets, thus helping to stock the developing ranges of the American West and to establish the American ranching industry.

1894 – A letter written to Robert Kleberg, Kenedy reminisced that "for almost fifty years, Captain King and I attempted to Americanize the border, without much success."

1885 – Died on the 14th of April, and was buried at San Antonio.

1925 – His body was reburied with his beloved wife’s at Kingsville, the town established on his ranchland and named for him.