William King was born in Ontario, Canada on March 15, 1856 to Hiram and Prudence Dennis King. He was the eldest of four children. His siblings were Hiram, Peter and Jane.
William, his parents, and his brothers, Hiram and Peter, emigrated via ferry boat from Sarnia, Ontario, Canada to Port Huron, Michigan, U.S.A. in the fall of 1861. Jane was born after the family settled in what was to become Wilson Township of Alpena County, Michigan.
The land upon which the King family settled in 1865 is near the shale quarry by present-day M-32. After clearing the stumps left by the lumbermen, the virgin-like property became a prosperous farm. It was the beginning of King Settlement as we know it today.
The 1870 census for Alpena County shows William King at home with his parents. The 1880 census for Wilson Township, Alpena County shows William as a young man boarding with Thomas and Elizabeth Hine and working as a farmer.
William married Julia Anne (Annie) Herron on February 4, 1885 in Alpena. She was the daughter of George Colburn and Catherine Link Herron, other pioneers of Wilson Township. They lived near the Kings on what became known as King Settlement Road.
Annie was born on April 19, 1864 in St. Clair County, Michigan and came to Alpena County, Michigan as a young child with her parents. She was the second oldest of a family of thirteen. We can imagine that she learned a bit of child care during her younger years!
William purchased several parcels of land in Wilson Township, but the one the family recalls them living on is the eighty-acre parcel in Section 9, Township 30N, Range 7E. They purchased this parcel on May 14, 1894. It is on the corner of present-day King Settlement Road and Smith Road.
William’s occupations were lumbering and farming. Annie cooked in the lumber camps and worked as a housewife, a domestic engineer. William and Annie were well-liked in the neighborhood and graciously helped those in need. They attended the Wilson Methodist Church.
William and Annie had three children, Eva, Lorna, and Clarence (Harold). Eva was born October 24, 1885. Lorna was born May 17, 1889. Clarence was born April 6, 1893. All were born in Wilson Township.
Eva married Frank Petherick, and they had one child, Virginia Petherick. They lived in Alpena, at 125 Fair Avenue.
Lorna passed away as a single, young lady of twenty-five. She died of heart disease.
Clarence married Ella Smith. They had three children, Marguerite, Harland, and Roger. They lived in King Settlement. After Ella passed away, Clarence married Clara Segtman.
On December 10, 1912, William was granted U.S. citizenship. It was fifty-one years after his arrival in Michigan.
August 2, 1926, William lost Annie, his wife of forty-one years. April 23, 1929, William died of heart failure while working on his farm. Both funerals were held from the Wilson Methodist Church. William and Annie were buried in the King Settlement Cemetery.
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