John H. King. The careers of many of those who have won distinction in the law in the states of the West and Southwest are in some respects similar. In p large number of cases the common type brings to mind an ambitious and gifted youth, born, if not in penury, in humble circumstances, struggling with steadfast labor and self-sacrifice to gain subsistence, while giving his thoughts to the acquisition of an academic and usually a university education. An interval in the school room follows, as a teacher, and this lays open the entrance into professional schools; following which comes a calling to the bar, and a settlement in some community in the Weft. The gaining of foothold in practice is the next step, then ensues a period of more marked prosperity, and finally elevation to some judicial position. The career of John H. King is no marked exception from this rule. His early life was marked by a struggle for the necessities of life; he won a liberal education through his own labor; he began practice in a new western town and then sought the broader opportunities of the city, where he has since won recognition and honors.
Judge King was born at North Vernon, Indiana, March 8, 1867, and is a son of Dr. William D. and Jennie (Brazelton) King, natives of the Hoosier state. His father was a physician and was just entering upon a successful career in his profession at North Vernon, when he died, his son John H. being then but nine months old. Judge King’s mother took him, when he was six years old, to Edinburg, Illinois, and there he was reared and received his education in the public schools, subsequently entering the Valparaiso University, at Valparaiso, Indiana, he began his career as a teacher in the public schools, and while thus engaged devoted himself assiduously to the study of law, so that July 3, 1893, he was admitted to the bar and took up his practice at Hamilton, Missouri, where he remained with a measure of professional success for eight years. During this time he acted in the capacity of prosecuting attorney for one term, and for a like period gave Hamilton an excellent administration as mayor.
Mr. King then decided that he needed further educational training, and accordingly enrolled as a student in the law department of the University of Michigan, from which he was graduated in 1903, and in January of the following year came to Muskogee, where he has resided ever since. When Oklahoma became a state, he received the republican nomination for judge of the Third Judicial District, an office to which he was elected, and in which he served for a period of three years, the first judge of the district under statehood. Since leaving the bench the judge has engaged in the practice of law with offices in the New Phoenix Building, Muskogee, and is in the enjoyment of a large general practice, to which his fine legal abilities most certainly entitle him.
Judge King was married in 1897 to Miss Ida Humphreys, of Edinburg, Illinois. They have no children. Judge and Mrs. King are members of the Christian Church, and have taken an active and helpful part in its work. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and a Pythian Knight, and is a member of Oklahoma State and City Bar Associations. In civic affairs he has shown himself constantly ready to perform the duties resting upon him as a citizen, and his name is frequently found among those who are behind movements making for advancement in morality and education.