William R. King Biography

        William Rufus King was born October 3, 1864, near Walla Walla, Washington. He was the son of David Rufus and Elizabeth (Estes) King. Came to Oregon in 1871 and was married in Danville, Indiana, December 6, 1892, to Miss L. Myrtle King. There were two children, Eldon P. King and Myrtle M. King.
        Judge King attended Oregon State Agricultural College, 1882 to 1885, and the Law Department or the Central Normal College, of Danville, Indiana, 1889-1891, graduating therefrom with LL.B. degree. He was admitted to the bar of Indiana in July 1891, and to the bar of Oregon in January 1893. He practiced in Vale, Oregon, from June 1892 to March 1893, when he formed a partnership with T. Calvin Hyde, at Baker City, Oregon, which continued until January 1694; practiced alone until 1896, when he formed a partnership with F. M. Saxton, in the same city, practicing under the firm name of King & Saxton, until 1900, when he removed to Ontario, Oregon, and practiced there alone until October 1904, at which time he formed a law partnership with W. H. Brooke, which continued until February 1907.
        In June 1892 he was elected on the Democratic ticket to the House of Representatives in Oregon from Malheur County, serving two years. In 1894 he was elected State Senator from Baker County, serving four years. In 1896 he was candidate for Governor, and defeated by T. T. Geer.
        February 23, 1907, he was appointed Commissioner of the Supreme Court by Governor Chamberlain, and February 12, 1909, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and served until Jan. 1, 1911.
        He was a member of the Democratic National Committee 1912-1916, and 1924-28, and served as one of Woodrow Wilson's campaign managers in 1912. He served as Chief Counsel of U. S. Reclamation Service in Washington, D. C., 1913-1920. Member of faculty of George Washington University, 1915-1916. He was Democratic candidate for United States Senator in 1926.

        He went to Washington, D.C. May 16, 1934 from Honolulu, where Mrs. King and daughter Myrtle were. Following his trip to Honolulu, he became a resident of Los Angeles, but went to Washington, D.C. to visit his son Eldon, who was connected with the Internal Revenue Bureau.
        Judge King was a Unitarian, 32d degree Mason, B. P. O. E., K. of P.  R. A.  W. O. O., and a member of the American Bar Association and Oregon Bar Association.
        Judge King died in Washington, D.C., June 2, 1934, at the age of 70.
Arthur F. Benson's Original Biography Document