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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Theodore G. King

About two miles north of Petaluma lies the farm known as the Samuel Nay homestead, the present property of Theodore G. King, who since coming to the place has repaired and enlarged the buildings, renewed the orchards and made many other improvements of permanent value. Of the fifty-five acres comprising the estate twenty-five acres are planted to fruit trees, a specialty being made of pippin apples, which are of a quality and flavor unsurpassed by any similar product in sections more widely advertised, besides which there are also about one hundred Bartlett pear trees on the ranch. Another specialty in the agricultural efforts of the owner is the raising of blooded single-comb white leghorn chickens, a breed exceptionally well adapted to the Pacific coast regions. From a flock of twenty-five hundred laying hens his output of eggs ran from six hundred to fifteen hundred, according to the season, and in 1911 he increased his flock of laying hens to thirty-five hundred, increasing his output of eggs from nine hundred to twenty-two hundred varying according to the season. He broods about six thousand chicks a year, of which about eighty per cent mature; the pullets are kept and the old hens sold each season, or when three years old. The average income from the hens is about $1 per head each year and the owner, who is an active worker in the Petaluma Egg Association, believes that the poultry industry offers splendid opportunities for profit to persons of thrift, intelligence and industry.

Born in 1866 in the county of Sonoma where he now resides, Theodore G. King is a son of Charles and Maria (Waldemar) King and a grandson of Captain King, the commander of an ocean vessel. The father likewise was a sailor and while following the high seas he rounded the Horn and came up the Pacific Ocean to California, settling in Sonoma county during the year 1865 after a brief sojourn in Marin county. In the parental family there were the following children: Theodore G., whose name introduces this article; Henry D., who married Emma Jones and resides with his father on the old homestead in Marin county; Ernest F., who married Geraldine Sales; Anna, Mrs. Charles Moltzen, who was four children; Mamie, Mrs. Allen Owens, the mother of four children; Johanna and Louisa. The son, Ernest F., has no children, while the other son, Hendry D., is the father of four children. Three children, Vernon, Waldemar and Gladys, comprise the family of Theodore G. King and his wife, Ida M., who was born in Sonoma county in 1867, being a daughter of John and Mary (Bryant) Sales, the latter a native of Sonoma county. Mr. Sales was born in Illinois in 1834 and came to California in 1852 via the Isthmus of Panama, afterward becoming a farmer in this county. In his family there were seven children, namely: William L., who married Mattie Tharp and has two children, Paul and Dorothy; Henry; John; Roscoe; Ida M., Mrs. King; Dora, who married George Gaston and has two children, Russell and Alta; and Geraldine, the youngest daughter of the Sales family circle.

Ever since attaining his majority Mr. King has given his support to Republican principles and candidates, but he has taken no part in politics nor has he sought the honors of office. In religion he is of the Congregational faith, while fraternally he holds membership with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the local lodge of Yeomen and the Grange. His early identification with the dairy business occurred in Marin county and from there in 1892 he returned to Sonoma county, where he continued in the dairy industry, having a dairy averaging from sixty-five to one hundred and ten head of cows. A large amount of butter was sold in the city markets and the excellent quality of the product rendered possible the best market prices. Before settling on his present place he leased and operated the Denman farm, one of the oldest estates in the valley, and there, in addition to his large herd of cows, he also has a flock of three thousand hens. As a farmer he is resourceful, keen and prudent, wise in judgment, quick in action, energetic and temperament and economical in expenditure of money and time. Besides his own time he employs two men the year round and in the fruit season as high as fourteen people are given employment. In 1910 he built a ten-room modern house at a cost of $3,500, besides which he has made other improvements about the ranch, putting in new fencing, and during the next two years he expects to replace all of the old buildings with new ones, with the exception of the apple house. Chief among Mr. King’s characteristics is his devotion to the community welfare and his sympathetic support of progressive projects. Through his services as president of the local telephone line there has been pushed to success a movement of inestimable value to the locality. Other enterprises have felt the impetus of his encouragement and the permanent benefit derived from his zealous and intelligent support.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011