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James Harvey King, Civil War Veteran of Monterey County, California.

He was born June 4th, 1847 in New York, son of Daniel & Sarah King; they were descendants of Colonial Eastern families.  The Civil War Broke out in 1861 and James King wanted to join, but he was under aged at the age of 14, but in 1864 at the age of 17, he joined the Union Navy. His first assignment was the USS Silver Lake; this ship was re-modeled to patrol the Mississippi River. He took part in the “Battle of Mobile Bay” serving under the Command of Admiral Farragut, later; James King was wounded in Nashville, TN. During a vessel inspection, he approached the head of the vessel with his boarding company, and was hit. He spent 3 months in a Union Occupied Memphis Hospital. After his release, he was assigned to the USS Red Rover. On August 28, 1865 he was discharged due to the ending of the War. During the next two years, he ran Canal-Boats from Buffalo to Troy. In 1867 he became interested in Carpentry. Which found him self in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1904 he arrived in Pacific Grove, California. He built his home at 513 Fountain Avenue in Pacific Grove. He became a member of the Lucius Fairchild GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Post #179 based out of Pacific Grove and met regularly at Work Hall. He was also a member of the Order of Forrester’s, and the Order of the Good Templars. His first marriage was to Lucy E. Frink, she died in 1906 and his second wife was Ellen Parker. James Harvey King Died on May 28th, 1935. On eastbound Lighthouse Ave at 11th St in the center island is a monument erected to J.H. King - a rock with a plaque posted on the east side of the Lucius Fairchild GAR Post #179 Memorial Bench. James Harvey King is buried at the El Carmelo Cemetery in Pacific Grove.


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KING, JAMES HARVEY   (1847-1935)   Pacific Grove , El Carmelo Cemetery
(Source: History and Biographical Record of Monterey and San Benito Co. Guinn, Vol. 11 Pg 348)

James H. King

Although measured by years the identification of Mr. King with the building interest of Pacific Grove is of comparatively brief duration, when measured by results it will be seen that he is a man of intense energy whose activities have scarcely been diminished by the flight of years with their lessening physical powers.  Since coming to his present place of business he has been given contract for many dwellings, among them being three houses for Mrs. Lovejoy, three for GE Williams, two for Thomas Cope, the Culp home, the Adams house, the residence of H.S. Ball on Central avenue, the homes of L.A. Meade and Mrs. DeVinney, all in Pacific Grove, besides two commodious houses in Oak Grove.  

Born in New York June 4, 1847 James H. King is a son of Daniel and Sarah King, also native of the Empire state and descendants of colonial eastern families.  Love of country came to him as a heritage from a line of patriotic ancestors.  When the Civil war began his sympathies were warmly aroused in behalf of the Union, but being only fourteen years of age he could not enter the service.  However, in 1864, at the age of seventeen, he was accepted in the Union navy subsequent to his enlistment at Erie Pa.  His first assignment was to service on the Silver lake, which had been remodeled by the government from a Mississippi river steamboat in order to service on that stream during the rebellion.  Boarding the ship at Owensboro, Ky., on the Ohio river, he proceeded to the front with his company.  Soon he was wounded at Nashville, Tenn., and was then transferred to the hospital at Memphis, where he was obliged to remain for three months pending his recovery from wounds.  As soon as he was again able to serve his country he was assigned to the ship Red Rover, on the Mississippi river, and continued there until August of 1865, when peace having been declared he was given an honorable discharge.  

The necessity of earning a livelihood took the youthful war veteran to the Erie canal, where for one year he ran on canal boats from Buffalo to Troy.  During the following  year he was engaged in the manufacture of oil barrels at Cleveland, Ohio.  During the year 1867 he went to Dover, Ohio, and became interested in the carpenter’s trade, which he followed for some time.  Eventually he began to take contracts for building both in that city and at Cleveland, Ohio.  During 1883 he received the contract for the erection of the Gordon avenue Methodist Episcopal church at Cleveland, at that time considered to be one of the most handsome edifices in the city. Many commodious residences also were erected under him on contract, and in every instance he maintained an efficient oversight of the work striving to secure the most permanent results at the least expenditure of time and money and material.  

On leaving Ohio in 1904 Mr. King came to Pacific Grove and has since made this place his home, residing at No. 513 Fountain avenue.  for some years he has been prominently identified with the Builder’ Exchange on Monterey and Pacific Grove.  Other organizations have been utilized as a medium of affiliation with the business and fraternal interests of the locality.  As might be expected, he maintains a warm interest in the Grand Army of the Republic and enjoys meeting with the boys in blue and recounting tales of the olden times of struggle.  The Independent Order of Foresters numbers him among its members, and he is further associated with the order of Good Templars, being a staunch advocate of temperance movements and showing by his identification with the Prohibition party his strict views concerning the suppression of the liquor traffic.  While living in the east in 1870 he married Miss Lucy E. Frink, who was born in Ohio and died in Pacific Grove during April of 1906.  A son and daughter blessed the union, Frank I, and Dora E.  The second marriage of Mr. King was solemnized May 28, 1908, and united him with Miss Ellen Parker, a native of Ohio and a woman of estimable character who shares with him the esteem of acquaintances.

Transcription of obituary

KING, JAMES HARVEY   (1847-1935)   Pacific Grove , El Carmelo Cemetery
(Monterey Herald May 28, 1935)

Comrade King Is Taken By Death
Lucius Fairchild post of G.A.R. Loses Last Member  

Comrade James Harvey King, Pacific Grove, this morning answered the long and honored roll call of the Grand Army veterans who have been mustered out of this life.  A resident of the peninsula for 31 years, Mr. King passed away at 11:30 this morning at his home, after a lingering illness.  

Just two days before Memorial Day, an occasion in which he always played a prominent part her in past years, the aged man heard the last call, but not before he had requested, from his sick bed, that his fellow veterans gather to remember those who fought with him in battles long past.  

King who just missed celebrating his 88th birthday by a few days, was the last surviving member of Lucius Fairchild Post Grand Army of the Republic.  He was born June 4, 1847 at Ashville, Chataugua county, New York.  Moving later to Cleveland Ohio where he lived for a number of years, Comrade King took up his residence in Pacific Grove in October 1904.  

Funeral arrangements are in charge of the Paul Mortuary, and will be announced tomorrow.

Transcription of obituary

KING, JAMES HARVEY   (1847-1935)   Pacific Grove , El Carmelo Cemetery
(Pacific Grove Tribune May 31, 1935)

Military Honors Will Be Paid to Comrade J. King  

When the colors of the Grand Army of the Republic were borne in yesterday’s parade by Paul King, grandson of Comrade J.H. King the poignant truth that the last member of Lucius Fairchild post, G.A.R. , had marched in to the beyond struck every spectator forcibly.  

In the 30 years of his residence on the Peninsula he had never missed participation in a Memorial Day parade and had eagerly looked forward to “just one more.”  He died Tuesday morning at 11:30 at his home following an illness of about one month.  

This afternoon at 2:00 he will be given the impressive funeral of a soldier with the Monterey Presidio staff, Spanish War veteran, American Legion, Women’s Relief Corps, D.A.R., Ladies of the G.A.R. and other patriotic organizations, joining in tribute.  

Funeral services will be held at the First Methodist church with  (illegible).  These will be followed by graveside military salute in El Carmelo cemetery.  

James H. King was 16 when he joined the youths and men of New York state who chanted, “We’re coming Father Abraham, 200,000 strong.”  His service during the Civil War, was on blockade runners.  He saw Dewey and Farragut during the battle of Mobile and he took part in the siege of Vicksburg.  

He had witnessed the passing of 72 fellow members of Lucius Fairchild post and had been an ardent participant in all activities of a patriotic nature on the Monterey Peninsula.  

King would have been 88 years of age on June 4, having been born in 1847 in Ashville, Chataugua county New York.  He had resided in Pacific Grove since October 1904.  

His surviving relatives include his widow, his daughter Dora, his son F. Irving King, and two grandsons, Paul and Robert King.  He was the step father of Mrs. A.C. Jochmus, and Fire Chief W.E. Parker of Monterey.  

**His rank on his headstone read “ Landsman” US NAVY.

“Comrade” King Meets Nurse

KING, JAMES HARVEY   (1847-1935)   Pacific Grove , El Carmelo Cemetery
(Pacific Grove Tribune May 25, 1934)

“Comrade” King Meets Nurse Who Cared For Him During Civil War
by Nevada Semenza  

A year ago during special ceremonies at the University of California at which members of the Grand Army of the Republic were guests, J. King, last member of Lucius Fairchild Post, G.A.R. fell into conversation with a woman who had served as a nurse during the Civil War, a centenarian she was.  

“Where did you serve as nurse during the last year of the war? inquired Comrade King.  “I was in the Memphis Marine hospital, Ward 42 that year,” she replied.  

Comrade King looked searchingly at the withered face, the bent frame and white hair. It seemed incredible and yet it must be....  “I was in that ward for six months that year with a shell wound in my right arm and another in my leg and then a spell of fever on top of that.  It hadn’t been for you I should have died,” he explained to the astonished woman.  

More incredible to him than the coincidence of their meeting some 69 years after the war was the astonishing transformation in the appearance of that nurse.  He remembered her as a tall strong woman about 30 years of age, competent, imperturbable, vigorous.  

That to Mr. King is the best anecdote of his Civil War experiences.  

Five King boys went out from the little Chautaugua county town in New York in answer to Lincoln’s call for 350,000 troops from that state.  Junius King was only 18 when the persuasive words of a recruiting officer set fire to his eagerness to “join up.”  He did consult his mother about it, but she was not eager to see a fifth son march away to war.  

What if he was too young, he argued with himself, he looked much older.  Perhaps if he ran away to another town he could like himself into enlistment.  he went to Corey Pennsylvania, where he found in Captain Bone, the recruiting officer an old friend.  He was quite willing to cooperate with the boy’s scheme to become a soldier.  

Junius King’s service during the remainder of the war was as a soldier aboard the blockade runners.  Their job was to protect the troops being moved up and down the rivers and other waterways from rebel snipers.  

During the battle of Mobile, King saw Dewey and Admiral Farragut.  He came face to face with death too, when his ship was shattered and most of his comrades killed.  Of a crew of 126 but 25 survived that battle.  One of them was young King who was forever after to carry as souvenirs scars on his right arm and right leg of shell wounds.  He was removed to the Marine hospital at Memphis where only the remarkable skill of his physician and the care of that nurse he was to meet so many years later, saved his life.  

The only other major contest of the war in which he saw service was the famous siege of Vicksburg.  He recalls the fanatic efforts of the officers to gain access to the city, their fruitless building of a canal, hoping to enter from the southern end of the city.  

After that his boat was sent up the Mississippi and on August 28 1865 he was discharged at Mound City, Illinois, after taking part in many important skirmishes.  

Comrade King still thinks no better definition of war has been given than the famous one attributed to General Sherman.  “Selfishness is at the root of all war,” he opines.  “ (illegible). wars advice to young men is this:  If our country should undertake a war as the aggressor, do not enlist, but is we are attacked by a foreign power that is the time for you to shoulder a gun.”  

“Our country should not get mixed up with foreign powers,” he firmly believes.  As for the power of propaganda in bringing about wars, Mr. King emphatically denounces the policy of the Hearst papers to keep the idea of war forever in the mind of the reader.  He believes it will have the opposite effect of its avowed one.  

When Pacific Grove’s lone G.A.R. veteran marches with the colors of his army next Wednesday in the annual Memorial day observance there will go with him in memory the 72 members of the Lucius Fairchild post who have slipped quietly from the ranks in the 30 years of King’s residence here.  

Four years ago the last man D.T. Welch marched into the beyond.  In the mind of the “last man” of the post will troop the comrades called before him.  These are their names:  William Harding, H.N. Martin, F.G. Wallace, David Cox, A.H. Prebble, Riley Birks, J.A. Bouncy, J. Faden, W.W. Nulon, T.W. Oliver, B.F. Andrews, J.P. Brown, Eli Griggs, J.R. Patrick, Ernest Mickles, George D. Clark, C.H. Bixby, Oscar Winter, D.B. Ely, Perry S. Lyons, J. A. Bailey, George A. Hovey, W.A. Coffee, Elisha Johnson, F.E. Wilson, R.C. Worns, N.U. Chandler, S. Sergeant, L.B. Sheperdson, David Smith, E.F. Van Dollsom, I. Mitchell, FD Noble, L.S. Cleveland, W.N. Irvine, B.R. Ship, T.T. Tidball, M.L. Mixer, B.T. Van Horn, John W. Burket, J.M. Clark, J.N. Wood, S. Strong, T.R. Weaver, Peter Christianson, E.K. Abbott, I. Notistine, James Painter, Alfred B. Collins, George S. Gould, George W. Margoon, J.R. Wolf, J.H. Wilson, M. Washburn, Willis McMigan, C.F. Ross, J.W. Begmer, F. Nosbury, Daniel F. Andrews, Charles P. French, NJ Sharp, J.C. Brown, B.M. Damon, W.H. Moore, J.H. Livingston, WP Kinsman, John W. Bayley, J.C. Brown, J.W. Burkett, J.W. Begmer.

Compiled and Submitted: by Tim P. Reese, PCC

Camp Abe Lincoln #10 based out of Santa Cruz, Ca

Dept. of Calif. and Pacific

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

P. O. Box 1641, Monterey, Ca. 93942-1641


27 Aug 2009