DERASTUS KING, who has been operating the Sunny Home Stock Farm for the past ten years, was born in Dayton, Newton county, Missouri, on the 20th of February, 1873. His parents were James O. and Mary Eliza (Fones) King, the father a native of Macoupin county, Illinois, and the mother of New York. James O. King was reared in this county and at the age of twenty-one he enlisted for three months' service in the Union army. At the expiration of that period he re-enlisted in Company A, Eighty-first Illinois Regiment and served all during the Civil War. He had the misfortune to be wounded twice, being shot in the leg at one time and at another in the lungs. After the war he went to Missouri and worked in the lead mines for ten years. In 1879 he came to Macoupin county, settling on J. P. Cline's farm, which he cultivated for sixteen years, then he removed to another place, where he continued to follow agricultural pursuits until 1902 when he retired. From that time until his death on the 3d of December, 1904, he made his home in Carlinville. He was sixty-five years of age at the time of his demise; Mrs. King had preceded him, dying in 1891 at the young age of forty-two years.
Derastus King was reared in Macoupin county, attending Oak Hill school on the Bunker Hill road in the acquirement of his education. After obtaining a practical knowledge of the common branches, he gave his undivided attention to the work of the farm, remaining with his parents until he was twenty-two. After his marriage he farmed as a renter for a year, then went to Chicago and worked in a foundry for two years. Returning to Macoupin county he entered the employment of C. A. Walker, editor of one of the papers, for whom he worked by the month for a year. He returned to Chicago and teamed for a year, following which he once more located on a farm in this county. At the end of a year he rented the Sunny Home Stock Farm of C. A. Walker and has ever since been engaged in its operation. Mr. King has met with very good success in his undertakings and has raised about fifty head of hogs per year and has kept twelve horses. He recently purchased property in Zion City, Illinois, to which he intends to move in the fall of 1911.
On the 20th of November, 1893, Mr. King was united in marriage to Miss Mattie Davis, a native of Hancock county, Kentucky, in which state she was reared and educated. Mrs. King is a daughter of Newton and Hulda (Morgan) Davis, also natives of the Blue Grass state, where the father spent his entire life, devoting his energies to the tobacco culture. The mother, now fifty-six years of age, is a resident of Zion City, Illinois. To Mr. and Mrs. King have been born two children: George Calvin, who is seven years of age; and Sophia May, who is but thirteen months old.
Mr. and Mrs. King attend the services of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but are not affiliated with any denomination. Politically Mr. King is a republican, but has never been an aspirant to public office.