Thomas Rice King (1813-1879)

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Thomas Rice King
King, Thomas R.jpg
Uncle Thomas King
Born: 9 Mar 1813 Marcellus, New York
Died: 3 Feb 1879 Kingston, Utah
Father: Thomas King
Mother: Ruth Hyde
Siblings: Timothy Hyde King
Thomas Rice King
Spouse: Matilda Robison
Married: 25 Dec 1831 Cicero, New York
Children: William Rice King
Culbert King
John Robison King
Thomas Edwin King
Delilah Cornelia King
Matilda Emily King
Volney King
Leroy King


King, Volney. Genealogy of the King Family, pp. 1-5:

Fillmore City Jan 6, 1868

Elder George A Smith

Dear Brother

Excuse the liberty I have taken in addressing you this letter I have a desire to give you a brief sketch of my life Though not a very eventful one.


Thomas Rice King the son of Thomas King the son of William King the son of Ezra King the son of Samuel King the son of Jonas Rice (should be Samuel Rice - VK) NB Samuel Rices name was changed from Rice to King by the legislature of Boston (changed by adoption - VK)

I was born in Marcellus Onondagua county N.Y. Mar 9th 1813.

Married (Matilda Robison) Dec 25 1831.

Embraced the gospel and was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints July 19 1840 in Palermo Oswego Co N.Y.

Ordained a priest Oct 4 1840 & emigrated to Nauvoo in 1841 leaving Palermo June 6th & arriving at Nauvoo Aug 2nd of that year without one dollar in my pocket or any other property of any kind except a few dishes & bedding that I had been able to bring with me but was considerable in debt to the brother who had had the kindness to haul me & my family in the wagon from York State having 5 children at the time.

Many of the brethren who came in the same company with me, having friends and acquaintances in Iowa crossed the river & myself with them & stoped about six miles from Montrose where I stayed untill March 1842.

It was counsel for the Saints to move in from these outer settlements to Zarahemla & build up a city I obtained a lot put up a house moved (into it) Fenced 5 acres in a joint enclosure Put in a crop

In August following there was a special conference of the church held at Nauvoo where I was ordained an elder under the hands of elder Woodruff & On the 12th day of Sept

I Started on a mission east [page 2] in company with brother Rufus Fisher neither of us having one penny to help us on our Journey

We traveled to Branch co Mich a distance of 400 miles in 14 days having laid by only 2 days we traveled the entire distance on foot & possessed 25 cts each in money on our arrival, not having lacked for food or lodgings at any time

We preached in that vicinity until 5 Feb 1843, having baptized 14 (persons) ordained two elders one priest teacher & deacon organized them into a branch & returned to Nauvoo

In the latter part of Feb experienced some of the coldest wether on our Journey home I think I have ever seen in my life

The Missippi River remained frozen over this Spring till the 6th of Apl It was said at the time the people crossed the river on the Ice between Montrose & Madison to conference (6 Apl)

In the summer of 1843 I had a great deal of sickness in my family & I will notice 2 cases of healing through laying on of hands.

First my little boy 4 years old sick with inflamation of the brain had lain quite stupid for 2 or 3 days we sent for your father as he lived close at hand & you came with him & as soon as you had administered to him he began to arouse & in 30 minutes he was at play with the other children while he was yet so weak he could not walk without help.

The 2nd my boy John 6 years old who was afflicted with the ague & fever. One day he was shaking very hard & your father ( ) came in & saw him he took him on his lap & put his hands on his head & said John you are a good boy & you shall not have the ague any more the ague ceased immediately & he has not had a touch of the ague since

Memorandum of Genealogy by Thomas Rice King as found in the family bible Genealogy of Thomas Rice King which was the son of Thomas King which was the son of William King which was the son of Ezra King which was the son of Samuel King which was the son of Jonas Rice N.B.

Samuel Kings name was by the Legislature of Boston altered from Rice to King Memorandum of Genealogy by Volney King as found in the family bible under date of Dec 20th 1891 This Genealogy is Thomas Rice King the son of Thomas King the son of William King the son of Ezra King the son of Samuel Rice King the son of Samuel Rice son of Edmund Rice N.B. Samuel Rice King was adopted by his Uncle Deacon Peter King as his mother died when he was only three weeks old. He is known on the records as Lieut Samuel Rice King.

The fact is established by the wills of Samuel Rice & Deacon Peter King [page 4]

About this time brother Joseph the prophet came to my house being hunted so hard by his enemies the mob that he could not remain at home with out falling into their hands after staying in the neighborhood some days he came to me one evening about dusk & asked me if I could take them across the river. O. P. Rockwell was with him at the time I said I could we took a bye way down to the river by the old apple orchard where they remained until I went up to the town to obtain a skiff to cross with I found the town full of strangers (mobocrats) but after a little manuvering I found a chance to speak to captain Davis unobserved he gave me the key & told me where to find the skiff & oars & said he must not be seen going to the skiff himself as he was being closely watched After a little delay I managed to get away unobserved & (crossed) rowed them over landing near the little red house near the old printing office

Joseph went to Bishop Whitney & from there home by some back way About 2 Oclock AM we started back O.P. Rockwell did not go back with me but A.M. Lyman did As we came down to the river to start back Brother Hyrum & several others came down to see us off ---

We arrived home alright about 4 Oclock AM bro Joseph & A M Lyman went to Father Smiths but before they left me bro Joseph put his arm around my neck & said I have found another true friend & I will yet take you to the Rocky mountains where we will eat fish & get fat.

The next day bro Joseph with some others were at my house we discovered some horsemen coming very fast we had barely time to escape to the corn field when they rode up to the door & enquired for Joseph Smith but the sisters knew nothing about him & they went on to Father Smiths but meeting with no better success than at [bottom edge of page missing - last line illegible] [page 5]

Joseph considering it not safe to stay longer where he was went that night to the Island but I did not go with him

Some time about the 20th of June 1844 brother Joseph came again to our neighborhood & stoped at brother William Jordans At this time it was arranged that Joseph should go north & his horse was brot over the river for his journey & I went to bed at night thinking by morning he would be in safe retreat but during the next day I heard he had gone back to Nauvoo & give himself up into the hands of his enemies I can not express the feelings that I had at the time

The next time I saw brother Joseph he & brother Hyrums (bodies) lay in state at the Mansion house having been Martyred for the testimony they bore.


King, Volney. Genealogy of the King Family, pp. 5-7:

Deseret News, February 28, 1879, page 64 vol 28

Died at Kingston (Piute County Utah) Feb 3rd 1879 at 4.40 A.M. of heart disease, Thomas Rice King, aged 65 years 10 months & 23 days

The deceased was of English descent & was born in Marcellus Onondagua Co N.Y. Mar 9th 1813 married to Matilda Robison Dec 25th 1831 moved to Palermo Oswego Co N.Y. where he embraced the gospel July 19th 1840 emigrated to Nauvoo in 184 1 In company with others he crossed the Mississippi River & settled in Zarahemla near Montrose Aug 1842.

At a special conference he was ordained an elder & appointed a mission to the east Started Sept 12 in company with Bro Rufus Fisher & traveled to Branch Co Michigan A distance of 400 miles on foot in 12 days preached in the vicinity baptized & organized a branch of 14 members & returned to Nauvoo the following February 1843 assisting the Prophet Joseph to escape the diabolical schemes of his enemies

He endured the sufferings & privations of the Saints during their expulsion from Nauvoo in 1846

Was among the first companies that settled winter quarters where he was left destitute with a large family none able to assist him in the least

The following spring he moved into Missouri where he remained for four years & by his industry & frugality was enabled to emigrate his family comfortably to the valleys in 1851

On his arrival in Salt Lake City President Young counseled him to settle in Southern Utah He was appointed first counselor to Anson Call who was organizing a company to Settle Pahvan valley now known as Fillmore City Millard Co.

He completed the first dwelling house in that valley & there he spent 25 years of his life, extending hospitality to all.

He was first probate Judge in Millard Co. which office he magnified with honor many years

He was appointed a mission to Europe Apr 6th 1856 where he labored til Jan 14th 1858 when he was notified with all the European missionaries to return to Utah & returned home in safety June 25 1858.

He served two terms in the legislature as representative of Millard Co Was president of the high priests quorum of that county Also a member of the high council.

He performed a mission to the States in 1860 (should be 1870 VK) returning the following spring.

He adopted the rules of the united order & entered into the organization at Fillmore & labored for its interests diligently.

Feeling his health declining & being desirous of seeing his children laboring in the united order, with his sons & a few families he located in Circle valley Piute County , organizing a branch of the united order May 1st 1877.

He being sustained president successfully managed the business of the people who now number 126 souls.

He never seemed so happy as in the last few months, surrounded by his family & so many kind friends all having one common interest.

He was the father of 6 sons & two daughters, grandfather of 47 children & two great grand children.

He leaves the wife of his youth 5 sons & one daughter 40 grandchildren two great grandchildren & many dear friends who deeply mourn his loss.

Funeral services took place at the public hall Feb 4 at one o'clock P.M. where his relatives were addressed by brothers David Savage Joel White & others after which his remains were deposited in the new burying ground to await a glorious resurrection

His remains was afterward reintered at Coyote cemetery in the same grave as his wife at her death VK


Day, Stella H., ed. Builders of Early Millard, pp. 423-424:


Thomas Rice King, son of Thomas and Ruth Hyde King, was born March 9, 1813, in Marcellus , Onondaga County, New York.

Married Matilda Robison, daughter of John Robison and Cornelia Guinal Robison. Cornelia was born March 11, 1811, at Charleston, New York.

Their children:

William born Jan. 31, 1836; John R.; Thomas Edwin, born April 19, 1839. Thos Edwin married Rebecca Jane Murrey; Delilah, married Daniel Olson; Matilda and Volney LeRoy.

Thomas Rice King was a missionary to Michigan in 1842. He helped establish the United Order. Thomas was a member of the Millard Stake Presidency, he was also sent to the Utah Legislature representing the citizens of Millard County.

Thomas Rice King also served a mission to England for the L.D.S. Church.

T.R. King and his family played a very important part in the settlement of East Millard County.

When E.E. Holden and his son were lost in a deep snow storm, between Fillmore and Sevier River, T.R. King directed the scouting party which found the frozen bodies of Mr. Holden and his little boy.

On Mar. 4, 1869 a mass meeting was held in Fillmore to consider organizing a Fillmore branch of the Z.C.M.I. Shares were sold at $25.00 per share.

Thomas Callister was chosen as President, Edward Partridge, V.P. with Thomas R. King, F.M. Lyman, Chandler Holbrook, J. V. Robison and John Dutson as Directors.

The directors decided to purchase the stock of T. R. King and Gabriel Huntsman, rent the building of T. R. King and start in business.

T. R. King and Francis M. Lyman were instructed to leave for Salt Lake City and purchase $3,000.00 worth of merchandise for the store.

Thos. R. King and his family purchased land in Circle Valley Piute County, in the fall of 1875, and by the next spring Volney King from Kanosh and the other sons had joined their father, where the family spent many years.


  • Name variant: Thomas B. [1860 census]
  • Birth: From autobiography [see letter to George A. Smith, 1868]
  • Marriage variations:
10 Mar 1832 [Infobases]
Marcellus, NY
  • Certificate: King, Volney. Genealogy of the King Family, p. 10:
To whom it may concern, This certifies that Thomas King has been received into the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints organized on the 6th of April in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and thirty and has been ordained a Priest according to the rules & regulations of Said Church and is duly authorized to preach the Gospel agreable to the rules & authority of that office given by the direction of a Conference of the Authorities of Said Church Assembled in Palermo Oswego Co N.Y. on the fourth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & forty
Norman Bliss Clerk
Benj Elaird Secretary
Tho. P. Maydunn
  • 1860 Federal Census, Fillmore City, Millard, Utah Page # 108, Dwelling #944, Family #856, enumerated 14 Jul 1860:
KING, Tho's. B., 47, m, 1500/1800, NY
, Matilda, 48, f, 100/600, NY
, Wm., 26, m, 100/550, NY
, Jno., 22, m, NY
, Edwin, 21, m, NY
, Delila, 18, f, Ohio
, Volney, 13, m, Nebraska
HUTCHINS, Esther, f
ELDRICH, Geo., 11, m, Iowa
, Rufus, 7, m, Iowa
  • 1870 Federal Census, Utah, Millard County, Town: Fillmore, Post Office: Fillmore, Enumerated 24 Jun 1870, page 4, Dwelling 33, Family 32:
KING, Thomas R., 57, m, w, Farmer, 3275/2900, York, vote
, Matilda, 59, f, w, Keeping House, York
, Volney, 23, m, w, Farmer, 575/850, Neb., vote
, Wm Henry, 7, m, w, At School, Utah
, Lillian, 6, f, w, At School, Utah
, Josephine, 4, f, w, At Home, Utah
, Mary, 72, f, w, House Keeper, NY
PAYDEN, Hannah, 19, f, w, Domestic, Eng.
  • Esshom, Frank. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, p. 989:
King, Thomas Rice (son of Thomas King and Ruth Hyde). Born March 9, 1813, Marcellus , Onondaga county, N. Y. Came to Utah 1851, Vincent Shurtliff company. Married Matilda Robison Dec. 25, 1831 (daughter of John Robison and Cornelia Gumal) , who was born March 11, 1811, at Charleston, N. Y., and came to Utah with husband. [lists c hildren] Family home Fillmore, Utah. Missionary to Michigan 1842; assisted in establishing United Order; member of Millard stake presidency. Probate judge for years. Resident of Fillmore 25 years; moved to King ston in 1877.
  • Note: Journal of Reuben McBride, 1857, pp. 16-20, 28: T. R. King was on a mission in Nottingham, England in 1857.
  • Death variant: 5 Feb 1879 [infobases]
  • Burial variations:
6 Feb 1879 [infobases]
Kingston [AF]
  • Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register, p. 146 (he was listed as a seventy).
  • Black, Susan W. E. Early LDS Membership Data (Infobases, 1995):
Thomas came to Utah in 1851 with the Vincent Shurtliff company.
He was a Missionary to [Gilead] Michigan in 1842.
He assisted in establishing the United Order.
He was a member of the Millard stake presidency.
He resided in Fillmore for 25 years before he moved to Kingston in 1877.
Vocations: Probate Judge
  • Day, Stella H., ed. Builders of Early Millard, pp. 419, 423-425, 536.
  • Lichfield, Beulah Menlove. Cemetery Records, Fillmore, Millard Co., Utah, p. 37.
  • Nicolo, Margaret LaDean Sutton Sweeting. Sweeting Family Records Binder.
  • King, Larry R. The Kings of the Kingdom, Appendix i, pp. 152-166.
  • King, Volney. Genealogy of the King Family, p. 18