The town of Hulbert, Oklahoma, is a monument to the business ability and enterprise of such men as Robert F. King, who came to this community when its proportions were those of a village. He recognized, however, the possibilities for growth and development here and became a prominent factor in business circles and active in the management of affairs which have constituted important elements in public progress. When he came here the Frisco railroad was just being built through this section of the country. He erected a store and residence one-half mile east of the present location of the town and also a cotton gin on the railroad. He later purchased a section of land, now included in the town, and plotted sixty acres, dividing them into lots which he sold. Mr. King’s home is one of the conspicuous places in this locality and is modern in every way, having its own electric light, heat and sewer systems.
Robert F. King is not a native of Oklahoma, for he was born near Yellville, Arkansas, on the 4th of May, 1863, a son of Robert F. and Phoebia (Orr). The father was a native of Tennessee, while Mrs. King was born in Kentucky, and they both removed to Arkansas with their parents at an early age. They lived in that state for many years, where the father engaged in general farming and stock raising and was active in that connection at the time of his demise in 1881. Mrs. King is still living and makes her home in Hulbert with Robert F. She is ninety-eight years of age. Five sons and two daughters were born to Mr. and Mrs. King, Robert F. being the youngest member of the family.
In the acquirement of an education Robert F. King attended the public schools of Harrison, Arkansas, and upon putting his textbooks aside made his initial step into the business world. He engaged in the general mercantile business in Harrison, and was also associated with one of the banking institutions of that town, connections in which he remained active until he came to Hulbert in 1902. He is one of the pioneer merchants of this section of the county and his trade extends over a large territory. He is one of the men whose enterprise and business ability developed and built up Hulbert and he well merits the success that has attended his efforts. Mr. King is also interested in the First National Banks of both Hulbert and Tahlequah. He has never allowed the accumulation of wealth in any way to affect his relations toward those less fortunate and he is always willing to extend a helping hand where aid is needed.
In 1887 at Rally Hill, Arkansas, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. King and Miss Walsie Weaver, a daughter of Major R. B. Weaver. Her father served in the Confederate army during the Civil war and was for some time lieutenant governor of Arkansas. To their union one child, Don, was born. Don King married Miss Marie Hopper of Springfield, Missouri. He is now associated with his father in the conduct of the King Mercantile Company and is a director in the First National Bank at Hulbert. Mr. and Mrs. Don King have one child, Amelia, two years of age, who is a great favorite with her grandfather.
Since age conferred upon Mr. King the right of franchise he has given his stanch support to the democratic party and ‘as a public-spirited man he has never withheld his aid from any practical public projects and movements. Fraternally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which organization he is a charter member and past grand, and he is likewise a Knight of Pythias. During the World war he put all personal interests aside and devoted his entire time to the duties devolving upon him as captain of the district in the Liberty Loan and Red Cross Drives.