King, Rev. William Robert
Diary, Journal, and Weekly Calendar of the Rev. William Robert King, founder of Henry Kendall College, now the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1917 and 1919.

3 volumes as follows: Diary for 1917, 12mo, bound in red cloth, 30 manuscript pp. of diary entries, dated 1 January 1917 to 16 March 1917, and 2 September to 31 December 1917, plus an additional 8 manuscript pp. memorandum, 12 pp. cash accounts and 3 pages of addresses, plus an additional 10 manuscript pp. of memorandum at rear, which also includes some addresses. Diary format is 7 days per page, contains short entries, entries written in mostly ink, some pencil, in a legible hand. Standard Daily Journal for 1919, 12mo, bound in blue cloth, 365 manuscript pp., entries dated 1 January 1919 to 31 December 1919; one day entry per page, appears to have an entry for every day, some are longer than others, entries written in ink, in a legible hand, memorandum and cash accounts sections blank. Weekly Calendar for 1919, 12mo, bound in red cloth, 52 manuscript pp., 1 pp. telephone numbers, 2 mss pp. memorandum notes, 6 mss pp. of cash accounts, plus an additional 1 mss pp. of memorandum notes, 7 days entries per page, written in ink and pencil, in legible hand; reads more like a pocket calendar, where the writer keeps notes of his weekly schedule. These volumes were kept by the Rev. King after his tenure at Kendall College. He appears to have been a minister at churches in Illinois and Missouri, and for a time (1919) the secretary of the Presbyterian Board of the National Missions. In 1920 he was living in St. Louis, Missouri. The 1919 diary entries describe King’s daily work as a minister and officer of the Presbyterian Board of Missions, the regular meetings he attends, his work on Temperance, dealing with funerals and deaths from the Spanish Flu, as well as various other activities and travels.

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Rev. William Robert King (1868–1951)


    A Presbyterian minister and founder of Henry Kendall College (now the University of Tulsa), William Robert King was born in Hawkins County, Tennessee, on January 12, 1868. His parents were John Ben and Mary Clark King. William Robert King received a bachelor's degree in 1889 and a divinity degree in 1890 from Washington College in Tennessee. In 1892 he graduated from the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. After graduating, he married Florence Amanda Broyles (1870-1957) on June 21, 1892, at her home in Jonesboro, Tennessee. They had one son, also named William Robert King (1895-1939). Florence, or “Birdie” as she was called, was the daughter of Andrew Coffee Broyles (1831-1927) and Louisa Ann Eliza Hunt (1838-1906). Andrew C. Broyles was a farmer from Washington Co., Tennessee.

    The Presbyterian Board of Home Missions appointed Reverend King to serve the church in Tahlequah, Indian Territory (I.T.). Soon he was elected synodical missionary of the Synod of Indian Territory and received an annual salary of fifteen hundred dollars. The synod consisted of four presbyteries, which included 106 churches and fifty-three ministers. King supervised five boarding schools operated by the Presbyterian Church, four contract schools at which Native Americans owned the school property, and various day schools that operated within the churches.

     King began to agitate for a Presbyterian-sponsored institution of higher education, because the Baptists had opened Indian University in 1880 in Tahlequah and the Methodists had established Harrell Institution in 1881 in Muskogee. Receiving little enthusiasm from the local synod, King took his idea to the Board of Home Missions in New York City, which gave him encouragement to open a college to be named after Henry Kendall, the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions secretary. In 1894 King founded Henry Kendall College in Muskogee, I.T. He served as Kendall's second president from 1896 to 1899.

    After his tenure at the college ended, King served as superintendent of the American Sunday School Union's southwestern office in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1899 to 1902, and is found in St. Louis in the 1900 Census. He also ministered at churches in Illinois and Missouri. In the 1910 Census King and his wife and son are found at Monmouth City in Warren County, Illinois, and in 1920, the family is found back in St. Louis where King was secretary of the Presbyterian Board of the National Missions from 1919 to 1927 and executive secretary of the Home Missions Council from 1927 to 1938.


    Rev. King died on November 21, 1951 at Kingsport, Sullivan County, Tennessee. Before his death, King penned the History of the Home Missions Council, With Introductory Outline History of Home Missions (1930) and received an honorary doctor of letters degree from the University of Tulsa in 1945. He was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Kingsport, Tennessee.


Sample Quotes:

“Fri. Jan. 3, 1919

Wilson is making a wonderful record in Europe. His speeches are great. He is bringing the nations around to his point of view. Some politicians like Knox & Lodge & [Col. Henry], are knocking him.”


“Sun, Jan. 5, 1919

Good audience this morning. Re-enlistment Day & Commissions. Rec’d 24 med Members – Good service. Night audience was small – the shut out on account of ‘flu’ has hurt the night audience more than any other part of our work.”


“Thurs. Jan. 16, 1919

Com. of Gen. Ass’bly tonight. The world conditions look bright in man, ways of the wind are howling, 37 states have now ratified the prohibition amendment. [Grand] victory & reward for years of fighting.”


“Sun. Feb. 16, 1919

Preached this A.M. on the Hysteria of Bolshevism, well received, & printed Monday morning in Globe Democrat. Preached at night on Law of Progress.”


“Mon. Mar. 10, 1919

Dr. says Mrs. King has flu. She had a bad night. Got a nurse. Miss Bash.”


“Sat. Mar. 15, 1919

Lunch with Dr. Fullerton & Dr. McGinley. Fullerton tells me the Board of Home Missions want me as secretary.”


“Tues. Mar. 18, 1919

Mrs. Berdick preached…Beautiful day, one of those days that makes you feel lazy. Am about decided to accept secretary [job] of Home Board, but hate to give up pastorate and going into general work.”


“Sun. April 17,1919

Preached this A.M. on Called to be Christ, resigned my pastorate at close of service to acceptance of Sec of Bd of Home Missions. Sorry to do this, but feel called and compelled to accept this larger work…”


“Tues. July 1, 1919

Began my work today with the Board of Home Missions. I realize that I am facing a big job, a great responsibility & that I must be divinely helped to succeed, trusting in the Lord Jesus for help & strength…”


“Fri. July 4, 1919

Left on 2:15 P.M. Burlington to Minneapolis on way to Synod of N.D. & Oregon. Very hot day. Mrs. King feels very badly over my going into the secretaryship. Said on the way to the train today. This is the saddest day of my life. Had I known she would have been so disturbed over my going out of pastorate I might not have made the change. I feel very badly over it.”


“Sat. July 5, 1919

In Minneapolis waiting over Sunday on my way to Jamestown, N.D.”


“Fri. July 11, 1919

Left Jamestown, N.D. this A.M. 8:30, interesting ride thru the bad lands. How people live is a mystery to me.”


“Sun. July 13, 1919

Heard E.P. Hill this A.M. & P.M. in First Ch. Spokane. Spokane is a nice city. Do not think I would want to live out here. Too far away from the world. Talked with Frank King on phone.”


“Wed. July 23, 1919

Left Eugene this A.M. for St. Louis. This has been a great meeting of the Synod. The right ideas. I have enjoyed my work here. Left Portland for Spokane.”