Austin J. King, has for many years been one of the outstanding coal operators of the West Virginia and Virginia fields. he has been identified with the coal industry since boyhood and there is scarcely a phase of coal mining which has escaped his practical working experience. Mr. King was born at Salineville, Columbiana County, Ohio, May 19, 1874. His father, Austin King, was born at Portobello, England, July 8, 1851, and in 1870 came to America and entered the coal mines at Salineville, Ohio. For several years he was state mine inspector in Ohio. From 1886 to 1890 he was a coal mining superintendent at Leisenring, Pennsylvania, in 1890 became a state inspector in Pennsylvania, and in 1892 became a mining superintendent for the H.C. Frick Coal & Coke Company. Except for three years as general manager of the Dominion Coal Company in Nova Scotia he was with the Frick Coal & Coke Company until his death in May, 1915, his last position with that corporation being chief mine inspector. Austin King married Mary Maloney, who was born in Lancashire, England, August 15, 1852, and died April 14, 1914.

Austin J. King is the eldest of a family of eleven children, all of whom earned something more than commonplace positions in the world of affairs, some of them in the mining industry, others in the professions. Austin J. King acquired much of his early education in the intervals of actual experience in coal mines. For two years he studied engineering at Ohio State University. His first work in a coal mine, beginning at the age of twelve, was in Ohio. From the age of fifteen to seventeen he was in mines at Houtzdale, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. He was with the engineering corps of the H.C. Frick Coal & Coke Company from August 15, 1891, to September 1, 1893. Then, after his engineering course at Ohio State University, he returned to the Frick Coal & Coke Company. From March 1, 1900, to July 1, 1900, he was division engineer of the Pittsburgh Coal Company. On July 1, 1900, he became assistant general superintendent of the Southwest Virginia Improvement Company, with headquarters at Pocahontas, Virginia. The name of this company was changed to the Pocahontas Collieries Company, and on December 1, 1901, he was made general superintendent. Subsequently he was general superintendent of the Virginia Iron, Coal & Coke Company, general superintendent of the James W. Ellsworth Company in Pennsylvania, in 1905 became chief engineer of the New River Smokeless Coal Company in West Virginia, and when this became the New River Collieries Company, under the ownership of the Guggenheims, Mr. King was made division superintendent. From July 1, 1909, to December 1, 1909, he was assistant to Mr. John Lang, chief of the department of mines, Charleston, West Virginia. For a second time he was general superintendent of the Pocahontas Collieries Company at Pocahontas, and since March 15, 1911, has been identified with properties and companies largely representing his individual enterprise as a coal operator. These eventually came to constitute several companies operating in the West Virginia fields. Mr. King has had his home at Huntington since May, 1917, and his business offices are in the Robson-Prichard Building, that city. He is a member of the Mining Institute of West Virginia, American Mining Congress, Coal Mining Institute of America, American Institute of Mining Engineers and American Association of Engineers. In politics he is a Republican, is a Catholic, and member of the Congressional Country Club, Washington, D.C. He married in November, 1895, Miss Catherine Carroll, daughter of William and Mary (Naylon) Carroll. She died at Charleston, West Virginia, February 8, 1914, mother of nine children: Mrs. H.R. Pinckard; Austin C., who graduated from Yale University in June, 1921, and became associated with his father's business; Mrs. Walter Sebring, a graduate nurse of Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh; William P.; Catherine, who died in infancy; Paul, Virginia, Margaret and Harriet. Mr. King on June 27, 1917, married, Miss Catherine A. Cavey, of Charleston. Their children are: James, born October 22, 1918, died may 1, 1925; John, born December 29, 1919; Anna, born August 19, 1921; Robert A., born December 4, 1923; and Therese, born April 30, 1925.

 

West Virginia In History, Life, Literature and Industry by The Lewis Publishing Company - 1928 Volume 5