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Clarence Leonard King

CLARENCE LEONARD KING is one of the ablest bankers of Southwestern Virginia. His name is identified with a number of banking and business organizations in that part of the state, but ho is best known as the organizer and for over twenty years the executive officer of the First National Bank of Pearisburg.

He was born in Henry County, Virginia, May 27, 1873. The Kings were of English ancestry and on coming to America in Colonial times settled on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where they remained until 1835, when John King moved from King and Queen County to Henry County. His son, Camillus King, accompanied him. At the junction of North Mayo River and Horsepasture Creek they became planters, and there spent the rest of their days. Jeremiah C. King, youngest son of Camillus King, was born on this plantation September 3, 1846. In the early years of his majority a successful merchant, later, in 1880, he succeeded his father in the ownership of the plantation, and remained a progressive and successful planter until his death, which took place at his home on February 12, 1908. He served as a soldier in the Confederate army during the latter year of the war. He was a democrat and a member of the Christian Church.

In 1870 Jeremiah C. King married Eliza Rangeley, of Henry County, daughter of John Rangeley, an Englishman by birth, who came to the United States in 1820, when ten years of age, with his father, James Rangeley. The Rangeley family first lived in Portland, Maine. They then moved to what was then the wilderness of Northern Maine, where James Rangeley owned a large tract of land. Within the limits of this land were a number of takes, to which he gave the name Rangeley Lakes, and by this name they are still known. Subsequently the family returned to Portland, and later moved to Brooklyn, New York, where John Rangeley met and married Mary Webster, of Brooklyn. About 1840 the family moved to Patrick County, Virginia, and soon afterward to Henry County.

Jeremiah C. and Eliza (Rangeley) King reared a family of eight children, namely: John C., a physician at Radford, Virginia, and a graduate in the University of Maryland; Clarence L.; Nannie, wife of John W. Price; Thomas E., who is also a well known banker, being vice president and cashier of the Marion National Bank; Sallie R., who died at Newport in 1921, wife of James D. Miller, a farmer and merchant; Mamie, wife of Charles B. Price, of Leaksville, North Carolina; Gertrude C., wife of William H. Wheelwright, who is connected with the Federal Reserve Bank at Richmond; and Helen, wife of Harvey V. Price, a dentist it Martinsville, Virginia.

Clarence Leonard King was reared on his father’s plantation in Henry County, attended public schools there, and in 1890, when seventeen years of age, left the farm and for a time was employed by the Norfolk & Western Railway and in 1896 became teller in the First National Bank of Bluefield, West Virginia. This position he resigned in 1899, and, coming to Pearisburg, organized the Bank of Giles, becoming its cashier. In 1906 the Bank of Giles was nationalized as the First National Bank of Pearisburg. Mr. King has been vice president and cashier and in every important sense the active head of the bank throughout its history. He has made it one of the strong financial institutions of Southwest Virginia. It has capital stock of $100,000, surplus and profits of $70,000, and deposits averaging $750,000. The president of the bank is M. L. Harrison, of Wytheville, and the assistant cashier is Mrs. Frances E. Miller.

Mr. King is also president of the Sinking Creek Valley Bank of Newport in Giles County, and is a director in the Bank of Pembroke and the Bank of Eggleston and in the Shenandoah Life Insurance Company of Roanoke. He has a farm and a very fine country home a mile east of Pearisburg. Mr. King as a banker naturally took a leading part in financing the war, and was chairman of the Liberty Loan Committees of Giles County and interested in all the drives .for the Red Cross, the Young Men’s Christian Association, and other causes.

Mr. King is an independent republican in politics. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and is affiliated with Giles Lodge No. 196, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Pearisburg; Pearisburg Chapter No. 29, Royal Arch Masons; Graham Commandery No. 22, Knights Templar, and Kazim Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Roanoke.

At Lynchburg, January 22, 1903, Mr. King married Miss Katharine Randolph Oglesby, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Loderick Oglesby, now deceased. Her father was a farmer and was a Confederate soldier. Mrs. King finished her education in private schools in Bedford County. To their marriage were born three children: Robert L., who attended Washington and Lee University two years and is now a student in the University of Virginia at Charlottesville; Katherine, attending the Pearisburg High School; and Clarence Leonard, Jr., a pupil in the grammar grades at Pearisburg.