William H. King

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William Henry King
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
November 19, 1940 – January 3, 1941
Preceded by Key Pittman
Succeeded by Pat Harrison
United States Senator
from Utah
In office
March 4, 1917 – January 3, 1941
Preceded by George Sutherland
Succeeded by Abe Murdock
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from 's Utah's At-large district
In office
April 2, 1900 – March 3, 1901
Preceded by William H. King
Succeeded by George Sutherland
In office
March 4, 1897 – March 3, 1899
Preceded by Clarence Emir Allen
Succeeded by William H. King
Personal details
Born (1863-06-03)June 3, 1863
Fillmore, Utah Territory
Died November 27, 1949(1949-11-27) (aged 86)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′37.92″N 111°51′28.8″W / 40.7772000°N 111.858000°W / 40.7772000; -111.858000
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Louisa Ann Lyman (1868–1906)
Vera Sjodahl (1891–1955)
Children Romola King
Paul Browning King
Adrienne King
Kathleen King
David Sjodahl King
Eleanor King
John Creighton King
Alma mater University of Michigan
Profession Lawyer

William Henry King (June 3, 1863 – November 27, 1949) was an American lawyer, politician, and jurist from Salt Lake City, Utah. As a Democrat, King represented Utah in the United States Senate from 1917 until 1941.


King was born in Fillmore, Utah Territory in 1863. He attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He served as a missionary of the LDS Church in Great Britain from 1880 to 1883.

After holding local offices and serving two terms in the territorial legislature, he graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He later joined the Utah bar and practiced law. He held other territorial offices and was appointed as an associate justice of the Utah Supreme Court, seving between 1894 and 1896.

After Utah became a state in 1896, King was elected to the United States House of Representatives and served in the 55th Congress from March 4, 1897 to March 3, 1899. He was not nominated for a second term, but when his replacement, B. H. Roberts, was denied his seat because he was a polygamist, King was elected to complete Roberts' term. He served from April 2, 1900 to March 3, 1901. He ran for the same position in 1900 and again in 1902, but lost both times.

King was elected to the United States Senate four times, serving between March 4, 1917 and January 3, 1941. He failed to win renomination in 1940. In 1918 and 1919, he served on the Overman Committee, which investigated seditious pro-German activity during World War I and Bolshevik-inspired anti-Americanism in the months following the war's end. He served as the President pro tempore of the Senate from 1940-41 during the 76th Congress.

King remained in Washington, D.C., where he practiced law until April 1947. He returned to Utah and died there in 1949. He was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery. His son, David S. King, also served in Congress. His maternal first cousin Culbert Olson was a California governor.

King was a direct descendant of Edmund Rice, his family's English immigrant ancestor to Massachusetts Bay Colony, as follows:[1]

  • William H. King, son of
  • William King (1834–1892), son of
  • Thomas Rice King (1813–1879),[2] son of
  • Thomas King (1770–1845), son of
  • William King (1724–1793), son of
  • Ezra Rice King (1697–1746), son of
  • Samuel Rice King (1667–1713), son of
  • Samuel Rice (1634–1684), son of


  1. ^ Edmund Rice (1638) Association, 2007. Descendants of Edmund Rice: The First Nine Generations.
  2. ^ "Thomas Rice King". Early Latter Day Saints; Mormon Trail Database. Retrieved 21 Sep 2010. 

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Clarence Emir Allen
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Utah's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
B. H. Roberts
(never took seat)
Preceded by
B. H. Roberts
(never took seat)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Utah's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
George Sutherland
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
George Sutherland
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Utah
Served alongside: Reed Smoot, Elbert D. Thomas
Succeeded by
Abe Murdock
Political offices
Preceded by
Key Pittman
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
November 19, 1940 – January 3, 1941
Succeeded by
Pat Harrison