George King, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

1809: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" identifies George King's lifetime as 1809 to 1870. The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" identifies George King's lifetime as 1809 to possibly 1876 or 1877.

1809-1835: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" indicates that George was born in St. Clair Township and lived in St. Clair Township through 1838. The booklet speculates that George King may have apprenticed with George Slonaker.

1829: According to the 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties", the September 4, 1829 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper has a notice of the death of George King's 22-year-old wife Susan.

1829-1836: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" identifies George King, who lived in Bedford County during the 1829 to 1836 timeframe, as a gunsmith. The basis for identifying him as a gunsmith appears to be the 1850 U.S. census of Armstrong County, which lists a 41-year-old George King as a gunsmith.

1834: The 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania" states, "Union township was formed from portions of St. Clair and Greenfield in 1834. In 1876 King township was taken from Union."

1834-1836: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" puts George King in St. Clair Township from 1834 to 1836.

1835: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" reports that in 1835 George King is listed in the tax records of St. Clair Township as a gunsmith.

1835: Page 223 of the book "A History of the old Greenfield Township Historical Society" indicates that George King and Peter Donmire were identified as gunsmiths on the 1835 Septennial (every seven years) enumeration of the then recently formed Union Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

1838: According to the following death certificate, George King had a son named Chambers King who was born in Armstrong County in 1838. I have been told that Chambers King was also a gunsmith. In a June 9, 2020 biography of Chambers King, James B. Whisker described Chambers' father as George B. King. The middle initial may be useful to know, since there was more than one George King.

1850-1857: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", George King appears on the 1850, 1851, and 1857 tax lists of Sugar Creek Township, Armstrong County.

1850-1857: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" locates George King in Sugar Township of Armstrong County from 1850 to 1857.

1851: I suspect there were two individuals named George King in Bedford County for awhile, because the 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" references the gunsmith Andris Saupp in connection with a May 5, 1851 executor's bond at the Register and Recorder's Office for an individual named George King. This is after the gunsmith George King has already moved to Armstrong County.

1854: The William King identified in the following death certificate is said to be a gunsmith son of the gunsmith George King in the 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania". I don't know if that identification takes into consideration the birthplace of the father George King and the name of the mother that are shown on the death certificate, or if the author of the 2017 book reviewed the death certificate.

1860-1870: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" locates George King in Washington Township of Armstrong County from 1860 to 1870.

1864: In a June 9, 2020 biography of Chambers King, James B. Whisker wrote that Chambers King lived in Washington Township of Armstrong County before enlisting in the Army on February 24, 1864 at Kittanning, Pennsylvania. Mr. Whisker wrote that Chambers King was in Company M of the Second Pennsylvania Provisional Cavalry, where he was a Regimental Armorer. He also wrote that Chambers' service records indicate he had brown hair and eyes and a ruddy complexion, and was 5-feet-seven-inches tall.

1863-1866: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", George King appears on the 1863 and 1866 tax lists of Washington Township, Armstrong County.

1863-1872: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Chambers King appears on the 1863 to 1867, 1870, and 1872 tax lists of Washington Township, Armstrong County.

1865: In a June 9, 2020 biography of Chambers King, James B. Whisker wrote that Chambers King was discharged from the Union Army on July 13, 1865 at Cloud's Mills, Virginia.

1865-1868: In a June 9, 2020 biography of Chambers King, James B. Whisker wrote that from late in the year 1865 until 1868 Chambers King lived at Adrian, in Armstrong County, and then moved to Rochester Mills Rural Delivery Route 3 in Canoe Township of Indiana County, where he lived the rest of his life. Mr. Whisker also wrote that eventually, after Chambers moved to Indiana County, his father George B. King came there to live as well.

Volume 38 (1967) of the "Pennsylvania Game News" reports that the gunsmith Chambers King lived in Adrian, Armstrong County, which was called Gumtown by some. The article says that the beautiful rifles made by Chambers King were known as Gumtown Rifles when the article was written.

1871: The marriage of Chambers King to M. E. Hawk was announced in the May 25, 1871 issue of the" Indiana Democrat" newspaper (Indiana, Pennsylvania) and states, "On Thursday, the 11th inst., by James A. Minish, Esq., at his residence, in Punxsutawney, Mr. Chambers King to Miss Mary E. Hawk, both of this county.

1871: The following excerpt from the 1922 book "The Bowser Family History" also references the marriage of Elizabeth Hawk and Chambers King.

Circa 1873: The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" states that George King moved to Canoe Township in Indiana County, Pennsylvania around the year 1873

Circa 1876-1877: The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" states that although tax records are confusing they suggest that George King's death occurred in either 1876 or 1877.

1878: The following notice from the August 15, 1878 issue of the "Indiana Progress" newspaper identifies Chambers King as one of the administrators of his father-in-law's estate.

1906: The following article is from the October 16, 1906 issue of the "Punxsutawney Spirit" newspaper.

1914: Chambers King is referred to as an old gunsmith in the following excerpt from Volume 1 of the 1914 book "Armstrong County, Pennsylvania: Her People Past and Present ..."

1920: Chambers King died on June 1, 1920, and is buried in the Union Church Cemetery that is located in Indiana County at Rossiter, Pennsylvania. According to the 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania", the June 1, 1920 issue of the "Punxsutawney Spirit" newspaper and the June 9, 1920 issue of the "Indiana Democrat" newspaper published notices about the death of the 82-year-old Civil War Veteran and gunsmith Chambers King.

The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" mentions the existence of two rifles George King produced, states that they have commercial locks and a resemblance to rifles of Bedford County.

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