Copyright 2011-2018 John N. Lupia, III

            Colin Edward King (1862-1921), was born in Indiana on April 13, 1862, son of Edward King (1818-1888), a native of Connecticut and president of the Indianapolis and Saint Louis Railroads, and Rebecca Jane Suydam (1834-1909), a native of New York. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

            He studied at Butler College (now University), Indianapolis, Indiana. He was a member of Sigma Chi. He was elected Class Prophet. He was the Delegate to the Thirteenth Biennial Convention, Grand Rho Chapter Sigma Chi. He was a student of Catherine Merrill a well-known writer. His school diaries are preserved in the Butler Library Archives and have been used by researchers and published in part regarding American nineteenth century English composition and literary criticism. His studies brought him into collecting ancient Greek and Roman coins. In spite of his numismatic interests while a schoolboy it seems very unlikely that the then 16 year old Colin E. King was the buyer of the Gilmor groat of Edward I in the Strobridge sale of March 19-21, 1878. 
            Currently, there are twenty pieces of correspondence from Colin E. King from 1882 to 1894 catalogued in the Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, Chapman Family Correspondence Archive. When completed the tally will be updated.

            About 1880, he lived in Center, Marion County, Indiana, and worked for his father as a Clerk for the Indianapolis and Saint Louis Railroads. In 1881, he graduated with a bachelors degree from Butler University. He was an avid ancient, medieval, Foreign and American coin collector at that time and by April 1882 he bid at coin auctions held by the Chapman Brothers. He worked as a Cashier for Federal Life Insurance Company of Chicago, Illinois, at that time, though still holding a position as clerk with the railroad. He was a member of the Young Men's Republican Club. 

Fig. 1. Correspondence from Colin E. King to the Chapman Brothers as agents with bids on an Eduoard Frossard sale of May 5th, 1882, postmarked April 23, 1882 sent on Plimpton postal stationery, Thorp-Bartels No. 549, imprinted for the Indianapolis and Saint Louis Railroads, negative cross cork cancel, Indianapolis, Indiana CDS. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, Chapman Family Correspondence Archive. 

            From 1883-1884 he worked for the Chicago and Alton Railway.
            In 1887, he is listed in the Indianapolis City Directory as the Chief Clerk for the The Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad, living as a boarder at 352 Home Avenue. He worked for that railroad from 1884-1887.

            He moved to New York City in February 1887, working in the General Passenger Department of the New York, Lake Erie and Western Railroad.

Fig. 2. 
Correspondence from Colin E. King to the Chapman Brothers, postmarked March 1, 1887 sent on the New York, Lake Erie and Western Railroad stationery, duplex cancel, New York. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, Chapman Family Correspondence Archive. 

            On June 3, 1890 he married Martha L. Wemple at Manhattan, New York.

Fig. 3. Catalogue of the Colin E. King Collection by the Chapman Brothers. 

            On April 5-6, 1892, King was a consignor to the Chapman Brothers coin auction sale of 1455 lots of gold, silver and bronze coins and fractional currency at the auction house of Davis & Harvey, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to the February 1892 issue of The Numismatist the auction was set to go off in February.  The fine collection of ancient, medieval, European and American coins was enhanced with an extensive collection of fractional currency which was the most complete offered at that time. One of three known at that time (now four)  1853-O NO ARROWS Half Dollar (lot 854), the grand-prize piece of the collection in this sale sold to Ed Frossard for $151. Among the ancient coins the gtand-prize piece was a superb example of a Syracuse dekadrachm (lot 56, illustrated on Plate II) sold to Lyman H. Low for $150. Most of the fractional currency was purchased by Ed Frossard. The prices realized were mixed even for 1892. The 1793 AMERI brought $14. The 1804 Uncirculated Large Cent counterstamped by Wm. W. Baldwin brought $102. An 1855 Kellogg & Company Double Eagle brought $32. An 1830 Georgia Quarter Eagle brought $62.50. The beautiful cabinet brought $110. The catalogue was illustrated with five phototype plates.

Fig. 4. Correspondence from Colin E. King to the Chapman Brothers, postmarked April 3, 1894 sent on the New York, Lake Erie and Western Railroad stationery, franked with a 2c Columbian Commemorative postage stamp, machine cancel, New York. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, Chapman Family Correspondence Archive. 

            In 1895, he moved to Passaic, New Jersey. He was a member of the Passaic Club. 

            In 1900, he lived at 235 Paulison Avenue, Passaic, New Jersey with his wife Martha (Wemple) King, and step son Alexander Wemple and step daughter Alise Wemple. He became one of four major stock holders of the Arlington Copper Company.

            In 1902 he married his second wife Kate Ditmars in New Jersey.

            In June 1905, he sued to prevent the sale of the Arlington Copper Company.

            In 1908, he worked for a very modest income for the Inter-State Life Insurance Company, and John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company as both secretary and cashier with a combined annual salary of $1,525.

            In 1910, he worked for the Indianapolis Fire Insurance Agents Association and lived at 2108 Talbott Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, with his wife Kate D. King (1871-), and daughter Kathryn Emma King (1903-).

            In 1912, he lived on Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois working for a the Indianapolis Fire Insurance Agents Association.

            In 1920, he still worked as a secretary for the Indianapolis Fire Insurance Agents Association and lived at 1803 North Talbott Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, with his wife Kate Ditmars King (1871-), and daughter Kathryn.

            He died of arteriosclerosis and apoplexy in a downtown bank on Tuesday, November 22, 1921, at Indianapolis, Indiana. His funeral was at St. Paul's Episcopal Church and he was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana. He was survived by his wife, and daughter Kathryn Emma King, (who ten years later at age 28 married a Hungarian immigrant Julius Hollander); a brother Roderick A. King and his sister Emma B. King, both of Indianapolis.

Bibliography :

Indianapolis News, Monday, June 2, 1884, page 4 

Catalogue and History of Sigma Chi, 1855-1890 (Chicago, 1890) : 271

The Numismatist, Vol. 4, No. 2, February, (1892) ; 25;

"The Colin E. King Sale," American Journal of Numismatics, Volume 26, April (1892) : 92

Trenton Evening Times, Monday, June 12, 1905, page 10

The Sigma Chi Fraternity : Manual and Directory (1912) : 89

Butler College : Alumni Directory 1856-1912 (1912) : 13

Indianapolis News, Wednesday, November 23, 1921, page 17 Obit

Lorraine S. Durst, United States Numismatic Auction Catalogs : A Bibliography (1981) : No. 629, page 29

John W. Adams, United States Numismatic Literature, (1982) Vol. 1, 87

Walter Breen, Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U. S. and Colonial Coins (1988) : 393 column 2.

George M. Waller, Colin Edward King (unpublished thesis , 1988)

Gengerke, Martin, American Numismatic Auctions, 8th edition (1990) : 32

Charles Davis, American Numismatic LiteratureNo. 188

Joel Orosz, "Robert Gilmor, Jr," The Numismatist, December (1996) : 1509, see note 17 on page 1512.

Patricia Donahue, Gretchen Flesher Moon, Local Histories: Reading the Archives of Composition (University of Pittsburg Press, 2007) : 63, 68

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