EX-BAILIE JOHN KING is a native of Glasgow. After leaving
school he entered the employment of Messrs. M'Dowall, Steven & Co., Milton Iron
Works, and his evenings were spent at the Andersonian College, where he attended
the lectures of Professor Herschell, and at the modelling class in the
Government School of art where, under Mr. John Mossman, he studied art to enable
him to become fully equipped for his business. After employment for nearly
eleven years with Messrs. M'Dowall, Steven & Co., where he had responsible
oversight of the business, he, along with his father, started the works in
Keppochhill Road known as the Keppoch Iron Works. There year by year the
business increased till in 1885 the foundry in Keppochhill Road became too
small. Messrs. David King & Son therefore feued land at Possilpark, and built
their new Keppoch Iron Works there. In 1890 all the patterns, plant, etc., of
Budhill Ironworks, Shettleston, were purchased, and a further large department
added, and the works now cover some eight acres and employ over five hundred
men. In 1892 the senior partner, Mr. David King, died, and the business has
since been carried on by Messrs. John King, David King, jun., Donald M. King,
and Robert King.
In addition to his business, Mr. King has always been interested in public and philanthropic work. While but a youth he became secretary and treasurer of the Canal Boatmen's Mission, of which he is still a director, and afterwards, besides acting as session clerk of Free St. Paul's Church and being a member of Glasgow Free Presbytery, he taught every Sunday an adults' Bible-class of close on four hundred members. He became also a Rechabite, a Forester, a Free Gardener, and a Freemason, and took an active part in temperance propaganda. On the extension of the city boundaries to include Possilpark he was elected to represent the district, the 7th or Cowlairs Ward, in the Town Council. Six years later, in 1897, he became a Magistrate, and reached the position of Senior Magistrate in 1901. It was in this position, as Chairman of the Licensing Court in 1902, that Bailie King came most prominently before the public. In his endeavour to "introduce reforms, and put the administration of the licensing laws on a basis more in harmony with the spirit and intention of those who framed them," he instituted a regime of repression and curtailment of licences which excited much public discussion. By the findings of that Court the number of licences in Glasgow was reduced by thirty-six. In March of the same year Bailie King was a member of a sub-committee of the Magistrates sent to Liverpool to enquire into the working of the licensing laws there.
Ex-Bailie King is Chairman and Director of the Scottish National Sabbath School Union, President of the Lodging House Workers' Union, Honorary Director of the Magdalene Institution, and a Director of Grove Street Institute; he has also been largely interested in the work of the Boys' Brigade and of the Young Men's and Young Women's Christian Associations.
Shortly after he became a councillor the ratepayers acknowledged his services by presenting him with an illuminated address, accompanied by a silver flower bowl, with epergnes handsomely engraved and inscribed. And on the occasion of his silver wedding in 1901, Bailie and Mrs. King were presented with a handsome chestful of silver plate by the friends and employees of Keppoch Iron Works. The members of the Town Council at this time suitably acknowledged the event by a separate gift. The friends and employees, close upon a thousand guests, were entertained by Mr. and Mrs. King in Hydepark Works Hall.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)