GUIDE TO THE COLLECTION

Collection Title: Voris King Collection

Accession Number: 106

Archives and Special Collections Department
Frazar Memorial Library
McNeese State University


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Voris King was a prominent business and civic leader of the Lake Charles area. He was born in Lake Charles on January 20, 1917, the son of former Governor Alvin O. King and Willie Lee (Voris) King. He was an honor graduate of Lake Charles High School and attended the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee for 2 years. On December 19, 1945 King was married to Francis Thompson of Tennessee. The Kings went on to have four children: Charles Stirling, Virginia Lee, William Voris, and Alvin Bardine.

He began working for the wholesale grocery firm Kelly, Weber, and Company, Inc. in 1936 as a traveling produce salesman. King served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was honorably discharged on October 16, 1945 as Radioman 2nd Class. After he returned from the service, he was transferred to Natchitoches and became local manager of Kelly, Weber, and Company, Inc.. While in Natchitoches Mr. King was extremely active in business and community affairs. He belonged to and helped organize numerous organizations, including: Ben King Council No. 732 of the United Commercial Travelers of America; President, Nakatosh Shrine Club; State Director, Nakatosh Jaycees; and the Central Louisiana Association, of which he was Vice President until he returned to Lake Charles. King also served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Commerce in Natchitoches, as well as the Louisiana State Board of Commerce and Industry. King became the Director of the Louisiana Wholesale Grocers Association, and served as president in 1953. In 1949 King received the Civic Service Award from the Natchitoches Parish Wildlife Association.

Mr. King continued his active role in public life upon his return to Lake Charles in the early fifties. He belonged to and held leadership positions in several area business and community organizations:

Kelly, Weber and Co.; Lake Charles Grain and Grocery Co.; Little Lake Misere Land Co.; King Corporation; First National Bank of Lake Charles; The Coastal Club Inc.; Lake Charles Cemetery Association Ltd.; Kingfish Enterprises; Board of Directors, Lake Charles Lions Club; Masonic Lodge No. 165; National President, United Commercial Travelers of America; Grand Master, Secretary, Lake Charles Lodge No. 506 of the United Travelers of America; Director, Louisiana Association of Commerce; Officer, Director, Calcasieu United Appeals; Board of Directors, Calcasieu Area Guidance Center; Director, Wesley Foundation at McNeese State College; President, Calcasieu Area Safety Council; Louisiana State Racing Commission; Chairman, Bayou District of the Calcasieu Area Boy Scouts of America; Exalted Ruler, Lake Charles Elks Club No. 435; President, Lake Charles Rotary Club; Kingfish Enterprises; Coastal Club, Inc.; American Bank of Commerce; Master, Rudolph Krause Lodge 433; Organizer and First Potentate of Habibi Shrine Temple; First Director of Court 178 of the Royal Order of Jesters; and the Imperial Potentate, Shrine of North America.

Mr. King was a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason and was recipient of the Red Cross of Constantine of the York Rite. He was also appointed by President Nixon as member of the U.S. Assay Commission, and was king of the Washington D.C. Mardi Gras Krewe in 1962. He served as Aide-de-Camp on Governor Earl Long’s staff in 1948 and 1954, and was Colonel on his staff in 1956.

Mr. King was recipient of many honors, including that of Honorary Louisiana State Senator, as well as Honorary Citizen of several cities and states. In 1988 he was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Mr. King was past president of the McNeese Hundred Club and member of the McNeese Foundation Board. The National Business Leaders Award, the American Legion Community Affairs Award, the Salvation Army Distinguished Citizen Award, and the Association of Commerce Civic Service Award are among the honors he received.

Voris King died July 5, 1991, in San Francisco, California.


SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

This collection consists of 2 boxes and one blotting paper envelope. It contains numerous honorary certificates of Mr. King’s, photographs, yearbooks, and also video tapes, including one of the 1988 Mardi Gras Ball in New Orleans, of which Mr. King was King of Ball.


CONTAINER LIST

Box 1

Louisiana Secretary of State’s certificate for the filing of the Southwest Louisiana Shrine Club’s Articles of Incorporation 1956
Photograph of Voris King and other Shriners
Photograph of El Katiff Animal Unit of Southwest Louisiana Shrine Club 1982
Three silly songs written in honor of Voris King
Habibi Temple Petition for Dispensation 1973 (2)
Yearbook for Fort Polk Day 1967
Yearbook for Fort Polk’s Operation Understanding 1967

Box 2

Small painting of a blue bird presented to Voris King
Blueprints of a house
Caricature of Voris King for Shriners’ New Orleans Imperial Council Session 1988
Numerous certificates, mostly Masonic, awarded to Voris King including:
    Aide-de-Camp, Governor’s Staff 1948
    Aide-de-Camp, Governor’s Staff 1954
    Colonel on the Staff of Gov. Earl K. Long 1956
    Member of Louisiana State Racing Commission 1960
    Honorary Louisiana State Senator 1953
    Honorary Citizen of New Orleans, Louisiana 1951
    Fifty years membership in the Masons 1989
    Honorary Citizen of Texas 1952
    Punxsutawney Groundhog Club 1954
    Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska 1955 & 1987
    Honorary Citizen of Little Rock, Arkansas 1955
    Honorary Citizen of Kansas City, Missouri 1988
    U.S.S. Arizona Certificate of Flag Presentation 1987
    Louisiana College of Hunting and Fishing Diploma 1951
    Colonel in Armenian Air Force of the U.S.A. 1988
VHS Tapes
    Las Vegas Pageant
    "The Man of Kingwood"
    Mardi Gras Ball, New Orleans, LA, Voris King as King of Ball, June 28, 1988

Envelope 1

Certificate of elevation of Voris King to thirty-second degree of Scottish Rite Masonry 1942

Outside the boxes are matted programs, clippings, and invitations for an honorary doctorate awarded to Voris King by McNeese State University in 1988 and a plaque awarded to Voris King for serving as chairman of the Shriners’ Des Moines Seminar School of Instruction in 1987.

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