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Caleb Jewett King, Sr. Papers

Identifier: MS 251

Scope and Content

The Caleb King collection consists of a scrapbook and a box of papers. The material spans 1918-1965; however, the beginning of the scrapbook includes reproductions of documents pertaining to family history that are dated as early as 1823. The scrapbook seems to be a commemorative volume presented to King to highlight his work at the Florida Times-Union, and consists mostly of letters complimenting him on his career. Other materials in the collection include correspondence sent to King, editorials on Florida and contemporary events, and photographs.

Subjects reflect King's personal background as an advocate of Florida, education, and Christian morality. King's efforts to promote Florida are reflected in the many letters thanking him for his positive articles depicting local attractions; however, outside of the commemorative scrapbook there exists a few instances of personal rebukes for unfavorable characterizations. Some of the correspondents of note include Congressman Charles E. Bennett and administrators of both the University of Florida and Stetson University. Of particular interest is a letter from Florida author Zora Neale Hurston giving her views on communism and socialized medicine.

The scrapbook also features several newspaper articles from the Republican leaning Times-Union on Franklin D. Roosevelt's first election campaign against Herbert Hoover, rising anti-communist sentiment and the onset of the Cold War.


  • Creation: 1823-1965
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1950-1965



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Caleb Jewett King, Sr. was born in Critz, Virginia, on June 1, 1884. He studied to be a newspaper telegrapher and also attended Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, for one year in 1916. In the same year his newspaper career began with the Associated Press. The following year, 1917, he joined the Associated Press (AP) news department and worked in both Birmingham, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia. In 1923 the AP appointed him as their correspondent in Tallahassee, Florida; while there he worked for Nathan Mayo in the Department of Agriculture as an advertising editor in Mayo's program to produce promotional literature on Florida. In 1926 King went to Pensacola and became editor of the Pensacola News Journal.

King joined the Florida Times-Union of Jacksonville as the night city editor in 1929. He became the editor of the Times-Union's editorial page in 1943 and was well known for his Sunday sermon columns. Stetson University later acknowledged the influence of these columns, sometimes called the "Bible Column," by awarding him an honorary doctorate of literature. King maintained close connections with Stetson. He retired from newspaper editorship in 1956, and was succeeded by his son Caleb King Jr.; however, he continued to submit the occasional editorial. King died August 5, 1965 in Jacksonville, Florida. He was survived by his wife Hariett B. King, his two sons, and daughter.

Source: Florida Times-Union Section C, p. 21, August 6, 1965.


2.5 Linear feet (1 box and 1 scrapbook)

Language of Materials



Letters to Caleb King as an editorial writer at the Florida Times-Union (arranged in a scrapbook), and other correspondence.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

Acquired from the family of Caleb J. King.

Related Material

The P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History holds other collections relating to the Florida Times-Union and journalism in Florida, including Charles H. Jones and Claude L'Engle.

A Guide to the Caleb Jewett King, Sr. Papers
Finding aid created by Catherine Daas
December 2008
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America