THE LC KING MANUFACTURING COMPANY
PRE-HISTORY & CONTEXT
The King Family of our founder’s heritage came to the United States in 1638. They arrived on this continent at Salem, Massachusetts from their departure point near London, England. We believe their reason for uproot was likely flight from persecution, but like so many other "new Americans", the lure of entrepreneurial success also enticed the family. As the King family began to spread throughout the American East, their settling was often coupled with business success. And so it has been for hundreds of years.
Edward King, Sr. moved to Holston (now Sullivan) County of the newly forming State of Tennessee in 1780. He is considered to be the primary ancestor of the family of Kings that reside and have thrived in the Bristol region.
Currently in the company’s possession is a framed textile described as “Flax grown and prepared, wool sheared spun and dyed on grandfather’s King’s farm at New Bethel, Tennessee worn in 1853.” New Bethel is not far from Bristol and this is looked upon as proof the family had an interest in fabrics and milling that well predated the founding of LC King Manufacturing.
Today, the century of impact the King family has had on the Bristol region is quite evident. The landscape is peppered with the many businesses that have brought the King family success through the years; organizations such as King University, King Pharmaceuticals, King Printing, The E. W. King Company, William King Clothiers, Ruth King Antiques, and many more.
Landon Clayton (L. C.) King was born April 5th 1871 in New Bethel, Tennessee and died in 1954, still working at the factory he founded. He was one of 12 children. At age 12, he began working for his uncle at White’s Store, an old and renowned purveyor of general goods. At age 16, he joined his brother E. W King’s wholesale dry goods business and worked there as a salesman for 25 years before deciding to start his own business.
An avid huntsman of quail and rabbit, he loved the art of raising and training the pointer breed of hunting dog. He admired their qualities, especially those champion dogs who competed in tournaments. It is clear that the bond between dog, man, and gun was strong throughout his life. When it came time to name his clothing line, he decided to consider the admirable characteristics of the dogs a noble metaphor for the values of a company and the products he would make, as well as something that would translate in the marketplace to consumers.
Company archive documents from the early 1900s show the wholesale purchase of large quantities of goods (including clothing) from New York and Chicago outlets for the E. W. King Company, likely the responsibility of L. C. King, where he worked at a high level sales position at the time. We believe this process of wholesale buying from other states, reselling and distribution throughout the South inspired L. C. to seek a profit from manufacturing directly.
The birth, rise, and continued success of the LC King Manufacturing Company the quintessential American Success Story. Remaining family owned for 4 generations....maintaining the standards of quality and character that were our founders vision...operating with a "family first" atmosphere....and setting success as a long term goal instead of being focused on short term gains...is the foundation for how we have thrived for over a century.
LC King Manufacturing has grown into more than a regional garment distributer as we now operate on a fully international scale. Working with designers and private labels from around the world has helped us grow into new markets at sustained levels. We have achieved new audiences, released new garments, and along the way become a leader in the true Made in USA clothing movement. In this century of growth, we have never abandoned our roots and still create the original workwear items that L.C. saw as the foundation to business success in the King name. The entire line of Pointer Brand workwear can still be found on shelves and online, as well as our more modern streetwear items released as "LC King" brand.
Each day we set forth to honor the history and heritage of the LC King Manufacturing Co. as we work to ensure that the next 100 years will be as fulfilling as the first 100 years.