Known Pony Express Riders

Thomas Owen King
Photo of Thomas King Born: April 27, 1840, in Dernferdale, Cambridge, England.

Died: November 16, 1921, in Almo, Idaho.

During the Pony Express, Thomas King rode in the Utah Territory from Salt Lake City over the Wasatch Mountains to Fort Bridger on the Bear River. On the first run in April, 1860, he started out in good weather. By the time he had gone twenty miles, a heavy storm was upon him. The trail was narrow and slippery. The horse stumbled, King was thrown off, and the mochila went sailing over a cliff. After much labor he recovered the mochila, remounted his horse, and made such good time from there on that he arrived at the end of his run on schedule.

One night he came into Bear River station and reported that he had not met Henry Worley who was riding in the opposite direction. Worley made the same report concerning King at his next stop. The truth was they had passed each other on the trail as usual, but both were sound asleep in the saddle when they did so.

On one occasion, he continued on from Bear River to Ham's Fork, making a total ride of 145 miles in 13 hours. The next day, he returned to Salt Lake City with enough energy to take a young lady out that evening.

After the Pony Express, King owned a ranch in Idaho where he farmed and raised stock. A devout Mormon, he became the high priest in the Almo, Idaho, ward.

Source: Pony Express National Memorial, St. Joseph, Missouri.

Source: Raymond W. Settle and Mary Lund Settle. Saddles and Spurs, The Saga of the Pony Express. The Stackpole Company, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1955.

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