William S. King (December 16, 1828-February 24, 1900) was a United States Representative from Minnesota from March 4, 1875 to March 3, 1877. He engaged in a variety of other activities, including journalism and surveying. He served as a Republican.
King was born in Malone, New York in Franklin County where he grew up and attended the local schools and did agricultural work. In 1846, he moved to Otsego County, New York and worked as a solicitor for mutual insurance companies. He eventually became editor of the Free Democrat of Cooperstown, New York in 1852.
In 1858, King moved to Minneapolis, where he continued in journalism and agriculture. He founded the State Atlas newspaper in 1859. King became known for his strong editorials. Later, he helped create the Minneapolis Tribune, and became a major stockholder in the Pioneer Press of neighboring St. Paul. There are also indications that he became a principal owner of the Minneapolis Journal.
King served as postmaster of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1861 to 1865 and 1867 to 1873. In 1874, he served as surveyor general of logs and lumber in the Second Congressional District of Minnesota. Following that, he served one term during the 44th Congress.
In Minnesota, Col. King also became involved in railroads and related pursuits. There are indications he was among the first people to lay streetcar rails in Minneapolis, perhaps as early as 1867. In 1877, he built a large pavilion at Lake Calhoun in the city. A tourism boom was occurring at the time. He later sold it to L. F. Menage, who converted it to a hotel. However, the hotel was eventually destroyed by a fire.
Upon his death in Minneapolis in 1900, his body was interred at Lakewood Cemetery.
It appears that the "Colonel" prefix is probably a nickname rather than an official military rank.