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Woods King, Horseman Remembered

Published: 5/31/2010
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By Maddy Butcher

My grandfather never lived to be a grandfather. He died when my mother was just 12. But he left behind memories of fine horse-related accomplishments and a legacy of love of riding.

I remember stories of my grandfather, Woods King, on this Memorial Day. Most of the stories don't have to do with his military service but of the fun he'd have with his horses and the care he took of them. I think he managed to pass those ideas down a few generations.

Photos here are from the 1930's:

At a costumed event, he is a knight with his bride-to-be (my Grannie), Louise Baldwin.

Also, he was photographed playing a fun game of sorts with ball and basket. (In the enlarged photo, one sees the ball dropping into the basket. Score!)

I love the photo of him riding three horses, just for the sheer 'Yikes' factor!

He was a pivotal member of the oldest mounted police unit in the country, the Cleveland Mounted Police.

Before World War II, it was an Ohio National Guard unit. Then it was absorbed into the Army as the 107th Cavalry Regiment, which he led.

The Cleveland Mounties have paraded in Presidential Inaugurations in Washington D.C., won a World Championship in Chicago and represented the United States in an international competition in Mexico City.

In 1989, the Cleveland Mounted Police was the only mounted police unit invited to march in the inaugural parade of George H.W. Bush after the parade committee ranked it No. 1 in the Country.

My grandfather left the Army as a Brigadier General and was discharged with a heart condition in 1946. As my mom recalled, he came home from the war and died.

While I feel far removed from the society in which he moved, I nonetheless feel connected through our beloved partners in work and play.

Rest In Peace. Your love of horses lives on!

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6/1/2010 Julie
Wonderful story of remembrance, Maddy! Plus the awesome old photos of your grandfather with his various horses are really fun to look at!
6/1/2010 Jan
So when are we going to be seeing you, Maddy, riding 3 horses??
6/1/2010 Missy
What a great story about your wicked cool grandad. Guess horses are in you "jeans", huh?
6/1/2010 Tina
Very nice story and the pics are GREAT! Thank you for sharing!
6/1/2010 Margy
What a truly wonderful story and memory you have shared here. Thank you Maddy.
6/1/2010 Suzanne
Maddy, thank you so much for sharing these memories of your grandfather. Looks like horses are in your blood! :)
6/1/2010 Meris
It is delightfully clear to those of us who know and love you, Maddy, that the horse chestnut doesn't fall far from the tree. Thank you for posting the most fabulous photos of your grandparents and their friends! lol XOXO MJB
6/1/2010 Christine Giguere
Maddy you're too much! Only one with such true horse in her heart would consider how others could appreciate the beauty of you sharing this legendary mans photos with all the horsemen and horsewomen in this world, thank-you so much appreciated!
6/2/2010 Kim
Absolutely wonderful story. Thanks for sharing. I guess it all comes from our past, this love and passion for Equines and to save them and preserve their beauty. You surely have a history of horses in your life. Wouldn't he have been someone phenomenal to meet!!!
6/2/2010 K. C. Putnam
A wonderful tribute. I guess we now know where at least a part of your caring and leadership comes from! Thanks for sharing this. -KC
6/3/2010 Ali
Loved your story Maddy...My Grandfather was also in the calvary, bred draft horses and was a blacksmith...I guess thats where I get it from. I also wish I could have got to know him at a deeper level as I was only six when he died. A piece of our grandfathers will live on in us forever!
6/5/2013 Tom Devine
I knew your Uncle Arthur very well; I recently found out that he left us last November. Art was a wonderful guy that I felt very close to. Let me add to your story about your grandfather. Over the years I met many in Ohio, and when they found out I was working with Art King from Mentor, it went like this. I served under Woods King in WW2, he was a mans soldier, and they went on and on about what a great leader he was. It almost made me sad because Art work very hard to fill these shoes. So beside his love for horses, his love of fishing and hunting he was a leader that earns the respect of the men who serve under him. Boy do we need that today! Tom Devine, Centennial CO
7/23/2016 Leisha
Great Story Maddie, I think the love of horses is genetic as it has been the same in my own family. Treasured family photos of loved ones and horses gone by. Enjoy them :)

"The ears never lie" - Don Burt