AUSTIN A. KING was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee on September 21, 1802. His early education was attained in the public schools of his native state. He later studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1822, and then established his legal career, first in Jackson, Tennessee and later in Columbia, Missouri. King first entered politics as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives, a position he held in 1834 and 1836. He also served as judge of the Fifth Circuit Court from 1837 to 1848. King next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor on August 7, 1848. He was sworn into office on November 20, 1848. During his tenure, eight new counties were formed; the first overland mail route was established; a hospital for the mentally ill was opened; and the Pacific Railroad initiated service within the state. After completing his term, King left office on January 3, 1853. He continued to stay politically active, serving as a delegate to Democratic National Conventions in Baltimore and Charleston. He also served as a circuit judge from 1862 to 1863, and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1863 to 1865. Governor Austin A. King passed away on April 22, 1870, and was buried in the Richmond Cemetery in Richmond, Missouri.