Jo N

Scottsdale, AZ

#41 Oct 6, 2011
I was a nanny for a woman and her three children back in the 70's. She was involved with David King for a time, and was living in the house at the top of the hill. When she moved away, I helped her load up the UHaul and drive her things down the hill. I would love any information or photos that are available about the house.
borniniowa

United States

#42 Mar 10, 2012
It is so sad to read about the house on the hill! I worked there the summer before my senior year of college and some weekends before I graduated. Even though it was not a long time, I always felt welcome and at home there. I really miss that house and the Mertes family! I did get to work in the 'new' house in Homer too...it was awesome how they planned it to include so much space for Pat and also the basement that was set up so nicely for the workers! I have often wondered how Mr M and his daughter are doing these days...
Ken Wooster

Jersey City, NJ

#43 Mar 12, 2012
borniniowa wrote:
It is so sad to read about the house on the hill! I worked there the summer before my senior year of college and some weekends before I graduated. Even though it was not a long time, I always felt welcome and at home there. I really miss that house and the Mertes family! I did get to work in the 'new' house in Homer too...it was awesome how they planned it to include so much space for Pat and also the basement that was set up so nicely for the workers! I have often wondered how Mr M and his daughter are doing these days...
Give Frank a call, he still lives there in Winona.
Ken Wooster

Jersey City, NJ

#44 Mar 12, 2012
Give Frank a call, he still lives in Winona.
Penny Pond Chaffinc

United States

#47 Jul 6, 2012
I was a good friend of Fred king Univ of Arizona in Tucson & saddened to read of his death 6 years ago. He was only 63 & I'm wondering what happened?? Remembering him as a truly wonderful, kind friend. Very sorry to have lost touch, but never forgot him. Many stories from Fred about Watkins & the big house!!
Former caretaker

Wabasha, MN

#48 Jan 13, 2013
I just stumbled across this forum again after several years since my last time on here. I was just up there on the top by the farm house I lived in as caretaker and the farmhouse itself is undergoing a huge renovation. Someone is dumping a ton of money into the farmhouse itself. Very cool to see that. The home was huge but looks even bigger now with the attached garage they added. I saw a big brand new, outdoor wood boiler set up for the farmhouse too. That has to beat the 2 fuel oil barrels in the basement we used to have filled constantly to heat that behemoth .

I also heard that the King's Bluff Mansion that was out back behind the farmhouse, was going to be or has already been tore down. There are a couple newer homes up there too now, before the dead end, along the way back to the farm house , that I hadn't seen before .

I am hoping to find the video footage I shot when I lived out there. It's somewhere in the storage boxes and I have moved several times since then. I had pics of the inside of the mansion and of the lookout point behind it that gave a spectacular view of the river valley towards Wisconsin. My boy and I used to love taking the daily ride out to the point. I also videotaped some monster bucks out there too.

I saw Frank about 6 yrs ago. He told me I looked like I was getting fatter and I told him that he and his German Shepard were looking a little older too. Still just as nice a guy as I always.

I hadn't heard or seen any trace of the miserable folks that owned it after Frank tho.

I would be curious to hear of anyone else has heard of any plans to subdivide all that land up on the top of the hill, or a portion of it. I heard that rumor more than a few times over the years but I don't see any real sign of that when I drive up there?
Steve

La Crescent, MN

#50 Mar 23, 2013
Was just talking about this tonight with family. My grandparents had a farm about a mile before you got to the mansion on the hill. Grandmother worked for Mariel King for several years, and accompanied Ms. King to Hawaii at least once. My sister worked there a couple of years while attending school in Winona. I was young then (11 or 12 years old), but I remember Grandmother and my sister having permission to show my parents and I the house. Even at that age, I remember being quite impressed with it's architecture, appearance and the beautiful woodwork.
Nancy

La Crosse, WI

#51 Apr 23, 2013
I worked for Mariel King for three summers during my highschool years doing general house work and serving her meals. My grandmother Emma Thompson worked as her cook for many years there and also at times going to Hawaii to cook for her. Mrs. King would recommed my grandmother to other families in the Winona area that liked to entertain, as she was an excellent chef. A few commented on the beautiful view from the mansion on Homer Ridge,(it was breathtaking). It was such a neat place with the pool, sunroom and tennis court; I was saddend to find that it had to be razed.
During my time there I met Patty, Frank and children
along with David and Bud King. At one time I went to Grace Kings house, also very neat.
Does someone know if they really brought lions and kept them in the stone building on Hwy 61 just down the hill from Grace and Buds place (which I believe were not to far from each other)
Curtis

High Point, NC

#52 Apr 24, 2013
Well E.L. King was my great great grandfather, who worked for Watkins. While he worked for Watkins he had the Winoma Mansion built. He also had a estate build for him in Memphis, Tn. This is huge estate, in which he utilized it for raising some racing horses. I inherited pictures of these horses. From one of the horse races he won a table that is huge. After he passed he donated the estate to Harding School of Theology. After he passed, my great great grandmother married one of her drivers/butlers. Curtis Leroy King jr., his son/ my grandfather, resented his father, because plainly he was treated like crap his by his father (how and why didn't get passed down) so when the Winoma mansion was in ruins beyond repair, and was not worth the repairs despite what anyone says. E.L. King may have been a great business man, but lack family values. My grandfather and grandmother, who work many years as a teacher in the public school system, knew the true value of life, not material things, but family and teaching several generations of youth. By golly you can have all the money in the world, but lacking a loving family equals a miserable man. It is my understanding E.L. King was a tightwad. I met both of my grandparents briefly; my grandfather in 1994, and my grandmother in 1999, and both were very caring individuals, from my experience and mother's experience. All three of them were god fearing people. So I hope this help fill in the gaps and quite frankly I'm glad E.L. King establishments has deteriorated over time because they represent the destructive form of human nature. My advices hold your family close, because they are what truly matters.
Nancy

La Crosse, WI

#53 May 5, 2013
Curtis, what was your Great Great Grandmothers name; was it Grace and maiden name Watkins.
Also, could you tell me what the first names or your grandmother and grandfather were?
Curtis

High Point, NC

#54 May 6, 2013
Yea, It's Grace Watkins King, because Ernest Leroy King married into the Watkins. Also my grandfather and grandmother names were Curtis LeRoy King, Jr. and Mary Opal King. Their daughter/my mother was Mary Ann King.Hence my name Curtis was named after my grandfather. I hopes this helps.
Ken Wooster

Montclair, NJ

#55 May 7, 2013
I assume you all know that there was a "Mary King" Cosmetic line.
Nancy

La Crosse, WI

#56 May 19, 2013
Yes there was a movie I went to years ago where Mary King cosmetics was used; I can't remember the name of the movie though.

Curtis, how are you related to Mariel King who had an adopted daughter Patty who eventually married Frank Mertes and what is your relation to Bud King.
caretakers daughter

Rochester, MN

#57 Jun 5, 2013
They lived in a large home next to rock ledge.
Barbara Lannon

Rochester, MN

#58 Jun 27, 2013
I too worked for Mr. M and Pat in the mid 1980s, a short time at the house on the hill, but mainly at the house by the highway. I felt a part of this family for the time I worked for them. I met their children and often wonder where their youngest daughter is and is Mr. M doing well? They were very good to me and I had wonderful memories of being a part of their "family."
Curtis Faulkner

High Point, NC

#59 Dec 22, 2013
Nancy wrote:
Yes there was a movie I went to years ago where Mary King cosmetics was used; I can't remember the name of the movie though.
Curtis, how are you related to Mariel King who had an adopted daughter Patty who eventually married Frank Mertes and what is your relation to Bud King.
1904—E.L. King, a typewriter salesman married Grace & becomes heavily involved in Watkins Medical Company
1904—Mary Ellen Watkins died 1904
1910—Watkins branch established in Memphis, Tenn
1911—J.R. Watkins married E.L. King’s mother, Martha King
1911—J.R. Watkins dies in Jamaica, 3 months after the marriage
1911—Paul Watkins (J.R.’s nephew) becomes President
1912—C. LeRoy King (E.L.’s brother) arrives in Memphis
1913—C. LeRoy King goes to build Watkins East Coast oper- ations
1929—C.LeRoy King returns to Memphis, runs operations until 1943
1931—Paul Watkins dies
1931—E.L. King becomes President
1939—Watkins Experimental Farm in Memphis, TN opens
1944—E.L. King, Sr. retires
1944—E.L. King, Jr “Bud” becomes President
1946—Kingsland Farm opened up to boarding and training of Derby caliber horses, run by C. LeRoy King, Jr.
1953—C. LeRoy King dies
Bud King is my great Uncle, because Curtis Leroy King were brothers. Then Curtis Leroy King had a son named Curtis Leroy King JR., my grandfather.
PrairieArchitect

Sparta, WI

#60 Mar 13, 2014
Anyone have photos of King's Bluff now that it is no more? It's too bad these fantastic homes were left to rot.
Gabriele

United States

#61 Mar 14, 2014
I lived in Homer from 1956 to 1974. I must have been 12 or 13 at the time when we visited the King mansion. I have vivid memories of Christmas caroling with some of the kids from Homer including the groundskeeper's daughter. We had been caroling in Homer and decided to continue up the hillside and then to the King mansion. When the butler opened the door, we were all in awe. The place was huge, with chandeliers, white marble floors and a fountain. We sang some carols and the partygoers applauded. The women were all dressed in gorgeous full length gowns and the men in their tuxedos. I am sorry to hear the mansion was demolished, it was a work of art and could have been enjoyed by many.
borniniowa

Minneapolis, MN

#62 Mar 15, 2014
haunted wrote:
STAY AWAY
Shannon...is that you??
AustinDoc

Austin, TX

#63 Feb 21, 2015
Just researching the provenance on my Phillip Maher Chandelier and Sconces I own that were originally commissioned by E.L. King Sr. for Kingswere in 1926. Ran across this line of posts. What a great history and story. Those interested will rest well knowing the chandelier continues it's service in my private library on Lake Austin; I am appreciating it now as it is currently lighting the desk onto which I type this post!

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