By: Dawn Clevenger
Lucian King was born on April 22, 1925 in Kingdon Springs, Arkansas, which is now under Bull Shoals Lake. Lucian was born in his own home because there were no hospitals then, and was named after the doctor who delivered him. In 1929, the Depression made a lot of people all around the world suffer, not only for lack of money, but their lives were also taken. He does not remember much about what happened with peoples' lives during the Depression, because he was only about four years old, but he does remember his family not having much money at that time.
Kingdon Springs was a calm town. The people there knew each other very well. Everyone called the man who owned the general store Dad Bolin. Lucian is not sure if Dad was his real name or not. Mr. Bolin owned the Bolin General Store and Post Office. This is where Lucian's family bought their clothes and other items. Kingdon Springs also had a hotel called the Elk Horn Hotel, and a building called the Monkey Hill Mine Building. These were just a few. In 1920, Kingdon Springs was able to receive electricity. It was the first town in Northern Arkansas have electricity, although not everyone in Kingdon Springs could receive it. Back then electricity was made with a generator. Along with electricity, there were no phones, TV's, radios, or even indoor plumbing.
Schools were different, too. Most people had to walk to school because there were no automobiles let alone buses. Lucian for instance had to walk a quarter of a mile to get to school. He said, "I was one of the lucky ones." His school was a one-room schoolhouse that only went up to eighth grade. So, all the children from kindergarten up to eighth grade were all in the same class. This schoolhouse was also the towns' church and occasionally a funeral home.
After school, Lucian had chores to tend to like everyone else. For starters, he had to milk the cows and feed the horses, chickens, and pigs. After everyone's chores were done his family would go fishing, swimming, hunting, or play baseball. They also liked to sing in the church and make toys. His family had a great relationship with one another and still does.
After Lucian completed the eighth grade, he worked his way to becoming a carpenter. He helped build the Agriculture building here at school, the Bull Shoals and Norfork Dam, and the Flippin Airport. The Bull Shoals Dam put an end to the town called Kingdon Springs. Even though the people knew it was soon to be buried underwater, they wanted the dam built because they thought it would help the surrounding towns prosper and progress more. Lucian and his two brothers, seven sisters, and parents moved their house here to Flippin.
Later, Lucian was in the Army Air Force and served as a Central Fire Control Gunner on a B29 during WWII. There were no words Lucian could describe about what the war was like except that it was really bad. Lucian's great-grandfather Colonel Eli Dodson had three wives in his lifetime, twenty-one children, and 250 great grandchildren in which 47 were in WWI at the same time. Col. Dodson was well known around Marion County partially because he was the Marion County Judge.
Lucian has seen many changes about the world and specifically our community. He has seen new buildings and industries come and go. One change, for instance, was the opening and closing of the Flippin Cotton Gin and Tomato Factory. At the same time both businesses were where J&P Auto Sales is now. He has seen horses and buggies change to cars and trucks. He went through having an icebox to a refrigerator. He remembers the iceman coming every other day delivering a block of ice to put into the box. He has been through depressions, wars, and politics. During the Great Depression, many families in this area could not even afford a train ride to visit their nearby relatives. Even a single ride to Zinc cost a dime. Another event he remembers is the building of the Flippin Airport in 1947. Lucian is currently living on County Road 715 in his boyhood house from Kingdon Springs. He still tends to farm work and is now happily married to Mrs. Clarice King.