November 13, 2023

Dyersburg, Tenn photos of King family reunited with descendant in Florida

Kim Robinson is a new friend that recently moved to my community. She heard of my hobby and shared that several years ago she came across a collection of old photos in the course of her antique business in Texas. She hung onto the old photos purchased at an estate sale even after the store was closed and she moved to Arkansas. They tugged on her heart strings and she always had a curiosity about Rubye King, the name captioned on several of the photos.

I used to find information on Rubye King. It’s a free website and has a worldwide tree as well as ability to research records. One of the photos was captioned Rubye King Phebus. I learned that Rubye King was born in 1900. Kim and I had surmised that Rubye was approximately 20 in some of the photos that appeared to be in the 1920’s based on the clothing style. Kim knew that the pictures were connected to Dyersburg, TN so when I found on FamilySearch a Rubye King born about the same time and in the same place, and with the married name Phebus, it had to be her. Rubye married Robert Langford Phebus on May 28, 1925 in Shelby County, TN. That’s the county Memphis is in…and close to Dyersburg. only had a birth year but I was able to do a search that led me to an entry for her on

Her tombstone includes full birth date…April 5, 1900 and death date of April 27, 1971. I added these dates to her profile on FamilySearch.

FamilySearch shows Rubye to have one child, Robert King Phebes. I looked at the 1930, 1940, and 1950 censuses which verified only one child. With a google search, I found King’s obituary.

The Kentucky Nut Corporation of which he was president and CEO is still in existence.

You will notice there is no mention of survivors in King’s obituary. Unfortunate since we are looking for descendants. So, I went backward to the preceding generation, hoping there would be a descendant of a sibling of Rubye’s. The census shows this Rubye had a younger sister, Lorene King. was the winner for finding a descendant of Lorene. Kim is now in touch with Lorene’s granddaughter, Elise, who lives in Florida. Kim’s patience in hanging onto the photos all these years has paid off. Her mystery is solved and Elise will now have some precious photos of her grandmother’s family.

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