King Edward Café
If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Submitted by McCreary County Museum
Mr. Edward King (1921-1956) and his wife, Virginia Pauline ‘Ramsey’ King (1915-1997), opened the King Edward Café on March 1, 1938. The cafe was touted as being one of the most beautiful on Highway 27 south of Whitley City and featured modern equipment and furnishings. The menu was advertised as southern cooking and both the menu and service were unparalleled. As indicated by the picture above, Standard Oil Products were also available. Edward and Virginia had one son, Ralph R. King, born in 1937.
In October 1938, Mrs. Edith Mays rented the King Edward Café due to Edward and Virginia becoming managers of the Whitley City Motel. Shortly thereafter, the café was under the management of Edward’s mother, Mrs. Lola ‘Turner” King. In 1946, Edward and Virginia resumed management of the café along with Lola. An advertisement from 1961 states, “The King Edward Café has ample parking space and offers BEST IN SERVICE. It is a most sanitary place and service is pleasing and never hurried. The waitresses are pleasant and always courteous. The management is insistent on quality including quick, courteous service and popular prices.”
Janie ‘Helton’ Kidd, granddaughter of Lola King, said her grandmother was a wonderful lady who served meals to many students from McCreary County at no charge. Students who attended McCreary High School often walked to the King Edward for lunch and were served regardless of the ability to pay, while others stayed with Lola because they didn’t have transportation to school. Students often worked in the café to pay for their room and board or to offset the cost of their meals. Each Saturday, Lola baked rolls in preparation for serving Sunday dinner to her guests as well as hamburger buns for the students’ lunches the following week.
Lola ‘Turner’ King (1889-1977) and her husband Wilse King (1889-1927) were the parents of eight children: Elsie C. ‘King’ Litton (1910-1994), Edward Turner King (1912-1956), Leah Susan ‘King’ Hamlin (1914-1977), Lester Howard King (1916-1991), Carrie Mae ‘King’ Jenkins (1919-1990), Grace ‘King’ Helton (1921-2006), and Wilse C. King (1923-2004). Lola raised her children as a single parent after the death of her husband in 1927.
In addition to managing the King Edward Café and raising eight children, Lola was county clerk of McCreary County from c. 1936-1941. Her granddaughter, Janie ‘Helton’ Kidd, shared that on many occasions a couple would come to Lola’s home in the evening to obtain a marriage license. She would graciously meet them at the courthouse and assist them in obtaining the necessary license in order to be married. She also taught Sunday School for over thirty years and served as a schoolteacher in Greenwood. Lola ‘Turner’ King was a remarkable woman who served her family and community throughout her life and is certainly one of McCreary County’s most notable citizens.
For questions or additional information email email@example.com.