Henry Killinger

Henry Killinger and Karl King were close personal friends who first knew each other from their circus band days.  In the early 1920s Karl invited Henry to move to Fort Dodge to start a band for the large gypsum mill which operated there.  As a teacher, Mr. Killinger started band programs in Dayton, Ogden, Harcourt, and Pilot Mound.  Henry Killinger also often performed as a baritone player in the Karl King Band.

Henry is pictured here holding his trombone on a cavalry horse at Fort Ringgold in Rio Grand City, Texas.  The band sometimes performed while on their steeds.

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The 14th Cavalry Band stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas
Henry Killinger is the trombone player in the back row, third from the right.

Following the entrance of the United States in World War I, Henry Killinger joined the 14th Cavalry Band training at the training center (on Army Post Road) in Des Moines, Iowa.  After the war, when the US took action to control skirmishes on the US/Mexican border led by Poncho Villa, the entire 14th Cavalry, including the band, travelled to


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The Red Top Band

The Red Top US Gypsum Mill Band was formed in April, 1924, under the leadership of Henry Killinger and had a membership of forty people, all employeees of the Fort Dodge Gypsum Mill Plant.  It was the only industrial band in Iowa and was recognized throughout the states as one of the best.  Henry Killinger is pictured with his baton, on the right.  Center, in civilian clothes, is Mr. C. B. Pooler, the plant manager. Also identified are Art Scholes, french horn player closest to him on the left, and Mickey Tierney, french horn player just to his right.  Charlie Jensen is pictured in the front row behind the smaller snare drum.

The picture above was taken December 9, 1925 at which time the band gave a benefit concert for the Lutheran Hospital in Fort Dodge.

The program that day:

National Emblem, March - - - E. E. Bagley
Iron Count, Overture - - - Karl King
Fond Hearts, Serenade - - - Karl King
Under the Dougle Eagle, March - - - R. Wagner
El Capitan, March - - - Sousa
Arabian Nights, Overture - - - Karl King
Danube Waves, Waltz - - - I. Ivanovici
Princess of India, Overture - - - Karl King
Stars and Stripes Forever, March - - - R. F. Sietz

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Henry Killinger and his Dayton Concert Band were participants
in the 1934 Band Day Celebration held in Fort Dodge.

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Karl King had borrowed $1000 from Henry Killinger to help start the K.L. King Music House.  The letter above accompanied the final payment.  The envelope below contains, on the reverse side, a draft of Henry Killinger's response to Karl King.   Additional letters from Karl King to his friend may be viewed.

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Dear Karl,
Re'd your check, & enclosed find note.  This is the only note I have.  I am glad to hear that u are getting about thru with Harley.  You should have things pretty nice now when u get all cleaned up.

After the war there should be more music business than ever & u no doubt will have plenty of income, no int. & no prin., will seem pretty nice won't it.  I hope to get my farm all paid for next year & then I shouldn't have so many worries either.

Are you going to have any concerts this winter? My H.S. band is doing better this year than expected.  The school is nice to work in this year.  We have a new superintendent and he is the most agreeable to work with than any I've ever had so I don't have much to kick about.

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