Fourth generation takes over Shelby County plant nursery

A fourth generation leads King’s Nursery in Tenaha.

Fourth generation takes over Shelby County plant nursery

TENAHA, Texas (KTRE) - A business built by Kings, now with a new King in charge.

“I wanted to get my fingernails dirty and hands dirty,” Andrew King said. “It was something I had always envisioned in the back of my mind, and the front of my mind honestly, and it was a no-brainer.”

Andrew King is the fourth generation to take over King’s Nursery in Tenaha. He left his job as a horticultural sciences professor at Texas A&M University to come home.

“There was really nothing I didn’t like about that job except for the fact that this place was here, and it was calling my name,” King said.

With roots dating back 106 years, King’s Nursery has provided goods, crafts, plant products, materials and more to East Texans.

J.B. King Sr. with fruit trees in the mid-1920s.
J.B. King Sr. with fruit trees in the mid-1920s. (Source: King's Nursery)

“One of the things that’s surreal is when we’re here and I’ve got a customer, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their grandparents bought from my grandparents or maybe even my great-grandparents,” King said.

“It’s just a staple as far as I am concerned,” Cheryl King said. “We’ve been here so long.”

Andrew’s mom Cheryl worked for the nursery in high school and later married Aubrey King, the third-generation owner.

Aubrey, Cheryl, Andrew, Aaron and Margaret King.
Aubrey, Cheryl, Andrew, Aaron and Margaret King. (Source: King's Nursery)

“I never dreamt that he would want to come back and take the nursery over,” Cheryl King. “It’s just phenomenal.”

Margaret King is Andrew’s grandmother. Her husband J.B. Jr. was the second-generation owner.

J.B. King and wife Margaret in the late 1970s.
J.B. King and wife Margaret in the late 1970s. (Source: King's Nursery)

“It has thrilled me to death,” Margaret King said. “He is the fourth generation, and we have a little one coming along. He’s the fifth. Of course, he’s not the owner yet. He’s just three.” she said.

Through pandemics, world wars and the Depression, King’s Nursery has weathered many storms.

“I will say this about the three generations before me: they were determined and they were somewhat hardheaded in a good way,” Andrew King said. “And I am proud of the legacy that they left here.”

Andrew King says he hopes to bring the nursery up to speed with some 21st century technology and planting techniques while remaining true to its traditions.

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