I thought I was on to something.
You might remember that we left the KING family in Arkansas. I had determined that the two Reeves girls were Laura's daughters. So, I set out to try to find a marriage record for Laura before she tied the knot with Albert KING.
I found a marriage record for Laura LINN and a C.B. REEVES. The marriage took place on March 26, 1889, in Jackson County. Esther REEVES was born in 1890. Ella followed in February 1892.
Now, here's where the discrepancies start piling up. In the 1900 census:
*The marriage year given for the KINGs is 1890. However, the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists it as 4 DEC 1898. Add to that, that in 1890, Laura was conceivably married to C. B. REEVES and still would bear one more child with him – in 1892. Not likely that she married Albert KING in the interim.
*Laura KING is listed as the mother of three children. One of those is Richard KING, born 4 APR 1894, and the other is Nathaniel KING, born 25 JAN 1900.
My theory, based on the two prior facts provided, is that Richard was Albert's son, but not Laura's. (In the 1910 census, Richard's mother is listed as Laura KING. Hmmm. Maybe that was an assumption or maybe that's just what they told the census-taker as she might well have been the only mother the boy knew. Or, maybe she actually WAS his mother.)
Helping to add to the confusion is that the REEVES girls managed to get counted twice in the 1900 census, once with their mother's family and once with their grandparents. (They appear as Elislie and Ella RUVIS in the KING count but by their correct names in the LYNN count.)
So … something is off somewhere. Either Richard was born in 1894 – and he is just Albert's natural son, or else the couple wasn't yet married when this son was born. OR … the marriage date is wrong in both the 1900 census AND in the Illinois Statewide index.
Yet another mystery to work through! But at least I finallyl know WHO the REEVES girls were.