During the years following the end of the Civil War the economy of Wilmington, N.C. suffered drastically. Since the Caper Fear region was the last port city of the Confederacy to fall, the local economy was almost completely routed by the blockade of the city during the war. The collapse of the C.S.A. and the resulting devaluation of Confederate money left the entire region in a state of poverty.

The 30 years after the war were hard on the local businessmen of the region. In the fall of 1883 F.M. King & Company reloacted from Wilmington to Anniston Alabama to capitolize on business opportunities associated with the rebuilding of the iron works there destroyed during the civil war. W.E.King stayed behind in Wilmington and opened his own one man tin smithing operation in March of 1884. Business was still hard to come by and sometime in the 1890's W.E. King got word from his son Eugene that there was work to be found in Atlanta. W.E. King and his other son Horace Thompson King decided to leave the region and go to Atlanta, Ga. in search of work. The father and son found jobs as "tin smiths" laboring for a large sheet metal fabricator in the Atlanta area and for close to seven years they worked and learned the arts of the ancient metalworking trade. In late 1902 the father and son reterned to their home in Wilmington bringing the skills and techniques they had learned back with them along with a loan from Eugene King to use to form their own business.

On April 3, 1903 the father and son opened Hanover Iron Works in downtown Wilmington as a custom manufacturer of metal items. The business thrived and a few short years later found its first long term home at 111 North Water Street where it remained untill relocating to the present location on Dawson Street in 1959. In 1918 W.E.King passed away ceding ownership to his son Horace Thompson King who ran the business untill his death in 1941. His son Horace T. King Jr. headed the company until H.T. King III took over the reigns in 1982, heading the company to the present day. In 1998 H. Thompson King IV became the fifth generation to join the family business as a full time employee eventually taking over the operations of the metal fabrication shop.

In 2008 the Metal Fabrication portion of the company split off and became it's own entity Hanover Iron Works Sheet Metal, Inc. to continue the tradition of providing quality and service in the field of metal fabrication. The original Hanover Iron Works, Inc. continues to operate under the leadership of H.T. King III servicing the Southeastern, N.C. region with commercial roofing and roof repairs.

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