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Kingsbury, Theodore Bryant

Theodore Bryant Kingsbury (1828-1913) of Oxford, NC, was the son of Mary Sumner Bryant and Russell Kingsbury, a farmer and merchant who loved books and encouraged his son's early enjoyment of reading. Educated at the Oxford Male Academy and the Lovejoy Academy, Theodore attended the University for only the 1848-49 academic year. Though his father offered to put him through Harvard Law School, Kingsbury became a merchant instead. He married Sallie Jones Atkinson in 1851; they were the parents of nine children. In 1858 Kingsbury began editing and writing scholarly essays for the Leisure Hour, an Oxford newspaper. In about 1860 he entered the Methodist ministry, but his views on baptism compelled him to become a Baptist in 1866. While pastor of the First Baptist Church in Warrenton, NC, Kingsbury also edited the Warrenton Indicator until 1869, when he left the ministry to become associate editor of the Raleigh Sentinel. Between 1874 and 1888, he edited S. D. Poole's Educational Journal, Poole's literary magazine Our Living and Our Dead, and the Wilmington Morning Star. Kingsbury became editor of the Wilmington Messenger in 1888, and after retiring in 1902, wrote weekly articles for the Raleigh News and Observer until 1911. Wake Forest College awarded him an honorary DD in 1868, and the University conferred on him an honorary DLit. in 1888. A highly respected editor and literary critic, Kingsbury published a large body of work, including several books and many historical and biographical essays (Dictionary of North Carolina Biography 3:368-69).