Theodore Arthur Darling was born on October 29, 1890 in Gypsum, Kansas to George O. Darling and Mary Henrietta Geaque. Theo lived and worked on his father’s farm in Eureka Township, Saline County, Kansas. On November 16, 1910, Theo married Cora May Hartman whose parents (Samuel Hartman and Sarah Warfel) lived near Carlton. The young couple moved to Abilene around 1912, where his older brother, Oliver Lewis Darling owned a draying company. Theo worked at a creamery and the family lived at 1502 NW. 3rd Street along with his widowed mother. They would live at this house for nearly 30 years. Oliver lived a block away at 1400 NW. 3rd Street. Theo and Cora would have three daughters: Henrietta May, Rosetta Elizabeth (White), and Merle Irene (Zimmerman).
By 1920, Theo was working as an insurance agent and soon after decided to open Darling’s Vulcanizing Tire Service at 311 N. Cedar Street (currently Stephens Chiropractic). The shop moved next door to 309 N. Cedar Street (currently Dance In Motion) and became known as Darling’s Tire Service. The company move to 413 NW. 3rd around 1928 (currently John’s Upholstery). The business was a family affair with employees including his daughter, Henrietta May Darling (Mauldin), son in-law Roy Wesley Mauldin, nephew Lewis George Darling, and nephew Morris Edwin Darling. The business would move a final time to 308 N. Buckeye Avenue in the 1930’s (currently Shivering Sheep and Material Girls Quilt Shop).
In 1941, Theodore sold the business and purchased a farm outside of Seymour, Missouri in Webster County. There he would engage in farming and was active in the Masons. Theo died in Seymour, Missouri on March 18, 1971. Cora would return to Abilene where she died on October 26, 1985. They are buried Seymour Masonic Cemetery in Seymour, Missouri.