John Kinney

Carroll County IL Biography

This representative farmer of Mt. Carroll Township, is one of its oldest residents, having lived here continuously for a period of fifty years. His parents were Chester and Sarah (Blanchard) Kinney, both natives of Herkimer County, N. Y., who after their marriage settled in Cortland County, N. Y., and there engaged in farming, clearing up a farm in the midst of the heavy timber which in those days were so plentiful. Later they went to the town of Fabius, in Ononadaga County, N. Y., and from this latter place removed to Illinois. The father was a useful man in his community and had always had the respect and esteem of his fellow-men wherever he was known. He had held the office of Justice of the Peace in his native State for many years. He and his wife were both sincere members of the Presbyterian Church. They had a family of fifteen children, all of whom lived to years of maturity, and the family circle was unbroken by death until the youngest child had attained the years of thirty. Of this numerous family, John was the seventh child. He had ever been a kind and dutiful son, and in their old age both his father and mother came to take up their abode with him. He tenderly cared for them as long as they lived, and both reached an advanced age. The father died Aug. 30, 1862, aged seventy-nine years, and the mother April 3, 1868, aged eighty-one years. Our subject also cared for a younger brother who was a cripple. In fact his filial and brotherly love has been a marked trait in his character, and his affectionate performance of all his duties has no doubt brought down blessings upon his head.

John Kinney was born in Cortland County, N. Y., Dec. 21, 1813, and his early education was obtained in the village of Fluxton, in his native county. He worked with his father until he was twenty-five years of age, and then went to work in a tannery with an elder brother, continuing in that employment three years. Determined to make a home for himself, he came in 1839 to what was then the Far West, and settled in Mt. Carroll Township, which has ever since been his home. He was one of the original pioneers of this part of the county and to he and such as he is due the prosperity which the county has now for so long been enjoying. When he first settled here he could get upon horse-back and ride all day in any direction without having to get down from his horse to “let down a fence;” such was the condition of the county in those early days. On first coming here he hired out for six months to Mr. Preston, father of Samuel Preston of this township, of whom a history is given on another page in this volume. He then engaged in chopping wood for steamboats on the Mississippi, and later bought and improved a claim of 120 acres, one and one-half miles south of his present home.

John Kinney, our subject, has been twice married, his first wife being Mrs. Jane B. Petty, mother of William, James, and John Petty, all prominent men living in this neighborhood. Of this marriage there were no children, and Mrs. Kinney died Nov. 13, 1845, aged sixty-six years. The second marriage of Mr. Kinney was contracted July 27, 1880, at Mt. Carroll, his wife being Miss Lillie Stevens, a daughter of Weston and Ann Stevens, of Oxford County, Canada. Her father was an American and her mother was a native of England. The father was a carpenter by trade, practiced medicine, and was also a grocer; he died in 1879, the mother having passed from earth sometime before. Their family consisted of ten children, of whom Mrs. Kinney is the youngest and is a twin sister of Mrs. Minnie Palmer, of Savanna. By this union Mr. Kinney has had three children; Lillie, a bright handsome, and intelligent little girl, now eight years of age, and John who died in childhood, and an infant, Mabel.

Mr. Kinney has a fine farm of 200 acres, seventy-five of which is in heavy timber and the remainder of which he cultivated himself. Though somewhat advanced in years he is active, and for several months during last winter, in the absence of his hired man, did all his chores himself. He has avoided holding office as much as possible, but has served his town as School Trustee and Director, and as Overseer of Highways. He is not now a member of any church, but was formerly connected with the Methodist Episcopal denomination. In politics he was formerly a Whig; but since its organization has connected himself with the Republican party. His first vote for President of the United States was cast in Illinois, and it was for William Henry Harrison, the hero of Tippecanoe. Mr. Kinney is widely known and highly respected throughout the county where he has so long made his home, and it is hardly necessary to say that he voted for the grandson in 1888.

Transcribed & Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portraits and Biographical 1889 Pg 854

(Notes from Elsie Harman)
In 1870 John Kinney and Jane B. Kinney are in Mt. Carroll, Carroll Co. along with James and Margaret Patterson, probably Jane's parents.
It's not possible for Jane to have died in 1845 as shown in the bio. To have been age 66, she must have died about 1878.
See the bios for the Petty Family for more details
William Petty
James Petty
John Petty

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