States: New York: Madison
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Kinney, Alvin, the genial proprietor of the Franklin House, Mazeppa, was born in Otselic, Shenango county, New York State, in December, 1831. He received some schooling at the district school, and commenced early in life making his own way in the world by working on a farm by the month. The season of 1854 found him in Sangamon county, Illinois, where, in the fall of that year, he hired out to Edwards & Felt, at twenty dollars a month and board, to feed stock through the winter, with the understanding that when the cattle were shipped the following spring, if he desired he could go along as far as Albany at the same pay. The corn for the stock was bought of neighboring farmers, and he had to haul it and feed one hundred head daily. When the stock was shipped in the spring he went through to Albany, and from there he returned as far as Utica, from which place he proceeded to his home, where he hired out on a farm at which he continued for a couple of years. At about that time a great emigration was going on, and mostly to Minnesota. He had no thought of Minnesota, as it had been his intention to return to Illinois; but, being in company of several of his acquaintances one Friday evening, who were to start on the following Monday, he became enthused and decided that night to accompany them. Accordingly, the next morning, he acquainted his father of his determination, who remarked that he thought it might be a good idea. The company came by rail to Dunlieth, Iowa, and from there by steamboat to Red Wing, and from there to Mazeppa he came on foot, arriving at Mazeppa in the spring of 1856. Here he pre-empted a quarter-section of land, proving up his claim, and subsequently bought up the claim of another man. In the fall of 1856 he went to Winona to take out his patent on his claim, but found the expenses greater than he had calculated on. An acquaintance, named Jost. Smith, was along with him, and when their business was completed they took passage by boat to Red Wing. On arriving there in the evening, they both discovered that they were without money; this situation required the exercise of financial ability, so they resolved themselves into a committee to provide ways and means. They were too much American to beg, and too good to steal, so the committee soon decided that their only chance was to either walk all night or sleep out. But, it being late in the fall and too cold for that, it was not to be thought of. The night was dark, but on hunting around they found an old shed, with nothing in it but a cutter. Here they took up their lodging, one sitting for awhile in the cutter while the other walked up and down to keep warm. At the first intimation of approaching day they started on foot for home, but had gone only about seven miles when Mr. Kinney discovered in his overcoat pocket seventy-five cents, which, had it been found the evening before, would have been sufficient to procure comfortable lodgings. In those days prairie fires occurred every year, burning over the surface of the whole country and leaving it perfectly black, giving it a desolate and somber appearance. On going to Red Wing on foot, shortly after one of these fires, he saw in the distance some strange object that appeared to be moving, but which he could not make out. He had not long to wait, however, as he soon discovered that the strange object was a party of Indians moving with their families and household goods. Here he witnessed for the first time what appeared to him the most crude yet novel mode of transportation; two poles, fifteen or twenty feet in length, were fastened one on each side of a pony by one end, while the other end dragged on the ground. Here, he thought, was displayed the inventive faculty which indicated progression. In 1873 he traded farm property for the Franklin House, which he has continued to run. He has been deputy sheriff two terms. In April, 1857, he was married to Miss Adeline Hutchins, then of Mazeppa, but formerly of Shenango county, New York State. They lost their only child.
Kinney, Lucius, farmer, is an elder brother of the above (Wesley Kinney). His parents lived during the year 1833 on a farm in Georgetown, Madison county, and Lucius Kinney was born there on September 27. He was reared on the home farm in Otselic, and received a common school education. January 9, 1854, he was married, the bride being Miss Lydia Bishop, a native of Otselic. Her parents, John and Lydia Bishop, were of New Hampshire birth. Mr. Kinney came to Minnesota in 1856, arriving in Mazeppa September 3, and took up government land in Zumbrota township. A year later he sold out and went back to New York. For sixteen years he engaged in farming there, most of the time on his father's homestead, and again took up a residence in Minnesota. After a stay of two years in Lake City, he bought a farm of seventy acres of land near Mazeppa, in Goodhue county, and has ever since dwelt in this village and tilled the land. Mr. Kinney has always had a horror of debt, and went without many things desired rather than violate his cash rule. He has always been a democrat. Himself and wife joined the Methodist Episcopal church many years ago. They have two sons. The elder, Frank Clinton, born June 29, 1856, resides in Smyrna, New York, where he married Miss Catharine Wentworth. John Wesley, March 30, 1860, dwells with parents.
Kinney, Wesley, attorney, is a grandson of Dr. Abijah Kinney, of Hartford, Connecticut. Odgen, father of Wesley Kinney, married Huldah Walker, who was born, like himself, in Otselic, New York. They died within two weeks of each other, Mrs. Kinney on April 19, and her husband May 2, 1882, and are buried in the same town. Three Kinney brothers came from England and settled in Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut, respectively, and this family is descended from the latter. Wesley Kinny was born in Otselic, Chenango county, New York, December 15, 1837. His life was passed on the home farm till sixteen years of age, attending the common schools. His education was completed at the academy in Charlottesville, New York. In 1857 he began reading law at Delhi with William Murray, Jr., and a year and a half later entered the law office of Wait & Berry, at Norwich, New York. In May, 1860, he was admitted to practice in the superior court, at Binghamton. He became a resident of Mazeppa in 1861, and the following year was admitted to the United States district court. He soon became associated with F. M. Wilson, and practiced at Lake City eight years, during most of which time he was city justice. Returning to Mazeppa, he continued his practice, and has done much for the advancement of the village. He drew up its charter and most of its ordinances, and was active in securing its incorporation; was first recorder of the village. In 1882 he bought a farm of sixty acres, partly in the corporation, partly in Pine Island township, on which he took up his residence, and to which he gives part of his attention. On August 13, 1865, he was united in wedlock with Acsie A. Ford, daughter of one of Mazeppa's early pioneers. She was born at Lebanon, New York, May 29, 1846. Their children were born and christened as herewith noted: February 8, 1870, Maude; August 5, 1873, Alvin C.; May 23, 1883, Kent Ford. Mr. Kinney is very liberal on religious questions. In politics he is a democrat. He was a member of the A.O.U.W. until the Mazeppa lodge was abandoned.