Biography of James O. Kinney

Coming to Colorado in 1861, when he was but thirteen years old, and living in the state continuously since then, James O Kinney, of Mesa County, a prosperous and successful mining man and fruit-grower living one mile and a half east of Grand Junction, has had abundant opportunities to aid in the development and progress of the state, and he has used them to its advantage and his own. He was born on September 9, 1848, at New London, Canada, while his parents were on a visit there. They were Calvin and Phoebe M. (Starr) Kinney, the former a native of St. Lawrence County, New York, and the latter of Canada. The father was a cooper and worked at his trade in his native state until 1853, when he moved to Black Hawk County, Iowa, locating at Waterloo. Here he became a contractor in lumber, and later built a fine hotel in the town which he conducted until it was destroyed by fire. Then, in 1861, the family came to Colorado where the family engaged in mining at Central City and other places. He died at Hot Sulphur Springs in 1892. While living in Jefferson County, he served two terms as sheriff in the early days when Golden was the capital of the territory. His widow died in Mesa County in 1902. When the family arrived in this state it was a new and undeveloped country, and the facilities for education of country boys were crude and primitive; so that Mr. Kinney is mainly a self-educated man. He remained at home until he reached the age of eighteen, working some in his father’s mines, and at that age began a mining career for himself which has been very successful. He continued his operations in this line for a number of years and still owns promising and valuable properties in Clear Creek County, among them the Christie, which he owns individually, the Everglade, which he owns in partnership with Judge Caswell, of Grand Junction, and the White Talk, which he owns in partnership with Judge Caswell and John Lumsden. Mr. Kinney discovered these properties and also the Cameron Consolidated group in Gilpin County. He sold his interest in this group in 1882 for fourteen thousand dollars. In 1877 he moved to Grand County, and locating at Hot Sulphur Springs, engaged in the stock industry, which he carried on successfully for twelve years, raising standard bred cattle and horses. He lost considerable money in horses, but on the whole, found his stock business profitable. Two notable racers, Troublesome and Raymond M., were bred by him and proved a good enterprise. The former won a ten-thousand-dollar purse at Independence, Iowa, in 1897, and won forth thousand dollars in purses during that year. In 1894 he sold his interests in Grand County and moved to Mesa County, where he bought the forty-five acres of land on which he now lives, a mile and a half east of Grand Junction. He has since sold all but ten acres of his original purchase, and these he devotes wholly to fruit. He is also still interested in stock, having now ten or twelve standard bred horses. On August 11, 1883, he united in marriage with Miss May E. Eubank, who was born near Quincy, Illinois, and is the daughter of James T. and Minnie (Hewitt) Eubank, the former a resident of Mesa County and the latter deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Kinney have five children, Victor G., Nina M., Inez, Gladys and Bessie. In politics the head of the house is an earnest working independent While living in Grand County he served one term as sheriff and two as under sheriff.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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