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1906 Biographies


Far from the land of his nativity and the only member of his family in the United States, beset with difficulties and privations in his earlier American life, and for years struggling for advancement against heavy odds, the late George W. Kinnersley, of Washington township, one of the prosperous farmers and old residents of the region, ever accepted the conditions presented to him with cheerfulness and confronted the dificulties before him with courage.

The deceased was a native of Herfordshire, England, where he was born on July 4, 1840, the son of John and Hannah (Wheel) Kinnersley, also born in that country. The parents never left their native land, but after long years of usefulness in it as prosperous farmers were laid to rest in the soil that had been hallowed by their labors. Their family consisted of two sons and one daughter, George W., as has been noted, being the only one of the household who became a resident of the United States. In early life, perhaps, even he had no idea of wandering so far from the paternal fireside, for he remained in England until he reached the age of forty-two. But an advancement in that crowded country seemed slow, and his ambition was for something better -- as he had, moreover, health, strength and self-reliance -- he determined to found a home and search for a wider field of life in the New World.

George W. Kinnersley emigrated to this country in 1881 and during the following three years lived in the good old county of Lancaster, Pa., at one time the richest county in the United States, and still in the front rank. There he worked in the iron mines, and also engaged in farming. But the broader West was too alluring to be resisted, so that in 1885 he settled in this county, and for a time after his arrival was in the employ of Thomas Meredith. Then he rented a farm, which he operated until 1892, when he purchased the one upon which he passed the last years of his life, being engaged both in general agriculture and the breeding of stock.

In 1866 Mr. Kinnersley was married in England to Sarah M. Davis, who was born in Wales, the daughter of Thomas and Anna (Davis) Davis. Her father died in Wales and her mother in Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Kinnersley became the parents of six children: John, a school teacher; William, who was accidentally killed while threshing; Albert J., an attorney of Oklahoma City, and George, Charles and Harvey, who are living at home. The deceased was a member of the Church of Christ, and his widow is also identified with that denomination. Together they faithfully toiled to transform their wild acres into a comfortable and a valuable home, and long previous to the husband's death in October, 1906, they had the satisfaction of seeing their laudable purpose accomplished. And through all these labors they showed an earnest and intelligent interest in the welfare of their township and county, and contributed their share to the advancement of both. They ever walked uprightly before their neighbors, in whose regard and good will they became firmly established, and now that the good man of the house has departed to the beyond those whom he has left behind are walking the same straight path of rectitude and honor.

From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pp. 386-387.

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