John Smedley Kinney
1838 - 1933


Hamburg Reporter
Thursday, October 26, 1933

Hamburg's Oldest Citizen Passed Away on Tuesday - - J.S. Kinney, 95, Hamburg's oldest citizen, passed away quietly in his rooms at the Julien Hotel Tuesday morning, following a short illness. Mr. Kinney was well known, and beloved by all.  His youthful spirit, and ability to see the bright side of life, made him enjoyable company. His strict integrity gave him high honor among men.

Mr. Kinney came to Hamburg in 1878, and later engaged in the buying of corn, storing the product in large cribs. Later he was engaged in the flour and feed business, after disposing of this line he conducted a grocery and dry goods store, from which he retired a good many years ago. He decided to retire, but time hung heavily for him, so he took up the produce business, which he conducted until only a few years ago.

Mr. Kinney had charge of the first telephone exchange in Hamburg, which was located in his store. He later secured the subscribers for the local exchange. At the dedication of the new Bell telephone building in 1930 Mr. Kinney was an honored guest, and put through the first call "cut in" to the new building.

John Smedley Kinney was born in Keen (sic), Ohio, September 26, 1838 and died at Hamburg, Iowa, October 24, 1933, at the age of 95 years and 28 days.

In 1835 his parents moved to Oskaloosa, Iowa, where his father built four dwelling houses and sold them to people moving into the state at that point. They hauled the lumber from Keokuk. His father could not endure the cold winters and moved to Livingston County, Missouri, at the town of Farmersville.

November 24, 1861 he married Phebe Breedlove. To this union three children were born - Alhin, who died at the age of three years, Mary Ellen, who will be remembered as Mrs. S.T. Mitchell who died in November 1924, and Dr. Charles L. Kinney of Clinton, Iowa.

J.S. Kinney came to Hamburg in 1878 from Sacramento, California, where he had gone the previous year for his health. He stopped here to visit Mrs. Kinney's brother, J.B. Breedlove, and has been a resident here ever since. He and his wife joined the Cumberland Presbyterian church in 1863. Mrs. Kinney died in December 1924. He leaves six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held this (Thursday) afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Presbyterian church, conducted by the Rev. Horace A. Larsen, and interment will be in the Hamburg cemetery.

  ----- Transcribed by Karen Weaver