biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
JOHN N. KINSMAN, of Harrison Towuship station agent at Cedar, is a dealer in lumber and engaged in buying and shipping grain. He was born in the State of New York, Aug. 13, 1820, and is a son of Melitiah and Rhoda (Wright) Kinsman, the former a native of Nova Scotia and the latter of Connecticut. Melitiah Kinsman died in the State of Pennsylvania, in the year 1826, and his widow came to Iowa in 1844 and lived in this county until her death, which occurred in 1870. The subject of this sketch, John N. Kinsman, came to Iowa from the State of Pennsylvania in the year 1840, locating in Washington County, and purchasing the land upon which a portion of the town of Brighton, in that county, is now situated. In the year 1841 he began the study of medicine, but in the spring of 1842 accepted the appointment of Deputy Sheriff of that county, under Sheriff Stone, retaining the position four years, and during that time residing in the town of Washington. Until its organization Mahaska County was attached to Washington for judicial purposes. At the expiration of the four years last mentioned he accepted the position as Clerk of the Court for Jasper County, Iowa. Among the other duties of the Clerk of said court was that of establishing the county seat of different counties, conducting elections, etc. In the fall of that year, at the general election, he was chosen a member of the first State Legislature of Iowa, from a district embracing the counties of Jasper, Marion and Polk. During this time steps were taken for the removal of the State capital from Iowa City to Des Moines. At the expiration of his term of office, in the year 1847, he came to Oskaloosa, Iowa, engaged in hotel business, which he followed for four years, at a time when Frink, Walker & Co. run stages from Keokuk to Des Moines, and until 1850, when he was elected Sheriff of Mahaska County, holding the position for two years. About this time his health began to fail, and he retired from active business for a period of one year, and until the year 1853, when he began the erection of Union Block in Oskaloosa, finishing it during the same year. In the year 1860, by reason of the death of John H. Shoemake, then Treasurer of the county, he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of that office, and at the general election in the fall was chosen Treasurer and Recorder of Mahaska County, filling that position until the year 1862. At the expiration of his term of office he moved onto his farm in White Oak Township, this county, the change of location being made necessary by the enlistment of his son in-law, George S. Carson, as a soldier in the Union army, George up to that time having had charge of the farm. Here he remained until the year 1882, when he came to his present home in Harrison Township, near Cedar Station. Mr. Kinsman was married in Pennsylvania, April 13, 1844, to Miss Lydia M. Birchard, who was born in Pennsylvania, Dec. 10, 1817, and who was a daughter of Pliny and Martha (Griffis) Birchard. By this union there were four children, as follows: Martha E., born March 20, 1846, and the wife of George S. Carson, residing in this county; Sarah A., born Feb. 23, 1852, is the wife of Taylor Glasgow, and living in Kansas; Mary L., born Aug. 5,1854, is the wife of Joseph Endicott, who resides in Cedar; Pliny M., born April 11, 1856, married to Vandalia Driver, Feb. 16, 1876, now deceased, and again married to Miss Sarah Stone, in March, 1883, and resides in White Oak Township. Mr. and Mrs. Kinsman are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and in his political affiliations is a Republican. Mr. Kinsman at his present home owns a good residence, and the elevator buildings at the station of Cedar. Being situated in the midst of a very productive section of the county, his duties as railroad agent, combined with his business as grain buyer and lumber dealer, keep his time pretty well occupied, and he finds the business pleasant and remunerative. Mr. Kinsman is among the pioneer settlers of the county, being well known throughout its borders, and is universally respected and esteemed by all our people.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy