Luther Kinney

Updated: 29 June 2009

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If you have any information (births, marriages, deaths, obituaries, photographs, etc.) on the Luther Kinney and related families please send to Jim Adams (adamsmckain at for inclusion on this page.

A biography of Luther Kinney can be found in the History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan. With ... biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. by Ellis, Franklin, 1928-1885., Johnson, Crisfield., D.W. Ensign & Co. Philadelphia: D.W. Ensign & Co., 1880. The county histories can be found on the University of Michigan website.

The following history was written by Robert Brown for the 2009 Adams-McKain Family Reunion Newsletter:

Luther Kinney, the oldest son of Elijah & Lucretia (Colvin) Kinney , married Emily Adams (1809-1888) on Dec. 2, 1830, in Ohio.  She was the daughter of Bildad and Mary (Haynes) Adams (and the younger sister of Horace Hale Adams).  Luther and Emily came to Porter Twp. in 1835 with his parents and settled just the south of them.  In 1864, Luther and Emily moved to Minnesota for a couple years.  When they returned to Michigan in 1868, they settled in Benton Twp. in Berrien Co.  They had no children.  There is an engraving of their home in Benton Twp. in the History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan (Ensign, 1880) which includes an inset of their original log cabin in Porter Twp., and their pictures.

Luther KinneyEmily (Adams) Kinney
Luther Kinney and Emily (Adams) Kinney

Elijah and Lucretia’s son Joseph (b. 1826) married Eliza J. Stillwell in 1848.  In the 1870 census, Joseph and Eliza are living in Porter Twp. and have four children.  Joseph died on May 21, 1876 at age 49 years, 10 months and 18 days—killed by lightening. 

Elijah Kinney had both a brother and a son named Stephen.  Elijah and Lucretia’s son Stephen (1825-1883) settled on his parents’ property after his father died.  In the 1880 census his wife’s name is Mary and they have a son, Freddy (age 10).

Biography of Luther Kinney

LUTHER KINNEY, who was born in Erie Co., N. Y., June 29, 1807, is the oldest in a family of eleven children, six sons and five daughters, of whom three sons and one daughter now survive. His father, Elijah Kinney, was a native of New York, as was also his mother, whose maiden name was Lucretia Calvin, and who married the elder Kinney in 1806. Previous to the war of 1812, Mr. Kinney, Sr., had settied in Huron Co., Ohio, but at some time during the continuance of hostilities was driven Out by the Indians. In 1814, however, he returned thither and made a permanent settlement.

Luther Kinney remained at home, assisting his father, until he was twenty three years of age, when he made an independent start in life. On the 2d of IDecember, 1830, he was married, in Huron Co., Ohio, to Miss Emily W. Adams, daughter of Bildad and Mary Adams, who were- as was also their daughter born among the rugged mountains of Vermont, and who had emigrated to Huron County when the daughter was six years old. Mrs. Kinney was the tenth in a family of eleven children, eight girls and three boys. Of these, Mrs. Kinney and one sister, who resides in Branch Co., Mich., are all who are living. Their mother died in Ohio when Mrs. Kinney was but eleven years old, and her father when she was seventeen. In the fall of 1835, Mr. Kinney and his father, accompanied by their families, migrated to Michigan, and settled in Porter township, Van Buren County, where Mr. Kinney purchased one hundred and sixty acres of government land on section 24, to which he afterwards added forty more, and improved one hundred and fifty acres of the whole. In 1864 he sold his farm and removed to Lake City, Minn., where he invested in property and remained four years. In 1868 he disposed of his interest in Minnesota and returned to Michigan, and located in Benton township, Berrien County, where he now resides. His attention has since been given to fruit culture, and with gratifying success. He finally, owing to the death of many of his trees, returned to his vocation as a farmer, and his premises, a view of which will be found in this work, evince the taste and thrift of their owner.

Mr. and Mrs. Kinney have no children. In their earlier years they united with the Baptist Church, and are now members, in good standing, of the Congregational Church at Benton Harbor. Mr. Kinney's politics are in accordance with the principles of the Republican party. While a resident of Porter, Van Buren Co., he was its supervisor, and has held other offices. His advantages for obtaining an education were those afforded by the district schools of the early days. Mr. Kinney's father died in 1862, and had been preceded to the mystic land by his faithful partner ten years, her death occurring in 1852. They sleep peacefully after a rugged experience in life, and after having twice been pioneers.

History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.