Page 837-838, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Robert Kinley of Bloomington township, is a Butler county pioneer who has witnessed all the stages of the settlement and development of this county from a vast unbroken waste to its present populous and prosperous state. He began farming in a small way, after the plan of the average pioneer, and has become one of the successful farmers and stock raisers of the county. Robert Kinley is a native of the Isle of Man and was born in 1843. He is a son of Edward and Isabella Kinley. Mr. Kinley immigrated to America in 1866, and settled in Ohio. After spending three years in that State, he came to Kansas in 1869, and located in Wilson county. Robert Kinley owned a farm in Wilson county which he sold and this deal proved to be an unfortunate one. He received a check for the purchase price of his farm but before he presented it the bank upon which it was drawn failed. He then went to Illinois, but in 1882 returned to Kansas where he owned eighty acres of land upon which he had proved up.

Mr. Kinley has followed general farming and stock raising and has been very successful. He now owns a well improved farm in Butler county which consists of 235 acres which is under a high state of cultivation. He is one of the men who is entitled to the degree of success which has come to him. He had many experiences in the rough and ready pioneer days. He was here when the so-called "bad men" held sway on the border and the lives and property of early settlers were in secure,[sic] and he well remembers when this reign of terror was brought to


a sudden close by the wholesale hanging of a number of horse and cattle rustlers by the vigilance committee. Mr. Kinley recalls an incident which happened to him at Douglass that made a lasting impression on his mind. He was looking for a certain man and inquired from some men if they knew where he was and his informant pointed out a man to Mr. Kinley and told him to ask him where his man was. The man pointed out proved to be the chief of the vigilance committee and it developed that the man that Mr. Kinley was looking for was a notorious horse thief and the chief of the committee was very much offended at Mr. Kinley's question and threatened to kill him. This is merely one of the many incidents of his early life on the plains. He also had his experience with early day prairie fires and blizzards. On one occasion when he was hauling lumber from Florence to Walnut City he was caught in a blizzard with the thermometer ten degrees below zero and succeeded in keeping from freezing by continually walking.

Mr. Kinley was united in marriage in 1881 with Miss Mary Kaighin, a daughter of John Kaighin, and the following children were born to this union: Cora, Mary, Eva, Robert, Ruby and Florence, the last two being deceased. Mrs. Kinley died in 1893. Mr. Kinley lived in El Dorado for a number of years in order that his children might have the advantage of better schools and during that time worked at his trade of blacksmithing. In 1909 he returned to his farm and since that time has given it his undivided attention. He is one of the substantial citizens of Butler county and has made good.

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