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Weston Wagons West - Ep D6 - William B. Kinnick Family Grows in Dallas County, Iowa

Updated on July 18, 2017

Horses, cattle and hogs were raised on the farm

William B. Kinnick, with his mother, ran the family farm through family crises

William B. and Jennie, and their young son, Frank, lived on the main farm with his mother, Sarah, as 1876 become 1878. In February, Jennie gave birth to a son they named Earnest Jacob, but he was sickly and died after four months or so. In May, brother John’s wife, Annis, became very ill, and passed away on the 28th of the month; just one month to the day before Jennie and William B. lost their second son. John was left with a boy, William G., 9, and a girl, Nellie, 1. Their grandmother, Sarah, now 74, did her best to help, but it was still tough. Again, in February of 1880, William and Jennie had a boy they had named Albert on high hopes, but he died later on the same day he was born. There had also been some difference of opinion among the grown children and the in-laws as to the direction the family farming business should go. In the end, William B. bought out the interests his siblings would have in the future estate of their mother so that each could go their separate ways.

The 1880 Federal Census in June found the Charles and Susan Curtis family on a place of their own away from the Kinnick farm, him farming, with all of their children: Charles, 36, Susan, 37, Kittie A., 13, Franklin L. 11, John, 9, George, 7, Enos, 5, William, 4, and son, Claud, 2, born in April.

The 1880 Federal Census reported a mixed family all in the main house on the farm, next door to the Dallas County Poor Farm. William B. and Mary (Jennie) were reported as head of household, aged 31 and 27, with their son, Frank, 4. Brother, John, 38, was listed next with his son, William G, 11, and his daughter, Nellie, 3. Their mother was listed last, Sarah, 76. William B. and John were listed as Stock Raising, with Mary (Jennie) listed as ‘keeping house.’ No hired farm labor was listed as had been in 1870. Some cropland had been turned to pasture land, it appeared. In addition, William had begun to add land to their holdings.

Closer to the town of Adel, Michael and Vonnie Weston, each age 54, lived with their three children, all still single: Dom, 28, Daniel, 24, and Martha, 21. Martha had a beau, but marriage was still a year or so away, it seemed. He was in school, at Iowa State College, in Ames, and they were waiting until he graduated. Dom married Julia Hayworth on June 15, 1881. Her father ran a dry goods store in Adel. She worked in his store and Dom had considered her much younger, with a five-year age difference. In recent months, however, the relationship had changed and grew romantic. Miracles do happen. Brother Daniel spoke publically about being dedicated first to the family business, but privately said the right young lady had simply not entered his life yet. He said his outlook now was more positive, seeing how Julia had changed Dom’s life.

Dividing a farm among heirs is always a challenge


Life went on for the Kinnick family in Dallas County Iowa

Six-year-old Frank Butler Kinnick got a sister, in March of 1882, Mary Belle. While William B. and Jennie were still celebrating their good news, along with grandmother, Sarah, the family learned that the Curtis family was pulling up stakes and moving west to Nebraska. Sister Susan would certainly be missed, but William B. told Michael at the blacksmith shop, “I won’t miss Charles Curtis, he has been nothing but a thorn in my side since he married my older sister.” Michael said he was very sorry to hear that, noting the Weston’s had worked with Charles Curtis without any particular problems. William replied, “That is because your name is not Kinnick, I must assume.” They shared a chuckle about that, and went on with their work.

Brother John Thomas Kinnick brought some welcome stability into his family life in mid-December 1883 when he married the widow Edith Weeks Whinery. Edith Weeks had married Dr. L.W. Whinery in DeSoto, a small town a few miles south of Adel. They had two sons, Franklin William born in1873 and Lindley Dale, born in 1875. Edith was a teacher and served two terms as County Superintendent of

Dallas County schools. John and Edith added a daughter of their own, Helen Lucile, they called her Lucile, in February 1886. In September 1887, they added a son, John Clark, whom they called Clark.

William B. and Jennie had a son, William Glenn, born in November of 1888. John and Edith had a second son, Carlton Van, born in September 1889. Following their prior pattern, they called their son Van, rather than Carlton. More grief came to William B. and Jennie when their young son, William Glenn, became very ill late in the fall of 1890, and passed away in November. In January 1891, at age 86, the family matriarch, Sarah, passed away. Their family did continue to grow, however, as another daughter, Ruth, was born in May 1891. Another son joined the family in April of 1893. He was named Nile Clark Kinnick. His arrival was somewhat tempered, however, by the news that John Thomas and Edith, with the family, had made the decision to move to Perry, Oklahoma, to pursue new opportunities there, with the opening of Cherokee Land later in the year. Dom and Julia Weston decided to join them on their journey to find a new life.

Nile Kinnick, Heisman Trophy Winner, University of Iowa


The William B. Kinnick family prospered

During this period of the late 80s and early 90s William B. continued to expand his stock raising operations to include a total of 1400 acres and was becoming a leader in the community. He became one of the most extensive landowners of Dallas County and vice-president of the Adel State Bank.

In October of 1895, the final child was born to the family, a daughter, Marguerite. She married and had a son, but died at the far too young age of 23.

Nile Clark Kinnick went on to attend Iowa State College in Ames, where among other achievements he was the Quarterback of the football team. He went on to marry the daughter of the Governor of Iowa from 1913-1917, George Washington Clarke. Her name was Frances. Together, Nile and Frances, they were the parents of Nile Clarke Kinnick. This is the Nile Kinnick who became a football star at the University of Iowa and won the Heisman Trophy in 1939 (the year your author was born!). He died in 1943 serving as a naval aviator, training pilots for the war effort, when the plane he was piloting went down in the Caribbean.

Historical note by the author

All members of the Weston family are fictional, of course. All the Kinnicks and their relatives were historical figures, used here fictitiously. The relationship between the Kinnick and Weston families therefore were created fictionally for this series. The children of William Kinnick were related to the author as second cousins, four generations removed.

Each of the relationships within which these historical figures appear in these episodes is totally consistent with known historical facts for each such person in the official records of North Carolina, Indiana and Iowa.

The author's historical perspective in this hub relied extensively on collaborative research done while compiling the 2003 KINNICK Genealogy Book Online …
This was an update and revision completed on the 50th anniversary of the 1953 publication of: "A Genealogical History of the Kinnick Family of America" by Mrs. Nettie Edna Kinnick Waggener (self-published).

This episode is the fifth in the Dx series following the Jeremiah Weston and the John and Ann Kinnick branches of the families.

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer


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    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 7 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Dore. I hope that is the case. There are so many stories available that need to be shared. I do hope they have some lasting value! ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 7 months ago from The Caribbean

      You're doing a great job of keeping these names and records consistent and your chronicles are themselves a good keepsake for history lovers.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 7 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for the visit and comment, Bill. This one has been sitting on the 'to do' list for quite a while... the muse finally got around to it... more to come! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      If it's history than I'm a happy man, Bill! Color me quite contented this morning after reading this. Thank you!