Frank Kinzie (1793 - 1866)

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Birthplace: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, United States
Death: Died
Managed by: Anthony Reel
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Frank Kinzie

"Kinzie, James (April 2, 1793-Jan. 13, 1866) son of John Kinzie and his first wife Margaret McKenzie; brother of William and Elizabeth [see Kinzie family tree], born in Detroit. It is believed that James and his siblings accompanied their mother to Virginia on her separation from John Kinzie. James returned to the Midwest in 1816 and on Aug. 3, 1818, became an employee of the American Fur Co., maintaining posts at Milwaukee (with John Kinzie Clark and, in 1822, also with Jean Baptiste Beaubien) and Racine; his illegal sales of whisky to the Indians caused the Indian agent [Wolcott] at Chicago to direct him to close his business in Milwaukee, and he moved to Chicago that same year (1822); built and occupied a cabin at the forks on the E side of the South Branch, and used it as a store. In 1823 he built the Wolf Tavern with his half brother David Hall, who then sold out to James; in 1826 he sold his cabin on the South Branch to Mark Beaubien, who converted it into the Eagle Exchange Tavern; in 1828 he claimed $22.18 against the estate of François Le Mai, including an item of March 19, 1828, "Amt. of expense incurred by hunting the corps [of Le Mai]." James received $485 in compensation for a claim at the Indian treaty of 1829. Canal engineer James Bucklin, who visited Chicago in 1830, reports that James was a trained blacksmith. About 1830, James bought lots in blocks 2, 11, 12, 21, 22, 23, 40, and 41 [see Maps, 1834, John S. Wright], selling much of it again within a few years; is listed on the Peoria County Census of August 1830; served as private under Captain Kercheval in the Chicago militia during the Black Hawk War, as listed on the muster roll of May 3, 1832; signed the 1833 Chicago Treaty document as a witness, and received $5000 and $300 in payments for claims and $800 as Margaret McKenzie Kinzie Halls son at the treaty. In 1833 he built the Green Tree Tavern at the NE corner of Lake and Canal streets; was listed among "500 Chicagoans" on the census which Commissioner Thomas J.V. Owen took prior to the incorporation of Chicago as a town in early August 1833; partnering David Hall again, Kinzie & Hall advertised a new store in the June 25, 1834, Chicago Democrat, one door E from the corner of Lake and Canal streets, near the Point; was appointed Cook County’s first sheriff by the governor, was listed in July 1834 as a candidate for county commissioner, and became firewarden of the fourth ward later on September 25; also was - Chicago’s 1st - appointed auctioneer [see a sample of his activity below; also see Wabansia Addition for James’s involvement in real estate ownership and transfer] and served as trustee of the school section; on November 21 he applied for wharfing privileges, filing a claim two days later, a petition on the 25th and another on December 5; in the December 2 Chicago Democrat that year, Kinzie & Hall announced the sale of the entire stock of goods and offered thanks to their customers. He first married [see] Leah See (Logan, KY Nov. 15, 1815-), daughter of Rev. William and Minerva (née Moss) See, and they had three children; Leah died at Racine, Wisconsin Territory, on June 15, 1837, survived by two small children, John and [see] Liscomb, Margaret Ellen Kinzie; though a James Kinzie listed in the 1839 City Directory (real estate agent, North Canal Street), the family had removed to Racine in 1836. In 1838 he married Virginia Hale (Bluefield, WV 1824-), daughter of Isaiah and Margaret (née Lucas) Hale; they had 11 children: Robert Hale (Feb. 24, 1840-), Mary (1848-October 1869; Mrs. Joseph Frost), Jennie (1850-; following the death of Mary, Mrs. Joseph Frost), Frances L., known as Fannie (1852-; Mrs. Charles Frost), Sarah (Mrs. William Liscomb), Julia G., Cornelia G., Lizzie G., and James L. (May 26, 1863-July 14, 1920). In the late 1840s the family moved to Clyde, Iowa County, WI, as did the William See family, where the two men built a gristmill; a sawmill was built by Kinzie a year later; the mills were destroyed by a freshet in 1868, two years after Kinzies death, then rebuilt by son Robert and two sons-in-law. [10aa, 12, 28, 220, 262a, 275a, 319, 421a] [In the Dec. 10, 1833, issue of the Chicago Democrat appeared an announcement that James Kinzie, auctioneer, would sell on December 13 the following real estate: Lot 7, Block 8, and house, formerly occupied as a meeting-house, opposite the bridge on the north branch of the Chicago River. [The meetinghouse is the log cabin formerly occupied by Reverend See, and later by Reverend Walker, and the bridge was - Chicago’s first - bridge, begun in 1832 as a floating log bridge for foot traffic only. The exact location of both structures would have been difficult to determine, were it not for Kinzie’s exacting announcement, which places lot seven at the SW corner of Kinzie and Canal streets; eds.] [704]"

-Info from Janice Lekich

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Frank Kinzie's Timeline

1793
April 2, 1793
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, United States
1866
January 13, 1866
Age 72