Biographical Sketch of Robert Kinney

Signature of Robert C. Kinney

Robert C. Kinney 

Born 1813 
Died 1875 
Yamhill County delegate

Robert Crouch Kinney was born on July 4, 1813, in Belleville, Saint Charles County, Illinois. He helped found the town of Muscatine on the Mississippi River where he entered the milling business. Kinney was married to Eliza Bigelow in 1833 and in 1847 he came with his family to Oregon.

Settling in Yamhill County, he began farming and under the Donation Land Act he and his wife made a claim of 640 acres. He went to California to try his luck in the gold fields in the fall of 1848 and returned in early 1849 to his farm and family. Kinney served in the territorial legislature in 1849 and 1851.

Kinney was a “free state” delegate from Yamhill County to the constitutional convention and served on the Committee on Education and School Land. He voted against final approval of the constitution.

In 1858 he moved to McMinnville and bought the Newby Flour Mill the following year. The milling business prospered and expanded to include mills in Salem as well. His company was soon handling one-fourth of all Oregon’s grain crop and exported great quantities of flour and grain to foreign ports.

Kinney died in Marion County March 2, 1875.