Kinney, William C.

Born: 1815-XX-XX Saint Clair County, Illinois

Died: 1858-10-24 Belleville, Illinois

Flourished: Belleville, Illinois

William C. Kinney was the youngest son of William Kinney, a pioneer of Saint Clair County. William C. read law in the Belleville law office of Gustave Koerner and James Shields, gained admission to the bar, and commenced practicing law in Belleville in 1839. He also entered politics and held various county and state offices. He served as a hose and water man for the Belleville Volunteer Fire Company. In 1839, he was prosecuting attorney pro tempore for St. Clair County. From 1841 to 1845, Kinney was clerk and ex-officio recorder of deeds for the St. Clair County Circuit Court. In 1841, he married Marie Louise Kane, daughter of Elias K. Kane, with whom he had four children. Politically, Kinney aligned initially with the Democratic Party, though he later switched his allegiance to the Republican Party. In April 1847, he won election as a Democrat to represent St. Clair County at the Illinois Constitutional Convention. Kinney served as states' attorney for St. Clair County in 1848. In 1850, he was practicing law in Belleville and owned real estate valued at $20,000. In 1854, he gained a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives, serving in that body until 1855. From 1856 to 1858, Kinney again occupied the office of prosecuting attorney. In 1857, he received appointment as adjutant general of the state, dying in that office.

Gravestone, Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL; History of St. Clair County, Illinois (Philadelphia: Brink, McDonough, 1881), 77-79, 90, 94, 189; Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 460; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 220; Arthur Charles Cole, ed., The Constitutional Debates of 1847, vol. 14 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library, Constitutional Series (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1919), 2:966; Newton Bateman, Paul Selby, and J. Seymour Currey, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and the History of Hancock County, ed. by Charles J. Scofield (Chicago: Munsell, 1921), 1:317-18; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Belleville, St. Clair County, IL, 342; G. Thomas Kinney and Scott L. Kinney, Kinney Tales & Trails (Lancaster, VA: TOSH, LTD, 2000), 92, 208, 220.