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Kinzie, Robert A.

Born: 1810-02-08 Chicago, Illinois

Died: 1873-12-13 Chicago, Illinois

In 1812, Kinzie escaped an American Indian attack on Fort Dearborn (the later site of Chicago). In 1825, Kinzie went to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, to live with his brother, John H. Kinzie, who was a clerk for the American Fur Company. He soon took his brother’s position with the company. Robert Kinzie moved to Fort Winnebago, Wisconsin, in 1829 and became a sutler at the fort, selling food and other items to the soldiers. He returned to Chicago permanently in 1830 as one of the city's first settlers. Kinzie was a fur trader, Indian trader, hardware merchant, and farmer. In November 1834, he married Gwinthean Whistler in Cook County, Illinois. He was the brother-in-law of General David Hunter. During the Civil War, he was a paymaster in the U.S. Army with the rank of major.

A. T. Andreas, History of Cook County, Illinois: The Earliest Period to the Present Time (Chicago: A. T. Andreas, 1884), 99; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Cook County, 12 November 1834, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Eleanor Lytle Kinzie Gordon, John Kinzie: The "Father of Chicago", A Sketch (Savannah, GA: Eleanor Kinzie Gordon, 1910), 7, 30; Abraham Lincoln to Simon Cameron.