In reading the book “A History of Whidbey’s Island” by George Albert Kellogg, originally published in 1934, I came across some additional tidbits of information about our property’s first white neighbor to the east, John Kineth:

“John Kineth (Nov. 26, 1853), a native of Springfield, Illinois, had crossed the plains in 1849, in company with George Goudy of the Portland Oregonian. Mr. Kineth was a harness-maker by trade, and had opened a harness shop at La Fayette City in Oregon, but after four years came up to the Island. His first log cabin, built on his claim near Snakelum Point, was burned in 1856 by the Indians. His wife had been a Miss Jane Carter of Portland until their marriage in 1851.”

“Joseph S. Smith located on what is now known as Smith’s Prairie in 1853 but did not file until later. Smith was a tall, angular man with grey eyes peering from under bushy eyebrows, a local Methodist preacher who spoke with little eloquence but with great force and some logic. John Kineth, a brother-in-law, took a claim adjacent to Smith’s, and for some time these claims were not distinctly separated. When the lines were finally run, Smith was found to have 400 or more acres of good clean prairie but Kineth had little more than 100. Smith would not listen to an adjustment which would share the prairie more equally between them. In his capacity as a preacher, Smith would seem to have discovered somewhere that text, ‘The Lord helps those who help themselves.'”

“The Grand Jury appointed on January 14, 1854, will be included in this account for, with the Petit Jury, they form a census of the principal men in the still enormous Island County – enormous in extent but small in population.” [23 men were listed as the Grand Jury, including John Kineth; 22 other men were listed as the Petit Jury]

“John Kineth and John Condra each had a barn ‘raising’ just a week apart.” [around September 1855]

[During the Indian War of 1855-1856] “The pioneer families were now thoroughly alarmed. On the sixth [November 1855], men from all over the Island gathered at John Crockett’s place and decided to erect a block house. That same day Messrs. Smith, Kineth and Hancock with their families moved over to the Crockett farm. They attempted to get more powder from the schooner ‘R.B. Potter’ but were refused and as a result there was much hard feeling about the matter. The ‘Potter’, nevertheless, was acting under strict orders, a fact which the farmers were not in a position to appreciate.

Smith’s Prairie School was first held in Mrs. Cyrus E. Cook’s log house, and later “Kellogg and Kineth built a school of logs”. “Among the earliest pupils, were… three children from the Kineth family”.

“The first ‘steam thresher’ was purchased jointly in 1878 by John Kineth and Henry Race.”

On May 7th, 1892 Whidbey Island’s first bank opened in Coupeville as The Island County Bank of Coupeville and A. R. Kineth was listed as a stock holder.

A November 4, 1893 members list of The Good Templars included Ethel Kineth.

At the dedication services for the new Methodist church in Coupeville (the original burned down in 1893) were held on April 22, 1894 and Mrs. A. R. Kineth was a member of the choir.

Mrs. Kineth was Senior Vice-President of the Daniel Chaplain Relief Corps, formed in 1894.

The state’s second chapter of the Native Daughters of Washington was formed in Coupeville in December 1897 and included Lizzie Noyes Kineth as “Sentinel” and Julie Kineth Stockand as a member.

  • July 2008