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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Wilcox & Kinsey

Wilcox & Kinsey, 1870s

     Sometimes something as simple as a business card piques my interest and spurs me to dig a little deeper to see what, if anything, I can learn about persons who are otherwise unknown to me. Among the papers of George Washington Estes Row was today's featured item. [Please note that all images in my blog may be clicked on for enlarged viewing]
     GWE Row operated a large saw mill in Spotsylvania near Todd's Tavern until his untimely death in 1883. It is possible that Row may have supplied lumber to Wilcox & Kinsey, although their names do not appear within his ledgers or among his cancelled checks. Still, he kept this card so I do not rule out a possible business connection.
     Albert Gallatin Wilcox and his family came to Spotsylvania from New York about 1870. He was a "manufacturer of spokes," according to the 1870 census. That same census shows that his neighbor was a fellow New Yorker, Allen Hakes, also a manufacturer of spokes. In 1873 Wilcox was appointed postmaster at Spotsylvania Court House. The Wilcox family did not settle permanently in Spotsylvania, and by the 1880s were living in Hillsborough, Florida, where Albert Wilcox died in 1894.
     Wilcox's partner in this enterprise was Edward Wood Kinsey, born in Chester, Pennsylvania in 1842. Kinsey served in Company A of the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry during the Civil War. Like Albert Wilcox, Kinsey moved to Spotsylvania by 1870 and worked for a number of years in Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg as a merchant and grocer. His first wife died in 1883 and he married Henrietta Hall in 1885. That same year he ran afoul of the law by espousing his political views in public without proper clearance from the town fathers. From the Free Lance, dated 15 September 1885:

     Mr. Kinsey divorced wife number two at some point and married Agnes Jennett Morrison Eastburn in Washington, D.C. in 1902. There he made his home for much of the rest of his life. The index to the historical Fredericksburg newspapers shows that in 1924 his grandson Edward Walter Kinsey was selling used cars there.  From selling wagon spokes to automobiles, the business life of the Kinseys seemed to have come full circle.
     Edward Wood Kinsey is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
     Kinsey's son, Fredericksburg auctioneer Nathaniel Bacon Kinsey, was a witness to the will of GWE Row's son, Horace Row (my grandfather) in 1927.