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John F. Kinney (1847-1854)


John F. Kinney

Served on the Iowa Supreme Court from June 12, 1847, when he was appointed to fill the vacancy occasioned by the retirement of Chief Justice Mason and the advancement of Justice Williams to that position, until he resigned February 15, 1854.

Born in New Haven, Oswego County, New York, April 2, 1816. In 1837 he was admitted to the bar at Marysville, Ohio, and practiced law at Mt. Vernon, Ohio, until he moved to Lee County, Iowa, in 1844.

He was Secretary of the Council of the Seventh and Eighth Iowa Territorial General Assemblies. Justice Kinney was a brother-in-law of Jonathan C. Hall, who succeeded him on the court. After his retirement from the court he was appointed by President Pierce as Chief Justice of the Utah Territorial Supreme Court. At the expiration of his term he resumed private, practice, but in 1860 President Buchanan repainted him as Chief Justice of Utah Territory.

He wrote the notable decision of the Iowa Supreme Court in the case of the Half-Breed Tract litigation from Lee County. (See 2 Green 15.)

Justice Kinney died in San Diego, California, August 16, 1902.

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