John H. Kinzie

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John H. Kinzie
John H Kinzie c1850s.png
Born July 7, 1803 (1803-07-07)
Sandwich, Ontario, Upper Canada
Died June 19, 1865 (1865-06-20)
near Pittsburgh, PA[1]
Occupation Trader
Spouse(s) Juliette Augusta Magill Kinzie
Children Alexander Wolcott (1833-1839), Eleanor Lytle (1835-1917), John Harris, Jr. (1838-1862[1]), Capt. Arthur Magill (1841-1902), Julian Magill (b. 1843, died at age six weeks), Francis William (1844-1850, d. of cholera), George Herbert (1846-1890)
Parent(s) John Kinzie and Eleanor Lytle McKillip Kinzie

John Harris Kinzie (July 7, 1803 – June 19, 1865) was the eldest son of John Kinzie, one of Chicago's first permanent settlers. Kinzie arrived in Chicago with his parents when he was one year old.

After living with his family in Detroit, Michigan following the Battle of Fort Dearborn, the Kinzies returned to Chicago in 1816 and from 1818 until 1823, he worked for the American Fur Company. He spent some time working for the governor of the Michigan Territory in the 1820s and became an Indian subagent at Fort Winnebago until he returned to Chicago in 1833.[2] On August 11, 1834, Kinzie became the second president of Chicago. On May 2, 1837 he ran against William Butler Ogden for mayor when Chicago became a city and lost.[3] In 1857 he was voted president of the Chicago Board of Underwriters and his wife Juliette Augusta Magill Kinzie published a memoir titled Wau-bun[4] that included second hand descriptions of the Battle of Fort Dearborn.

Kinzie died suddenly on a railroad train on June 21, 1865.


John H. Kinzie elementary school in Chicago, IL is named after him.

Kinzie is the maternal grandfather of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA.

The house he and his wife resided in for a short period at the end of his time as an Indian sub-agent, now known as the Old Indian Agency House, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5]


  1. ^ a b Fergus, Robert (1896). "Kane, Patrick - Kroger, Arnold". Directory of the City of Chicago Illinois for 1843. Fergus Printing Company. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Chicago's First Half Century. The Inter Ocean Publishing Company. 1883. pp. 13–14. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  4. ^ Kinzie, Juliette (1856). Wau-Bun, the "Early Day" in the North-West. Derby and Jackson. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Home page". Historic Indian Agency House. Retrieved 2012-02-02. 

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