Location of the city of Kinney
within Saint Louis County, Minnesota
|• Total||4.13 sq mi (10.69 km2)|
|• Land||3.91 sq mi (10.13 km2)|
|• Water||0.21 sq mi (0.55 km2)|
|Elevation||1,542 ft (470 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||43.71/sq mi (16.88/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0661645|
Kinney is a city in Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 169 at the 2010 census. Kinney gets its name from Hon. O. D. Kinney who was one of the original European owners of the Merritt site in 1892 along with Judge J.T. Hale, and Capt. Joseph Sellwood. It was originally held by Algonquian-speaking tribes: the Ojibwe (Chippewa), Ottawa, and Potawatomi.  U.S. Highway 169 serves as a main route in the area.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 169 people, 70 households, and 43 families residing in the city. The population density was 36.6 inhabitants per square mile (14.1/km2). There were 83 housing units at an average density of 18.0 per square mile (6.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.6% White, 1.2% Native American, and 1.2% from two or more races.
There were 70 households of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.6% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.88.
The median age in the city was 40.1 years. 22.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.2% were from 25 to 44; 33.1% were from 45 to 64; and 11.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 52.1% male and 47.9% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 199 people, 82 households, and 61 families residing in the city. The population density was 43.6 people per square mile (16.8/km²). There were 88 housing units at an average density of 19.3 per square mile (7.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.47% White, 2.01% Native American, and 3.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.02% of the population. 25.3% were of Finnish, 19.2% German, 8.9% Irish, 8.2% Norwegian, 6.8% Swedish, 6.2% French Canadian and 6.2% Italian ancestry.
There were 82 households out of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.0% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.4% were non-families. 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.73.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 3.5% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 20.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 111.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,000, and the median income for a family was $33,125. Males had a median income of $31,667 versus $17,361 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,756. About 9.4% of families and 13.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.4% of those under the age of eighteen and none of those sixty five or over.
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Republic of Kinney
By 1977, the City of Kinney, with a population of 325 according to the 1970 census, suffered from a failing water system, and was faced with a staggering replacement cost of $186,000. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to secure funding from state and federal agencies due to bureaucratic red tape, agencies such as: Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), and the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Commission (IRRRC), the city council was led to believe that it would be easier to receive foreign aid if Kinney seceded from the union, declared war, and lost immediately. Mayor Mary Anderson and a supportive Kinney City Council sent the following July 13, 1977, 'tongue-in-cheek' secession letter to U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance:
City of Kinney
KINNEY, MINNESOTA 55758
July 13, 1977
Honorable Cyrus Vance
Secretary of State
BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Kinney, in Kinney, Minnesota, has decided to secede from the United States of America, and become a foreign country. Our area is large enough for it. We are twelve square blocks, three blocks wide and four blocks long. We will be similar to Monaco. It is much easier to get assistance as a foreign country, which we need badly, and there is no paper work to worry about. If necessary, we will be glad to declare war and lose. However, if this is a requirement, we would appreciate being able to surrender real quick, as our Mayor works as a nurse in a hospital, and most of our council members work in a nearby mine and cannot get much time off from work.
CITY COUNCIL OF VILLAGE OF KINNEY
Mary Anderson, Mayor
Margaret Medure, Clerk
Al Helmin, Councilman
Lloyd Linnell, Councilman
Myron Holcomb, Councilman
Jim Randall, Village Attorney
The secession was never officially acknowledged by Vance or the U.S. The news story broke locally in the Mesabi Daily News on February 5, 1978, in an article by Ginny Wennen entitled "Move over Monaco, here comes Kinney." The story garnered national and international attention beginning on February 7, 1978, when the story was featured on the NBC Nightly News with David Brinkley.
Jeno Paulucci, a businessman based in Duluth, Minnesota, was the first to acknowledge the new republic and offer 'foreign aid' in the form of a dark brown 1974 Ford LTD police squad car and 10 cases of Jenos Sausage Pizza Mix on February 13, 1978. The squad car was painted with a Republic of Kinney shield on the driver's side that read "Commander in Chief, Republic of Kinney," and "Chief of Police, Kinney, Mn." on the passenger side.
In November 1978, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) approved $198,000 grant, allocated in three payments of $66,000 per year from the Taconite Area Environmental Protection Fund, to repair the existing water system, construct cement runoff basins, and install additional fire hydrants.
The Republic of Kinney would go on to create and sell over 1,600 passports alone between March and April 1978 at $1.00 apiece. Later the republic created buttons, T-shirts, and even a summer festival called 'Secession Days', which was first held during the weekend of August 1 & 2, 1987.
The City of Kinney celebrated the 30th anniversary of its "independence" as the Republic of Kinney during the weekend of July 13–15, 2007. In conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the Kinney secession, the City of Kinney published the book Republic of Kinney.
- Kuzma, Scott (2007). Republic of Kinney. Fargo, ND: Forum Communications Printing. ISBN 0-9796706-0-8. (First Edition).
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- Tyssen, Linda (October 29, 2016). "Range native revisits Kinney's famous history". Mesabi Daily News. Retrieved October 29, 2016.