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from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa

Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, Pp. 271-72


DeWitt Clinton KINSELL, one of the oldest buesiness men of Mount Ayr, is a native of Hagerstown, Maryland, born April 23, 1826. His parents, Enoch B[arrett] and Hannah [E.] (DILLMAN) KINSELL, were also natives of Maryland, the father born in the city of Baltimore, and the mother in Hagerstown. They left their native State when our subject was quite young, and settled at Mansfield, Richland County, Ohio, where the father followed mercantile pursuits for several years, removing thence to Knox County, Ohio, where they made their home till death. [Enoch and Hannah were the parents of nine children - Dillman Barrett, John Wesley, Ann C., Mary V., Amelia, Elizabeth, Russell Bigelow, Jesse Lee, and DeWitt Clinton.] The father died while on a visit to his son, our subject, who was then living in Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa. The mother survived her husband several years, dying in Ohio.

DeWitt C. KINSELL passed his youth in Richland and Knox counties, Ohio, receiving his education principally in the subscription school at Mansfield, attending school for a time in Knox County, also. At the age of sixteen he began learning the tinner's trade. On reaching the age of twenty-two years he engaged in the hardware bisiness on his own account, in Chesterville, Morrow County, Ohio, which he continued until 1854. He then removed to Marion County, Iowa, locating in the village of Red Rock on the Des Moines River, where he ran a hardware store for several years, when he sold out his business, and built a saw-mill near the town of Galesburg, Iowa, which he operated for several years, in in June, 1860, came to Ringgold County, Iowa.

On his arrival in Mount Ayr, he engaged in the hardware business, this being the pioneer hardware store in this place. Some two years later, 1862, he formed a partnership with J. W. and A. Z. HUGGINS and engaged in the dry-goods business under the name of HUGGINS, KINSELL & Co. until about the year 1872, when Mr. KINSELL sold out his interest and retired from the firm. In 1873 Mr. KINSELL formed a partnership with J. T. MERRILL, and organized what was known as the Ringgold County Bank, and together carried on a general banking business until they sold their bank to Walter DUNNING. Mr. KINSELL then opened a dry-goods house on the west side of the public square, where he has since carried on the mercantile business, and by his fair and honest dealings and strict attention to his many customers he has built up a large trade. He is the owner of a good farm of eighty acres near Mount Ayr which is all seeded to grass, his farm being well stocked.

Mr. KINSELL was united in marriage in the year 1848, to Miss Sarah SLACK, of Morrow County, Ohio, and to this union have been born nine childre - three sons and six daughters. Mr. KINSELL held the office of postmaster for five years during LINCOLN's and JOHNSON's administrations. He has served as a member of the council for one year.

NOTE: Enoch Barrett KINSELL was born October 14, 1794, the son of Frederick Benjamin Otto KINSELL and Anna (BARRETT) KINSELL, Baltimore, Maryland. Enoch was one of twelve children - Elizabeth, Benjamin Jacob, Mary, Ann C., Jamina, Frederick Benjamin Otto II, Samuel, Sarah, Joseph, Catherine, and William. Enoch married on October 28, 1817 Hannah E. DILLMAN in Hangerstown, Washington County, Maryland. Enoch was one of the first three associate judges of Morrow County (1848-1852) and was "a man of high standing in the county." He was a Methodist. Enoch died age the age of 73 years and 1 day on January 10, 1868, Mount Ayr, and was interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa.

DeWitt Clinton KINSELL died at the age of 60 years on December 19, 1886, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa. Sarah (SLACK) KINSELL was born August 29, 1831, and died August 17, 1918. DeWitt and Sarah were interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa.

DeWitt and Sarah (SLACK) KINSELL's nine children are:

1) Zachary Taylor KINSELL, born Aug 1850, Monroe Co. OH
    married 22 Aug 1878 Buffalo Co. NE to Elizabeth WILSON, daughter of Peter W. WILSON of IL
2) Mary Virginia KINSELL
    born 01 May 1853; died 12 Dec 1934, interment Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr IA
    married 1876 George Sidney ALLYN (1847-1928), Iowa State Senator
3) Ida Elizabeth KINSELL
4) Sarah Adeline KINSELL
5) Lucetta Minerva KINSELL
6) Enoch Barrett KINSELL
7) Jennie Wallace KINSELL
8) Jesse Lee KINSELL
    born 23 Mar 1868; died 01 Oct 1934, interment Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr IA
9) Edna Perle KINSELL

Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, Pp. 271-72, 1887.

BARTLETT, Robert Franklin & BAUGHMAN, Abraham J. History of Morrow County, Ohio, Vol. II p. 511. Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago-New York. 1911.

WPA Graves Survey

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2009

Biographical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,   G - L,   M - R,  S - Z

To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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