Biography of Hon. Orvin Kincaid

HON. ORVIN KINCAID. – Mr. Kincaid’s life has embodied very much of the rough romance of an untamed and mining country, and in its entirety would read like a tail of Arabia. He is a native of the granite state, having been born in Grafton, New Hampshire, in 1821. His father, a man of powerful physique, a blacksmith of Scotch-Irish parentage, gave him a training both at school and at the forge, and took the boy with him on his removals to Massachusetts and Vermont.

Upon reaching his majority young Kincaid spent eighteen months in Ohio and the old West, but returned to Vermont for a few more years in school. In 1844, together with his father and a brother, he came to Wisconsin, establishing a blacksmith shop at Beloit, and three years later at Portage City, and finished his life in that state as a farmer at Otsego.

In 1852 the great impulse that brought so many men to the Pacific seized him also; and joining a train of eighty wagons he journeyed steadily westward, performing an average of twenty-two and one-half miles per day over the old emigrant road. At Soda Springs, near Fort Hall, however, he found it necessary to dispose of his interest in the wagon to which he was attached. Taking a few crackers and dried beef as provisions, and one blanket, he continued the journey on foot, walking nine hundred miles to Placerville. For two years he was mining variously in California, Nevada and New Mexico. His further movements were rapid, and extended over a wide space. In 1856 he was back in Wisconsin; in 1858 he was in Missouri and the Southern states; in that year he also came to Nebraska with the intention of taking a claim, but passed on to Pike’s Peak. Leaving the mines, he became a missionary among the Creek Indians, continuing his labors one summer. Going then to Texas, he continued westward on the Santa Fé trail, and came to Los Angeles, California. Following his old pursuit of mining, he was in California and the Rocky Mountains until 1862. In the autumn of that year he reached Puget Sound, and soon became the pioneer of the Skagit country. He built and occupied the first house on the Skagit river. Another long term of years was thereafter spent in mining at Virginia City; and in 1872 he came back to Skagit county, taking a claim on Baker river.

His wanderings were here brought to a close. In 1881 he took an active interest in public affairs, with the result that he became the choice of his county as representative to the legislature; and in that position he was instrumental in procuring the division of Whatcom county, forming Skagit. This term was followed by another; and the people were fully satisfied with his services.

Mr. Kincaid has selected Mount Vernon, Washington, as his final home. From the above brief sketch it may be clearly seen that he is a man of such character as to give substantial worth to any community in which he may reside.



History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington. 2 v. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. 1889.

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