Biography of John Francis Kincaid

JOHN FRANCIS KINCAID. – This gentleman is the oldest son of William and Nancy J. Woolery Kincaid, and was born in Marion county, Missouri, December 6, 1838. His parents were both natives of Madison county, Kentucky, and came to Missouri in 1830. His mother died in 1850; and in 1853 he left his birthplace, and in company with his father, three brothers and three sisters started with ox-teams to cross the plains to Oregon.

They left home on March 25th, and had a large train, known as the Kincaid train, the first which came through the Nahchess Pass, and arrived in Steilveron about October 10, 1853. On January 1, 1854, Mr. Kincaid took up his Donation claim of one hundred and sixty acres, where the town of Sumner is now located, and was among the first settlers of the Puyallup valley, his notification on the claim being number forty-four after the formation of the territory. He built his residence where his orchard now stands, and began to clear the farm through a dense forest of underbrush and timber, and succeeded in making a beautiful home. Mr. Kincaid, senior, died at his home in 1870, full of faith in the future, and beloved by his family and friends.

Our subject stayed at home until twenty-one years of age. On the breaking out of the Indian war, the family, having suffered the loss of their home, and all their effects, fled to Steilveron for safety, John F. being left with his brother William to look after the crops. They would undoubtedly have been killed but for the warning of a friendly Indian; and they also escaped to Steilveron. John then went to work as teamster for the government, and worked all through the Indian war until 1858, when he returned with his brother to where their comfortable home had stood, and found nothing remaining of all the improvements but a small chicken-house. With indomitable will they set to work improving again; and the following year the rest of the family returned to the home, where they have since lived. Mr. Kincaid afterwards laid out, on his father’s old Donation claim, the town of Sumner, which he named after the statesman, Charles Sumner.

He is a strong temperance man, and has incorporated in his deeds a clause prohibiting the sale of whisky in Sumner.

In 1874 he engaged in the hop business, and has since followed that industry. He is a Republican in politics, but not an active politician, and is an influential and honored man in the Puyallup valley, where he now resides, surrounded by a happy family and enjoying the comforts of a beautiful home.

His marriage to Miss Nancy A. Wright, a native of Missouri, took place in Steilveron July 5, 1868. They have had seven children, four of whom are deceased. Those living are Luella, Edna and William F.



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

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