Settler, Public Servant, Early Leader
Arriving in Carson Valley with Colonel John Reese in 1851, Kinsey convinced the colonel to settle in the valley. Kinsey’s claim was one of the first seven land claims recorded in Carson Valley.
He was appointed clerk of the Probate Court and ex-officio recorder of Carson County on March 3, 1856, and later ran successfully for clerk in 1866 under authority of Douglas County (elected 1866, 1868).
In 1857, when Mormons heeded Brigham Young’s order to return to Salt Lake and county government was suspended, Kinsey stayed and was appointed as deputy recorder of the area’s valuable property.
After the special election of 1858, Kinsey’s election as recorder was the only part of the election recognized by the governor as legitimate; he was the only officer who submitted bond and qualified for office. That same year, when vigilantes threatened to destroy county records, Kinsey smuggled them to Salt Lake City for safe keeping until the re-establishment of county government in 1859.
When Nevada Territory was established, Governor Nye appointed Kinsey one of the first commissioners of the new Douglas County. He lived on in Genoa for the rest of his life, one of Genoa’s most memorable early citizens. His brick home still graces the town square, next to Mormon Station State Park.