Photographs of the Kinnear family, circa 1860s-1925

Overview of the Collection

Photographs of the Kinnear family
circa 1860s-1925 (inclusive)
13 photographic prints (1 box)
Collection Number
Photographs of members of the Kinnear family, including Charles, George, John and Roy, who were prominent members of the Seattle community in politics and real estate development from the 1880s to the 1950s
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2065431929
Fax: 2065431931
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

The Kinnears were a prominent family in the Seattle area beginning in the 1880s. Various members of the family were active and influential in the areas of politics and real estate development. George Kinnear, a Seattle pioneer real estate developer and capitalist, was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1836. He served three years in the Union Army ending with a rank of captain in the 47th Illinois Volunteers. He married Angie C. Simmons and had three sons, George Kinnear, Jr. (who died in childhood), Charles A. Kinnear and Roy J. Kinnear. He first visited Seattle in 1874 where he bought property on Queen Anne which later became the site of the family home. By 1878, he moved his family to Seattle and established the G. Kinnear Co., a real estate and holding firm. He owned property on the south side of Queen Anne Hill along with strategic parcels in the downtown area. Kinnear served as secretary of the Immigrant Aid Society which promoted Seattle as a destination for home seekers. In 1890, he donated 14 acres of land on Queen Anne that would become Kinnear Park. Kinnear died of natural causes at the age of 76 on July 22, 1912, in Seattle.

George's brother John R. Kinnear, was active in the development and growth of the Seattle area and also made a name for himself in the political realm. John R. Kinnear was born on July 26, 1842, in West Point, Indiana. During the Civil War, he served three years in the 86th Indiana volunteer infantry and participated in Sherman’s March to the Sea. After the war, he practiced law. Kinnear visited his brother, George, in Seattle in 1881 and found the temperate climate to be suitable for his disposition since he had had trouble with extreme summer heat since suffering from heatstroke during the war. He then moved with his family, wife Rebecca and children Ritchey M. and Leata, to Seattle permanently in 1883.

John was elected to the territorial legislature in 1884 and re-elected at the end of his term. In 1888, he was chosen to sit on the territorial senate. He was elected to the Washington Constitutional Convention from the 20th district. His legal training won him prominence on judiciary committees (both in the legislature and in the constitutional convention). He was the chairman of the constitutional convention committee on corporations and directed the work of framing those sections of the constitution that dealt with corporate power. He narrowly missed receiving the Republican nomination for governor at the first Republican state convention after statehood. After Washington became a state, he was elected to the state senate where he served 8 years. His son Ritchey would later represent the same district as his father. The elder Kinnear retired from the state senate in 1895. Kinnear suffered a stroke in 1905 and a more severe attack in December 1910. His health continued to fail until his death on March 31, 1912, in Seattle.

The son of George Kinnear, Charles A. Kinnear was born in Metamora, Illinois, on March 22, 1868 and came to Seattle with his parents in 1878. He graduated from the downtown location of the University of Washington in 1888. He then went on to earn a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1890. He returned to Seattle where he established a law office which he sold after three years to join his father’s company, G. Kinnear Co., a real estate and holding firm. Serving as president, he ran the company with his brother, Roy J. (treasurer), for many years. They both retired after selling the firm around 1953. He suffered from failing health for many years before dying of a heart attack in Seattle at age 88 in 1956.

Another son of George Kinnear, Roy J. Kinnear was born in Seattle on April 27, 1881. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1905. He married Myrn Cosgrove in 1908 and together they had one son, George C. Kinnear (who would later serve as Republican representative of the 36th district on Queen Anne Hill) and one daughter, Myrn. The elder Kinnear was the Republican representative for the 43rd district (King County) in the State House of Representatives beginning in 1927. With his brother Charles as president, Roy J. Kinnear served as treasurer for the family real estate business, G. Kinnear Co., for many years. He retired from the business when it was sold around 1953. Kinnear passed away in Seattle in December of 1959.

Ritchey M. Kinnear, the son of John R. and Rebecca M. Kinnear, was born in Paxton, Illinois, in 1870. He was 12 years old when his family moved to Seattle in 1883. He graduated from the territorial university and went on to receive a law degree from Northwestern University in 1891. Kinnear was admitted to the bar in Seattle in 1893 but never practiced law. He married Brownie Brown in 1893. They had one son, John. In partnership with Frank Paul, Kinnear was president and founder of Kinnear, Paul & Co., a real estate and insurance firm. He was one of the primary owners of downtown real estate including structures in the 5th & Pine retail district. The mayor appointed Kinnear to the position of park commissioner in August 1914. He served in the State Senate for two terms. He also was a member of the State Parole Board for 11 years. Kinnear suffered from an illness for several days prior to his death at age 73 on April 4, 1943, in Seattle.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection includes 13 portrait photographs on carte de visite mounts and cabinet cards of various members of the Kinnear family between the 1860s and the 1925. Most photos depict the Kinnear men in various stages of youth. Two photographs were made at the Kinnear family home in Seattle. Some photos were made by Seattle-area studio photographers in the 1880s while others were made by studio photographers in Illinois and Michigan in the 1870s-1880s.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Preferred Citation

The required credit line for use of images from Special Collections is: University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, [plus the negative number].

The negative number is provided with the image and is a letter + number combination such as UW13452; Hegg 1234; or NA1275. A typical credit line would be, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, UW13452.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Some photographs donated by Asenath Kinnear and Robert T. Young, 1992; other source unknown.

Processing Note

Processed by Mary Payton (2002) and Linda Corets (2004).

Some photographs in the collection were transferred from the Portrait Files.

Related Materials

Roy John Kinnear Collection (Acc. No. 102-001) and George Kinnear Collection (Acc. No. 103).

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Kinnear FamilyReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
  Kinnear family on lawn of home, Seattle
Rear: Charles W. Kinnear; Center row (from left): unknown, Grace Kinnear, unknown, Gertrude Kinnear, Helen Kinnear, Nellie Kinnear, unknown, unknown, Roy Kinnear; Front row (from left): Martha Kinnear, Angie Kinnear; Kneeling: Asenath Kinnear.
Summer 1925

George Kinnear (1836-1912)Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
  George Kinnear
Moore, Seattle (photographer)
circa 1878-1890
3 circa 1878-1912

John R. Kinnear (1842-1912)Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
  John R. Kinnear
Wilson, Washington, Illinois (photographer)
circa 1860s-1883
  Possibly John Roy Kinnear at 1 year
1 photograph : tintype
The tintype process did not exist before the 1850s so it is uncertain whether or not this is the same John R. Kinnear.
circa 1860s

Charles A. Kinnear (1868-1956)Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
  Charles A. Kinnear
W. C. Tresize, Fairbury, Illinois (photographer)
circa 1873-1878
  Charles A. Kinnear
Peterson & Bros, Seattle, Washington Territory (photographer)
circa 1883-1888
  Charles A. Kinnear
Randall, Ann Arbor, Michigan (photographer)
circa 1888-1890

Ritchey Kinnear (1870-1943)Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Ritchey Kinnear as an infant
P. A. Burggren, Paxton, Illinois (photographer)
circa 1871
  Ritchey Kinnear
R. B. Richards, Lockport, Illinois (photographer)
circa 1885

George Kinnear, Jr. (circa 1872-1881)Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
  George Kinnear, Jr.
W. C. Tresize, Fairbury, Illinois (photographer)
circa 1873-1878

Roy J. Kinnear (1881-1959)Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
  Roy Kinnear and Jack the dog
McClaire & Quirk, Seattle, Washington Territory (photographer)
circa 1883-1887

Dr. KinnearReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
  Dr. Kinnear
Abbott, Henry, Illinois (photographer)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Pioneers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs

Personal Names

  • Kinnear, Charles A.--Photographs
  • Kinnear, George, 1836-1912--Photographs
  • Kinnear, John R., 1842-1912SvPhotographs
  • Kinnear, Ritchey M., 1870-1943--Photographs
  • Kinnear, Roy J., 1881-1959--Photographs

Family Names

  • Kinnear family--Photographs

Geographical Names

  • Queen Anne (Seattle, Wash.)--Photographs
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Photographs

Form or Genre Terms

  • Cabinet photographs
  • Cartes de visite
  • Group portraits
  • Photographic prints
  • Photographs

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)