John Pinkney, who operates a farm on section 13, Lebanon Township, Clinton Co., is an example of the success which follows a youth and young manhood of industry, perseverance and integrity. When he came to this country, he had only $400 and now he is the highest taxpayer in the township. His first wages were a shilling a week, but hardships in youth did not discourage him and he is now one of the most prosperous men in this part of the State. His father, Robert Pinkney, was a native of England. His wife, Elizabeth Gray, was the mother of the following children; James, Mary, Elizabeth, Annie, David, Martha, Peter, Isaac, John, and George. Robert Pinkney was a farmer and he and his good wife spent all their days upon their native island.
John Pinkney was born September 23, 1830, in England, and when a young man worked on a farm upon wages. As has been aforesaid, his first wages were one shilling a week and the highest which he earned and what was usually paid to a good farm laborer was twenty-two pounds a year. About a year before he came to America, he was united in marriage with Maria Gray. The wedding took place March 20, 1851. To this young couple one son was born, whom they named William. Their first home in this country was near Castile, Wyoming County, N.Y. and here they lived for four years, after which, they emigrated to Clinton County, Mich. and made their home upon a farm of fourty acres. Here he built a log house and at once commenced the first task of clearing the trees from his land. After living in this home for about thirteen years, his wife was taken from his side by death.
The second marriage of our subject took place September 23, 1869. The lady with whom he united his fortunes was Eunice Randolph, a daughter of Augustus Randolph, a native of Upper Canada, who was born in 1805 and came to New York to live, and was there married to Mary A. Eddy, a daughter of Eliakin and Eunice Eddy, a native of Vermont and Massachusetts respectively. Eliakin Eddy was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The parents of Mrs. Eunice Pinkney were granted the following children; namely, Merritt, Prudence, Eunice, Julia, Charles, George, and John. The grandfather of these children, Joseph Randolph, fled from Canada to New York during the War of 1812, leaving his property and starting life anew. Mrs. Augustus Randolph now resides in Lebanon, having reached the advance age of four-score years.
To Mr and Mrs Pinkney have been born five children, two of whom died in infancy and the following are still living to bless their parents; David, Lenora and Annie. Lenora is now Mrs. Jaquish and makes her home in Lebanon Township; and Annie is at home. Mr. Pinkney has added largely to his original farm and although he has given his son sixty acres, now owns four hundred and seven acres.
Mr. Pinkney at first saw hard times and did real pioneer work. He says that when his first son was born, he did not own a shilling. When he first came to his western home, he found deer and bears in abundance and Indians were living near his home. He cleared and broke two hundred acres and having put his land in good condition pursued general farming, combining with this the culture of sheep and buying and selling stock of this kind to a considerable extent. He now has fine buildings and had made all the iimprovements himself. He is a Granger and also a member of the Order of United Workmen and belongs to lodge #1 at Maple Rapids.
Portrait Biographical Album of Clinton and Shiawassee County, MI
copy date: 1891]