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Kinser Family Stories

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Searching through old records we discover many minor mysteries. One of these relates to Nicholas Kintzer. From the year 1756 there is a "list of people that took guns or muskets that came by Nicholas Kintzer's waggon." Following are the names of twelve people who took one or two pistols each. No other explanation is offered.

The Kinsers have always been a mischievous lot. About 1750 at Burchfield's, near Licking Creek, in Pennsylvania one Patrick McKennan, Esquire was acting as Justice of the Peace. He had voted in local elections and acted as Justice for a number of years but somehow had neglected to take steps to be naturalized, thus becoming a citizen. Jacob Kinzer challenged his vote at the polls just to annoy Mr. McKennan.
The discovery that McKennan was not a citizen and therefore not eligible to vote caused quite an uproar. It seems not being a citizen invalidated all the actions Mr. McKennan, as Justice of the Peace, had taken over the years including performing a large number of marriages. The Pennsylvania State Legislature quickly came to the rescue and passed a special act validating the actions of Mr. McKennan as Justice of the Peace.

My grandfather Sidney Kinzer was a prosperous hardware store owner and farmer in Galax Va. So he decided to turn in his horse and buggy and buy one of the first Model T Fords. He was out and about one day in the Model T when he realized he hadn't put gas in it lately. Since Model T's didn't have gas gauges and there was no stick handy to measure with, he had the bright idea that he would just strike a match so he could see how much was left.

John Solomon Kinser (#4) Monroe Co., TN) brought home one of the first motor cars in their rural community. John had gone into Athens, Tennessee, bought the car, and after minimum instruction driven it home. In those days there was no drivers training classes nor any requirement for a driver's license. A motor car was still something of an oddity and when he drove up into the farmyard the entire family immediately dashed out of the house to observe this strange contraption.

John Solomon asked Erskine, the oldest boy, if he wanted to take a ride. Of course he did. John started up the car and drove out of the yard.
Being accustomed to driving horses he failed to steer the car to follow the road, apparently expecting it to turn on its' own as a team of horses would.

The car didn't turn however. It went straight across the road, ran part way up the opposite bank and flipped over on its' top. Erskine and his father climbed out unhurt and stood for a moment looking at the upturned vehicle. His father turned to Erskine and said, "Son, if you want that thing and can get fixed its' yours. I'll never drive it again." and he didn't. They took the car back to the dealer in Athens the next day and had a new top put on it and Erskine drove it for several years.

Erskine Kinser(#7300) (McMinn Co., TN) ran a small grocery store in Athens, Tennessee for many years. Erskine later sold his store and moved to Etowah, Tennessee where he had the dubious distinction of having his house blown away from around him while he was taking a shower.

He told the story later saying. "I had just stepped into the shower and turned the water on when the house began to shake and the water went off then there was a huge roar and the house just seemed to disappear." Erskine stepped out of the shower stall to find his house was gone. He immediately started looking for Lucille, his wife. He found her under the kitchen table and was trying to move the rubble off to get her out when the neighbors arrived.
When one of them pointed out that he was wearing no clothes he replied, "It just didn't seem important at the time."

Clyde Kinser,(#2) Athens, TN about 1940

Milking a cow requires deft hands. Three instead of two would help. Getting the milk out of the cow into a bucket means squeezing and pulling at the same time on each teat while at the same time keeping the cow from putting her foot into the bucket, slapping the milker in the face with her tail, often wet with urine or manure. Keeping your toes out from under hooves and avoiding being kicked when a teat is squeezed too hard.

At the same time the milker must be aware that a cows sanitary habits leave much to be desired. Bodily functions continue without consideration of your proximity or that of your milk bucket. Sometimes fast footwork is called for or perhaps I should say stool work since the milker is usually sitting on a low stool. A perfect target for any and all of the above.

One lesson quickly learned is never try to milk with cold hands. A sure prescription for disaster was to grasp a teat with winter cold hands, not warmed under the armpits. The cow would react violently kicking over the bucket, the stool, and the milker. One lesson was sufficient instruction for most. On a cold winter day, warm your hands first.

A good strong hand on a cow's teat can produce quite a far reaching stream of milk as I found by experimenting. One day while I was milking my dad came into the barn. I demonstrated the results of my recent experiments by raising a teat and aiming a stream of milk at him.
I was more accurate than intelligent and hit my father right in the eye with a stream of warm milk fresh from the cow. I laughed, but he didn't find my efforts in the least amusing.

He reached up and lifted a wide leather strap, usually used to hang a cow bell around a cows neck, off a nearby nail and used it to explain to me his point of view. His explanation was so convincing that I never again squirted milk at anyone.

Marie Francis Kinser: about 1953 (Daughter of Arthur Kinser and Minnie Mertle Murphy Kinser)

About 1953 while in the kitchen helping mother fix a cake (I think). Mother standing near the sink and I was nearest the refrigator. She asked me to toss her an egg. Being rather ornery I decided to fool her into thinking I was really going to toss the egg. I had the egg safely in my right hand and was acting as if I was going to throw the egg. The egg came out the end all by its self and landed on her foot. I was so startled I almost studdered and was showing her the perfect egg in my hand. I was terrified. She was shocked, but soon was laughing so hard she had to sit down, because I must have looked so surprised myself. Many years later I learned to blow eggs out of the shell for decoration.

 © R. C. Kinser