The Early History of Kinsley
by Frank W. Blackmar (1912)
Kinsley, the county seat of Edwards county, is located about 8 miles west of the center of the county, at the junction of two lines of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R., and near the Arkansas river. It has about 100 business establishments, including a flour mill, a cement and brick plant, 2 banks, 2 weekly newspapers (the Graphic and the Mercury). The city also has waterworks, churches, good public and high schools, daily stages to Fellsburg and Fullerton, telegraph and express offices, and an international money order postoffice with two rural routes.
The population in 1910 was 1,547. Kinsley was founded in 1873 and the postoffice was established that year, with N. C. Boles as the first postmaster. The name was given it in honor of E. W. Kinsley of Boston, who built the first church edifice at a cost of $2,000. The Kinsley Reporter was established as a monthly in 1873. The school district was organized in 1874 and the building erected in 1877. The town was visited by fire, famine and pestilence in the early days, and in 1882 had a bank robbery.
Kinsley is located at 37°55'20N, 99°24'42W (37.922354, -99.411531). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.4 km² (1.3 mi²), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,658 people, 757 households, and 433 families residing in the city. The population density was 492.4/km² (1,278.5/mi²). There were 894 housing units at an average density of 265.5/km² (689.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.63% White, 0.48% African American, 0.54% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 3.32% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.48% of the population.
There were 757 households out of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.8% were non-families. 39.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 22.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.84.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 23.4% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 26.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,791, and the median income for a family was $37,961. Males had a median income of $28,063 versus $19,079 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,219. About 6.6% of families and 9.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over.
Kinsley is also the hometown to singer/songwriter Freedy Johnston.