Search billions of records on


Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 52-53.

GEORGE WASHINGTON PINNEY was born at Stafford, Connecticut, in 1829, and died at Jefferson (now a part of the city of Chicago), September 9, 1886.  His ancestors were among the early New England colonists, and he exemplified in character their energy, enterprise, fortitude and integrity.  His grandfather, Daniel Pinney, was a native of Stafford, Connecticut, where his son, Daniel Pinney, was born in 1798.  The wife of Daniel Pinney, senior, bore the name of Greene, and was also a native of Stafford.

Daniel Pinney, junior, married Lydia Hyde, who was born in Stafford in 1797.  She was a daughter of Jacob Hyde, also a native of Stafford, whose father–of English descent–moved to that town from Norwich, Connecticut.  Jacob Hyde's wife, Lydia Hall, was of Scotch blood, and reared her children to those habits of industry and thrift for which the descendants of both Scotland and New England are notable.

The early years of George W. Pinney were passed upon a farm in his native town, and he received an ordinary common-school education.   He was possessed of a sound mind and good perceptions, and became a useful citizen, demonstrating in his career the benefits of muscular effort directed by wise intelligence.

He served an apprenticeship in a foundry at Worcester, Massachusetts, and became a thorough master of the art of making molds for casting.  He was an expert in the production of car-wheels, for which the railroad building of his day created an immense demand.  In the early '40s he came to Chicago, and had no difficulty in finding employment here.  Within a short time he entered the service of the Illinois Central Railroad Company, with which he continued for more than twenty years, his sole business being the production of wheels for use on the cars of that company.  Being compelled by failing health to seek a change of location, he went to St. Paul, Minnesota, but remained there only a short time.  Returning to Chicago, he took charge of the farm of the late Joel Ellis, in the town of Jefferson, for which occupation his early training had amply fitted him.  It was hoped that this outdoor occupation would aid in restoring his health, but a cruel disease had fastened itself upon him, and he passed away as previously indicated.

Mr. Pinney was an active member of the Masonic order, the only society of which he was a member.  He was a supporter of the faith and services of the Universalist Church, and gave his suffrage and support to Republican principles and candidates.  In 1864 he was married to Lucretia, daughter of Joel Ellis, a history of whose life will be found on other pages of this volume.  Besides his widow, Mr. Pinney is survived by one daughter, Mary Emily, who is now the wife of Fred Mackenzie, of Chicago.  A son and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mackenzie, Reginald Pinney and Thelma Ellis Mackenzie, make glad and proud the heart of Mrs. Pinney and of their great-grandmother, Mrs. Joel Ellis, who is a member of the household with all the above.

                                -- Submitted on 9/16/99 by Sherri Hessick ( )