HERBERT BEAMON KINSOLVING
Hon. Herbert B. Kinsolving, of Mount Sterling, is one of the ablest men of Montgomery county and Kentucky, whose experience has been broad and varied and embraced marked successes in the law, politics, statesmanship and business. Of late his activities have been concentrated on his land and investment business, which includes large dealings in Oklahoma and Texas properties. Physically, as well as mentally, Mr. Kinsolving is the type of man whom Kentuckians particularly admire, as he is a present-day representative of their old-time vigor, vim and stature, standing six feet, four inches and developed otherwise in proportion. As an orator, a public man and a business factor he has always exhibited those virile, aggressive, magnetic (qualities which seem the natural attributes of such a physique). As a Democratic campaigner and an eloquent public speaker, Mr. Kinsolving has had no superior in this part of the State, and no one is more widely known or more highly honored as a citizen. He has made his mark in the law and in the State Legislature and his legal training together with his wide acquaintanceship and attractive personality, guarantee a broad and continuous success for any undertaking in which he may engage.
Mr. Kinsolving is a native of Hartford, Ohio county, Kentucky, born October 19, 1860, and was the only child born to Rev. George W. and Tula (Benton) Kinsolving. The paternal grandparents were Jefferson and Mary Kinsolving, natives of Albemarle county, Virginia, who came to Caldwell county, Kentucky, about the year 1849, accompanied by their son, George W. The latter was a graduate of Princeton College, from which he graduated with the degree of A. B., soon afterward being appointed to the chair of languages at the University of Decatur, Illinois. He had already been ordained to the work of the ministry in the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and at the outbreak of the Civil war was appointed chaplain of the Seventeenth Kentucky Infantry. He went with his regiment to the seat of war and from extreme exposure contracted typhoid fever: after a lingering illness of six weeks, he died at Ceralvo, Kentucky, while en route for home, being but thirty-two years of age at the time of his death. His devoted widow, who survived him only until August, 1866, was the daughter of Joseph T. and Matilda J. (Woodward) Benton, of Ohio county, Kentucky, and a faithful and zealous member of the Presbyterian church.
Herbert B. Kinsolving was still in his sixth year when his widowed mother died at the home of her parents in Ohio county, and the young orphan was faithfully and tenderly reared by his grandparents. He attended the local schools until his thirteenth year; served a printer's apprenticeship in the office of the Hartford Journal and subsequently pursued a course in Greek and Latin in the Academy of that place, completing his literary education at the Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee, from which he graduated in 1878. Mr. Kinsolving then taught a school in Daviess county, Kentucky, until September, 1879, when he was admitted to the Bar of the State, being then within a month of nineteen years of age. Notwithstanding his youth, he began the practice of his profession, and made such rapid progress in the good graces of both the profession and the public that he was elected county attorney in 1882. Even then he was a Democratic leader and showed how strong was his personal influence by being elected to his official position in the face of a defeat suffered by part of the county ticket.
In 1887, at the expiration of his term as county attorney, Mr. Kinsolving was unanimously nominated by the Democrats of Ohio county for Representative in the Kentucky Legislature, and after a very active and somewhat bitter contest was elected to his seat, although all his associates on the State ticket lost his county to the Republicans by majorities of more than one hundred and fifty. Entering the legislature as one of the youngest members of the House, he entered into the work of the session like a veteran. Among the important bills of which he was the author and which he passed through the house, was that which is now a part of the Kentucky constitution and statutes, making it unlawful for any company, corporation or individual in the State to pay the wages of its employees in anything but the legal tender money of the United States, thereby making unlawful the issue of script or brass checks issued by various concerns which forced laborers to buy their goods at the stores operated by their employers. Mr. Kinsolving also aided in the passage of numerous other laws for the benefit of the people and in opposition to all class legislation.
In 1884 and 1888 Mr. Kinsolving served as an Elector in the Presidential campaigns of his State. In 1896, he aroused the Tenth Congressional district to a high pitch of enthusiasm in favor of William J. Bryan for President; he supported Bryan in 1900; and in 1903 he made a strong canvass of the state of Kentucky for Governor Beckham and the Democratic State Ticket. Such splendid "field service" as this, in connection with his career as a lawyer and a legislator, has marked him for years as one of the strongest and best qualified men for a seat in congress who could be put forward by his party; and in 1898, being a candidate for the Democratic nomination for congress in the Tenth Kentucky District he stood second among the six candidates who aspired to that honor. Of late years, however, he has partially withdrawn from active politics, and, as stated, virtually devotes his entire time to his business in real estate and investments.
Mr. Kinsolving was married March 24, 1888, while a member of the Kentucky Legislature, his wife having been formerly Miss Bessie Benton, of Montgomery county, Kentucky, a daughter of John H. and Willie (Ragan) Benton, also natives of that county and state. The father of Mrs. Kinsolving died in 1906 and the mother in 1901. In the September after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Kinsolving made their home at Mount Sterling, to which the former thereafter transferred his law practice. There they have since resided with their children, three of whom have been given to them — Herbert B. Jr., who is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute; William R., and Elizabeth Aritula, both at home.