Kinzie Residence

Street Address: 
401 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

John Kinzie  one of the earliest non-Native American settlers in Chicago  was born in Quebec around 1763 and raised in New York and Detroit. He took up the silversmith trade  and in the 1790s fathered two sons and a daughter with Margaret McKenzie  a freed captive of the Shawnee. When Margaret returned to her native Virginia with the children  John moved to southwest Michigan and opened a trading post on the St. Joseph River. There  he married Eleanor McKillip  the widow of a British army officer. The couple relocated to Ft. Dearborn at the mouth of the Chicago River in 1804. John purchased the former home of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable (now approximately 401 N. Michigan Avenue) and established a thriving trading business.

Following the massacre at Ft. Dearborn in 1812  Mr. Kinzie  his wife and four children were taken captive and turned over to the British garrison at Detroit. The family did not return to the Chicago area until 1816  when Kinzie resumed his business at the rebuilt fort. The pioneer spent his remaining years as an Indian agent  interpreter and silversmith until his death in 1828. After several removals  his remains were interred at Graceland Cemetery on Chicago's North Side. 

For further details  contact the Chicago Genealogical Society. John Kinzie is Pioneer Ancestor number 281. Website: Chicago Genealogical Society

Structure Type


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