Contra Costa County











            Electrical engineering as understood today places the student and master of this branch of human endeavor on a high and promising plane.  Few occupations hold out so prolific a field to the invention and resource of the race.  The men whom it attracts are invariably ambitious, and necessarily capable if they attain to standards thus far established.  Herman B. Kinney, the founder, and since the superintendent, of the electric lighting plant of Point Richmond, is no exception to this rule.  He has his dreams of conquest of the fascinating realm of electrical invention, and he has fortunately a long life before him in which to realize at least a part of his expectations.

            Mr. Kinney was born in Hamlin, Brown county, Kan., May 13, 1873, and at an early age the pressure of necessity bore down upon his youthful spirits, and inspired him to seek an independent livelihood.  His parents were Henry and Ellen (Bates) Kinney, born in Ohio and Michigan respectively, and his father was in early life an educator, later turning his attention to civil engineering.  He located in Brown county, Kan., about 1868, and was identified with the engineering department of the Union Pacific Railroad Company; in 1892 removing to Omaha, Neb., remaining with the same company.  In 1902 he settled in Bell Branch, Mich., and has since lived retired.  Herman B. Kinney has supported himself since thirteen years old.  At fifteen he entered the surveying department of the Union Pacific Railroad, and in 1892 began the study of electrical engineering, following the trade in the middle west until coming to California in 1900.  Near Auburn he operated the Zantgraff mines for seven months, and in 1901 was connected as electrician with the Beet Sugar Company at Oxnard.  During November, 1901, he came to Point Richmond to construct and take charge of the Richmond Light & Power Company’s plant, and since the completion of the same has been the superintendent of as fine a plant as adorns any town of the size in the state.

            Mr. Kinney has made many friends since taking up his responsible position in Point Richmond.  He is an active Republican, and took a prominent part in agitating the incorporation of the town.  Fraternally he is connected with McKinley Lodge No. 347, F. & A. M.; the Order of the Eastern Star; the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Rebekahs.





Transcribed Joyce Rugeroni.

­­­­Source: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 630-631. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

© 2015  Joyce Rugeroni.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library