Secretary of State

George B. Kinkead

Term of OfficeSeptember 1, 1846 - April 7, 1847
PartyWhig; Democrat
Governor during his term of OfficeGov. William Owsley
EducationTransylvania College (Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky) graduating second in his class
Spouse(s)Eliza Pearce
ParentsJohn & Margaret (Blackburn) Kinkead
ResidenceKentucky (Woodford County; Fayette County)
Birth Date9/25/1811
Birth PlaceKentucky (Cane Spring, Woodford County)
Date of Death11/11/1877
Place of DeathKentucky (Lexington, Fayette County)
County Offices HeldCommonwealth's Attorney (Frankfort District)

George B. Kinkead was born at Cane Spring in Woodford County, Kentucky, on September 25, 1811. His parents were John and Margaret (Blackburn) Kinkead. His father came to Kentucky in 1789; his mother was a native of Woodford County.

Kinkead graduated from Transylvania University in 1830, second in his class. He read law in Lexington under Judge Daniel Mayes and then continued his studies under the direction of Judge John Mayo. In the fall of 1833, he began practicing law with Garret Davis; their partnership lasted until 1837. He lived in Versailles from 1837 until 1845, and he then moved to Lexington.

Kinkead was appointed Commonwealth’s Attorney for the Frankfort District in 1838 by Governor James Clark. He was appointed Secretary of State by Governor William Owsley to replace Benjamin Hardin who had become alienated from him. Hardin refused to resign and was supported in this position by the State Senate. Once his position was vindicated, he resigned. Kinkead was a Whig until the party dissolved and subsequently became a Democrat. He opposed secession but could not support all the actions of the Lincoln administration. He was an active Presbyterian.

Kinkead married Eliza Pearce of Louisville in that city in 1846. He died at Lexington on November 11, 1877.


H. Levin, "Lawyers and Lawmakers," (1897), pgs 596-97;

"Biographical Encyclopedia," (1878), pg 163;

Lowell H. Harrison, "Kentucky’s Governors," (2004), pg 62

Obituary,"Kentucky Gazette," November 14, 1877