Welcome to the Kinch West research page
Here is where you will find information about Perry Kincheon "Kinch"
West and his career as a Confederate guerilla and as an Indian Territory outlaw. I am trying to gather as much data as I can about Kinch, and this seems the best way to both share what I have and attract
others who might be interested in Mr. West.
A summary of Kinch's life
Kinch's father and uncle, William and Isham West, appear on the 1830 Hickman County, TN census, along with Kinchen Perry, Kinch's maternal grandfather.
"Kincher" as he is called on the
census of Dade Co, MO. was born in 1842. He is listed in the household of his father, William Y. West.
These letters were sent by William and Willey Perry West to their children in Oregon in 1860.
It has been said that Kinch served in the Confederate Army, no record of service with any of the regular forces has been found as of yet. It is likely that Kinch is recored as leader of a guerilla band under the name Hinch West, and perhaps was a cause of the attack in which his father was killed, rather than becoming a guerilla as a result of William West's murder. Bruce Nichols was kind enough to tell me about this report of Union soliders chasing Kinch in Cedar County, MO just a few days before his father's death.
A section on Kinch from History of Dade County and
It's People that ascribes Kinch's wartime career to a desire for vengeance against his father's killers.
Kinch again appears in annals of the Civil War in April of 1864, according to another report forwarded to me by Bruce Nichols.
In June of 1864 Kinch and his followers burned the home of Thomas McConnell as reported by Bruce Edward Hall. Thanks Bruce.
In October of 1864 Kinch and his band raided Melville and were repulsed by local militia while attempting to raid Greenfield.
Kinch was married to Celia Cox, her brothers were among those who rode with Kinch. Click the following link to see what I have on the Cox family.
Handbook of Texas Online: Hill County Kinch and his Cox
in-laws are mentioned in the seventh paragraph as a lawless element in Hill County, TX.
A. Y. Kirkpatrick reports in The Early Settlers' Life in Texas, and the Organization of Hill County of some of Kinch's activities in the early 1870's. He details an incident in which two of the Cox brothers were arrested. While the lawmen were in the process of bringing them in, Kinch got the jump on them and freed his in-laws. In another case, Kinch won a horse in a card game, but the losing hand had been held by someone other than the horse's rightful owner. The legitimate owner came to get his horse, knocking on the door with gun drawn because of Kinch's reputation. However, Kinch saw the situation and shot through a small hole in the door, killing the man.
According to Lost Treasue Magazine, an Edward Walters believed Kinch had stashed some $5,000 in the short-lived town Greenwood City, KS. The settlment was small and without law enforcement, and therefore rather popular with a number of outlaws, but by 1875 it had been bypassed by the railroad and virtually dissappeared. Walters asserted that Kinch had been killed by a sheriff in Texas, leading one to assume his cache of loot might still be waiting to be found. However, being the rare outlaw to die peacefully in his bed, I would guess Kinch probably didn't leave any buried treasure.
This article from the Hunterdon County Democrat, a New Jersey newspaper, reports Kinch in a shootout in association with two other men wanted for murder. It is not known how Thomas Cox might relate to Kinch's in-laws.
Kinch's sister Willie Christina Jane West was married to William Owen Cox, brother to Kinch's wife Celia. William was shot and killed April 4, 1875 in a dispute with another gentleman, possibly over the affections of William's wife.
Kinch was captured by a Mr. Kidd while trying to rob a train, as reported in this article from the Cherokee Advocate of June 10, 1876.
In the late 1870's, Kinch was sentenced to serve time in the federal penitentiary in Detroit, MI, by "Hangin' Judge" Isaac Parker.
Kinch is mention in Art Burton's
Black, Red and Deadly as a member of the Tom Story gang. Legendary Deputy Bass Reeves captured the gang after besting Story at gunplay.
Kinch's uncle, Isham Jentry West, was thought to be buried in Lamar County, TX, but he actually rests in the Greenfield Cemetery in Dade County, MO.
An obituary for Kinch was printed in the Muskogee Phoenix on June 11, 1896. Although it states that Kinch claimed to have ridden with Quantrill, nothing substantiates this. It is my opinion that either the reporter misunderstood Kinch, or embellished the story, or possibly Kinch found it easier to claim to be one of Quantrill's raiders rather than give a full and accurate explanation to a pesky reporter.
William W. "Bill" West, son of Kinch, killed a local blacksmith. He was arrested but escaped, only to later be killed while on the run from the law.
Kinch started proceedings to be recognized as a member of the Cherokee tribe, but for some reason the tribe was reluctant to accept such an upstanding member of the community as one of their own. After Kinch's death, the case before the 1896 Dawes commission was carried on by his brother Isham Liberty West. View summaries of documents from the case, the record of which was found by Moine West. The Wests lost and were never granted citizenship within the Cherokee tribe to my knowledge.
Some additional notes
NARA Archival Information Locator A search under Kinch West
will get twelve matches, Kinch was brought before the Ft. Smith Federal Court in relation to a numbr of crimes between 1867 and 1877.
Some e-mail correspondence about Kinch that I have received.
More to come...
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