JONATHAN TINKEY. To live many years is something of an achievement, to live them usefully and well, to accumulate as well as to distribute prosperity and happiness, to bring a masterful mind and courage to the successive problems and obstacles of life—that is to deserve well of destiny and merit those items and practice which make up success.

Such has been the life of Jonathan Tinkey of Seward Township whose career covers three quarters of a century. He was born in Richland County, Ohio, October 21, 1842. It was in the same year that the Tinkey family became identified with Kosciusko County. His father, Noah Tinkey, was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, June 15, 1813, a son of Frederick and Mary Tinkey, who were of German ancestry. Noah Tinkey grew up in his native state, and in 1837 went with his parents to Richland County, Ohio. There on June 15, 1838, he married Eliza Easterly. She was born in Pennsylvania June 14, 1819, a daughter of Lawrence and Catherine Masterly, natives of the same state. In 1842 Noah Tinkey brought his family to Kosciusko County and found his destination west of Warsaw on the Tippecanoe River. Arriving there late one evening he unloaded his goods under a beech tree, and under its shelter the family spent the night. He bought 160 acres of land, built a shanty, replaced it with a hewed log house, and then still another house of hewed logs, and finally a substantial frame dwelling arose, which sheltered him the rest of his days. Nosh Tinkey was prospered, and acquired altogether 420 acres. He and his wife were very active and liberal members of the United Brethren Church, and in politics he was a democrat. He and his wife had eleven children, one of whom died in infancy. The others were named George, Frederick, Jonathan Mathias, Mahala, Catherine, Susan, Louisa, Artemesia and Mary. Of this family Mr. Jonathan Tinkey is the only surviving son.

He grew up in Harrison Township and acquired a very liberal education, beginning in the district schools, was later in the Warsaw schools, and finally in the State University. His education he utilized as a teacher for thirteen terms, all this work being done in Kosciusko County. Mr. Tinkey is also one of the honored veterans of the Civil War. In 1864 he was enrolled in Company I of the Thirty-Third Indiana Infantry, and saw some active service during the latter months of that great struggle between the North and the South. He has long been interested in the grand Army of the Republic, is a member of Post No. 114, and in 1918 wan chosen as a delegate to the National Reunion or Encampment at Portland, Oregon.

While Mr. Tinkey had a modest inheritance, most of his property has been won by his individual abilities and labors. Of his holdings in Seward Township there is a large body of farming land amounting to 440 acres, besides 13b acres in Jackson Township, Mr. Tinkey organized the Bank of Seward and was its largest stockholder. He is also interested in a number of other enterprises, local and elsewhere. He has a residence property in Warsaw and also has eighty acres of land in Wayne Township.

He has been one of the stanch leaders of the democratic party in the county for many years. He has served as supervisor, and some years ago was the only democrat elected to the county council.

Mr. Tinkev married Rosella Tucker. Her father, Horace Tucker who died September 10,1907, was one of Kosciusko County's prominent citizens. Born in Richland County, Ohio, November 8, 1825, a son of John and Mary (Ward) Tucker, he came to Kosciusko County in 1846 and settled on 160 acres in Franklin Township. He cut the first tree on the land, lived in a log cabin, and in the fall of 1847 went back to Ohio, and on the following 13th of January married Eliza Johnston. They returned to Indiana and occupied their pioneer home in 1848, and in that log house their three children were born, including Rosella. Horace Tucker was remarkably prosperous in business and for many years ranked as one of the wealthiest citizens of Franklin Township. He was a stock raiser and also as stock dealer, and it is said that he shipped the first carload of stock ever sent by rail from Warsaw. Other references to his career will he found on other pages of this publication.

Mr. and Mrs. Tinkev had four children: Laura M., still at home with her parents; Alta M., who died at Rochester, Indiana, wife of Norman Stower; Nellie A., wife of Isaac Kern of Seward Township and Horace G., who lives in Franklin Township and married Geldie Melons.

Mr. Tinkev and wife are members of the Universalist Church at Roan in Wabash County. He is also a past noble grand and has been a member of the Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Submitted by: Cheryl Hawley
Source: History of Kosciusko County
Date posted: 12/6/98

Deb Murray