Bill was born in Virginia City, the fourth child of Kate Fogarty and Joseph W. Kinnikin. Joseph was Storey County recorder for many years, and shortly after his death in 1903 the family moved to Reno.
Bill resided in Reno for the majority of his life, graduating from Reno High School in 1916. He briefly attended St. Mary's College in Oakland before enlisting in the American Expeditionary Forces in 1917. He served overseas from 1917-1919 before being honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1919.
After returning home he became a member of the American Legion, and served as department adjutant from 1925-1926. He worked for the Anaconda Copper Co, the Reno Tobacco Co. and the Reno Stationery Store.
Bill was married to Margaret Helen Walsh on June 24, 1924, and they had one son, William Edward Kinnikin Jr.
On February 21, 1934, Bill was appointed acting postmaster by Senator Pat McCarran. His appointment was confirmed on March 25 of that year, and he continued to serve as postmaster until his death almost two years later.
About a week before his death, Bill developed a minor throat infection which was not considered serious at first. He was hospitalized on Christmas Day, and despite showing considerable improvement in the hours before his death, he died unexpectedly on December 26, 1936.
Besides his wife and son, Bill was survived by his mother, Mrs. Kate Kenefick, two sisters, Mrs. Mildred Atkinson and Mrs. Alma Young, and several nieces and nephews.
Margaret Helen Walsh Kinnikin
1903–1987 (m. 1924)
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