Edward Wetmore Kinsley
Edward Wetmore Kinsley was born in New York on April 10, 1889, and moved to Yonkers in 1896, where he attended St. Mary’s School. He was employed as an office boy by the New York Central Railroad and worked his way up the ladder to assistant comptroller. He married Eleanor Scholbohm in St. Mary’s Church on June24, 1913, and continued to work for the N.Y. Central Railroad until his retirement after 50 years if service in 19
His life centered around Yonkers sports and recreational activities, for he was largely an organizer, a planner and official- always the volunteer. His brief activity in sports competition culminated in 1910 when he won the famous annual six mile Hollywood inn road race from Dobbs Ferry to Yonkers. His love for track and field manifested itself in the constant demand for his services as an official of interscholastic track and field meets throughout Westchester County.
He was secretary of the community’s outstanding sports organization, the Mercury A.C., and in 1907 founded the now famous Yonkers Marathon. The first race was 26 miles, 385 yards, and Mr. Kinsley served as an official. In 1908 he was instrumental in organizing the Yonkers Schoolboys Race under auspices of the Mercury A.C. It was opened to all grammar school boys and was a 2 ½ mile course. He served as its referee and official’ starter for many years until it was taken over by the Catholic Youth Organization which conducts it until this day. When he became president of the Catholic Youth Organization, a post he held for until 10 years. He was honored by having the Schoolboys race run in his honor.
In 1896 the Holly wood inn, the Mecca of Yonkers sports, was dedicated and Mr. Kinsley gravitated to it, serving as the president of its Board of Governors for 10 years and promoting its athletic programs and encouraging individuals to national prominence in running ,swimming, basketball , bowling and boxing.
His love for amateur athletics was so widespread that he was appointed to the Yonkers Recreational Commission, a post he held for 30 record breaking years, several as its president. During this time he set the tone for the acquisition of park lands, play areas and indoor recreational facilities that currently dot the City of Yonkers. He also served as Westchester County A.A.U. Commissioner for 8 years.
When the first Yonkers Youth Council was formed Mr. Kinsley was called upon serve as its chairman, a position he held for two years in 1945, the city Council named and dedicated the new North Yonkers Park at Morsemere and Park Avenues the “E, Wetmore Kinsley Park and Playground” in his honor.
It will be a lasting tribute to one who dedicated his life in promoting, encouraging, organizing and participating in the recreational life of the City of Yonkers on a voluntary basis.