To those of us who knew him the Rev. George B. Hinkle stands out distinctly-a man tall of stature, straight as an arrow, with open, kindly face expressing a sincere honest nature. Prolonged acquaintance confirmed first impressions of sincerity of heart and singleness of purpose. He never swerved from duty nor from right. There were no obtuse or other angles in this man's life. The only sinuous curves he knew were those of the winding trails through the canyons and over the mountains on the big Nevada circuits. His course was straight ahead. On that line he went to the end, leaving a record for faith and fidelity and plodding service that counts in character and in the Kingdom of God.

          Thinking of brother Hinkle, we also think of a group of the Nevada pioneer preachers; and the zephyrs from the hills and the valleys of the Battle-born State waft us a sagebrush fragrance odoriferously agreeable. We have pleasurable pride in having known some of those man of the mountains and the mines and the valleys and the sagebrush plains, and feel honored to have been in such a succession of service.

          George B. Hinkle was admitted to the California Conference in 1860 in a class of fifteen, among whom were B. W. Rusk, W. B. Priddy, Asa P. White and W. S. Corwin. His first appointment was to Clover Creek Circuit, Mount Shasta District. The next circuits traveled were Diamond Springs and Eldorado. Nevada was then a District of the California Conference, Adam Bland, Presiding Elder; and in 1863 Mr. Hinkle was sent to Humboldt Circuit, which was not even a saddlebags circuit, for the preacher had neither horse or saddle. The next year he was appointed to the Truckee River Circuit. Both circuits were large, with preaching places eight, twelve, thirty-five and thirty-six miles apart, the distances to be covered on foot. Brother Hinkle was an Itinerant Pacer.

          Nevada was not an inviting field, unless one looked for very hard work beset with difficulties and dangers. It called for men of heroic mold. They were available and ready. Taking nothing from the luster of any Nevada name, for the gift of the fullest measure of the years of effective ministry we must write highest on the Roll the name of George B. Hinkle, coupled with the name of his friend and mountain confrere-Warren Nims. Having once put their hands to Nevada's Gospel plows, these two brave men never looked back over the Sierra's to California's more congenial fields. The records show Mr. Hinkle, in thirty years, serving that geographical empire and ecclesiastical domain in all its widely-separated appointments: from Tuscarora and Elko to Bodie and Bridgeport; from Quincy to Coleville;from Winnemucca to Genoa.

          Having traveled the mountains and the valleys for thirty-five years, building churches–sometimes quarrying the stone for the foundations and shaping the timbers for the framework with his own hands, erecting parsonages–doing much of the work and often furnishing most of the money, answering Roll-call at every Annual Session; never failing to "take the collections"; living always a true Christian life, and preaching a full Gospel everywhere, he asked for and was granted in 1893 the Supernumerary Relation. His superintendent, Dr. Eugene W. Van Deventer, said in his annual report: "All these years his life has been a faithful testimony for the right. No strain rests upon him." Four years later he was granted the Retired Relation.

          He was not a college man-his only education being in the common schools of a country districy seventy odd years ago. He was not really a man of books and wide reading. And yet, the Course of Study, the Hymnal and the Discipline, furnished the men in of those days with the fine equipment for their fields.

          Mr. Hinkle was born December 25, 1829, at Pleasant Grove near Cumberland Maryland. He was converted at a Camp meeting in August 1849. In 1851 he moved to Missouri, and in 1853 crossed the Plains to California and engaged in mining. The Conference record is in the above paragraphs. On May 20, 1869, in Carson City Nevada, he and Priscilla Brown were united in marriage, solemnized by Rev. Dr. John d Hammond. One son was born to them, to whom they gave the name George. He grew to manhood and married. His death occurred a few years ago. Mrs. Hinkle is a noble woman and has proved a true helpmeet [sic] to her now sainted husband. She tarries this side awhile. Her crown awaits her. Our friend and ministerial brother died in Sacramento Cal., July 7, 1913. He was faithful unto death. His work abides. He lives forever. It is worth while to have known him.


          Mrs. Priscilla, C. Hinkle, nee brown, was born at Pittsburgh Penn. October 10th, 1829 and passed to her eternal home from Sacramento February 15th, 1914. When quite young she moved to Carson City, Nevada, and it was there she met the Rev. George B. Hinkle, and they were united in marriage May 20th, 1869, and for 24 years she lived the life of an active minister's wife. Brother Hinkle gave up the active ministry in 1893, but he and his good wife took an active interest in the work of the Church until the time of their death, always being found in their place at the regular service when possible, and holding up the hands of their pastor with prayer and helpful service. On July 7, 1913, Mr. Hinkle went to receive his reward, and Mrs Hinkle has been anxiously waiting the call of God ever since, and she was glad when the summons came, for she was ready for the Chariot of the Lord. Mrs. Hinkle was converted to God in early childhood and became an active worker in the Church as soon as she was able. After her marriage to Mr. Hinkle she took up the work of an itinerant's wife gladly, and never complained at the hardships of a frontier ministry. Many a time they have lived in a tent, until they could get to work and build a house in which to live. In moving long distances, from one charge to another, they have more than once slept out on the desert, for in those days there were no railroads and often no stages, and so they had to move with their own team and camp out where night over took them. She often denied herself of new clothes, a new hat, and the luxuries of living that they might put money into a parsonage or church, or perhaps send it away to help a more needy brother, and yet she did this gladly for Christ's sake and the Church. Wherever she went with her husband, she took a full interest in the work and was beloved in everyplace. Her home was always open for the people, and they were always glad to go and stop at the parsonage. Her influence on all charges they served was as ointment poured fourth and many are living today that can call her blessed. If all who have been blessed by her faithful ministry could have been at the Church when the last sad rites were pronounced over her, there would have been a large gathering. She will live in many a heart made better because of her kindly ministry.

          Some years ago her only son passed away and she leaves now two grandsons, Henry and Kenneth Hinkle of Truckee, and their mother, to mourn her loss. May they follow faithfully in the footsteps of their grand-parents and live lives of usefulness as they did. The services were held from the Oak Park Methodist Episcopal Church on Tuesday afternoon, February 17th, led by Rev. J. C. Gillett, pastor. James Whitaker of the Central Methodist Episcopal Church who had known her for twenty-five years, and also Rev. H. W. Baker of Oak Park took Part.

"Servant of God, well done!
Thy glorious warfare's past;
The battle's fought the race is won,
And thou are crowned at last."

George B. Hinkle was a descendant of Anthony Jacob Hinkle.

Official Minutes of the Sixty-first Session of the California Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. September 16-23, 1913, San Francisco California. pp. 72-73, 78-79.

Photograph is of Bodie, California with the Methodist Church in the middle. Taken by Eugene Field in 1998.