We read in the HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, that in August of 1866, John C. Kinney joined the Sandusky Journal, which had been started by John's brother Addison Kinney along with Frank Colver. The printing office was above the Melville Brothers Drugstore at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Market Street. In the early days of the Sandusky Journal, John C. Kinney was the editor of the newspaper. The American Newspaper Directory described the Sandusky Journal as: "a large forty-column quarto, devoted to local and general news." In 1872, the Kinney Brothers published a special edition of THE PUBLIC LIFE OF CAPT. JOHN BROWN. At the urging of the African American citizens of Sandusky, Ohio the book was published in part to raise funds in order to erect a monument to abolitionist John Brown. (The monument did not come to fruition.)
John C. Kinney retired from the newspaper business in 1879, due to failing health, and he then worked as a stenographer in the Erie County Common Pleas Court. His health continued to fail, and he died at his home in Sandusky on February 1, 1888. Mr. Kinney is buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. An online genealogical website features a brief obituary of John C. Kinney.