Kinkler and nearby New Kinkler are on U.S. Highway 77 and Lavaca County Road 214, seven miles north of Hallettsville in northern Lavaca County. In 1838 Richard J. Woodward was issued a headright certificate for one league and one labor of land in the area, and the grant was patented to him in 1841. For many years the area, with its moderately well-drained sandy loams that support grass and scattered trees, provided excellent range for cattle. During and after the Civil War the original Anglo-American settlers were gradually replaced by German and Czech immigrants, who divided the large ranches into farms.
In 1875 Jack Kinkler settled on Mixon Creek on the Woodward grant, and the growing community of predominantly German farmers took his name. A school called Mule Spring was built in 1880, and in 1895 New Kinkler School was erected a mile to the east. The population of Kinkler in the 1890s was about twenty-five. A post office operated from 1885 to 1905 and served both communities.
Improved travel conditions drew residents to Hallettsville or to the railroad at Schulenburg and precluded commercial development. The Texas Almanac has no records for Kinkler until 1933, when it lists the community with a population of twenty-five and two businesses. By the early 1940s the population had climbed to seventy, where it remained with slight fluctuations for several decades. By 1950 students attended school in Hallettsville. When cotton ceased to be an important crop in Lavaca County during the 1950s, much of the farmland reverted to pasture and residents took jobs in nearby towns. By 1987 no businesses remained to mark the site of Kinkler, and a year later the Almanac had dropped the community from its listing. In 2000 the population was seventy-five.