John G. Phinney once owned a considerable amount of land on the south east end of Whidbey Island in Island County. He operated a logging business and was post master of a post office named Phinney which was established in May of 1884. Mr. Phinney disappeared in a storm on Puget Sound in 1893. After being moved the post office name was changed to Clinton. (Ramsey, Island County, p. 13).