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John Kenning (1861-1930)


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 9/24/2022 at 10:13:01

John Kenning
(June 25, 1861 April 30, 1930)

John Kenning has recently been connected with mercantile interests in Manson and was counted as one of the leading representatives of business affairs in this town. He was born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, June 25, 1861, and is the son of Charles
Kenning. At the usual age he began his education, attending the district schools until eighteen years, of age, when he began working as a farm hand by the month. In the fall of 1883, however, when twenty-two years of age, he came to Manson and here learned the tinner's trade. After he had mastered the business he entered into partnership, in 1888, with J. T. Kelley, as a
dealer in hardware and farm implements. This relation was maintained until 1897, when Mr. Kelley died. Mr. Kenning then
assumed the management of the store and the implement department was sold to the firm of Junes Brothers and the hardware business was owned by our subject and Mrs. Kelley, the widow of his former partner, until 1900, when A. J. Hix purchased Mrs. Kelley's interest. The firm then became Kenning & Hix and was thus continued until 1901, when Mr. Kenning sold his interest to Mr. Reynolds, and the business is now carried on under the firm style of Reynolds & Hix. On the 9th of April, 1890, in Manson, Mr. Kenning was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie Herbert, who was born in Wayne County, New York, July 10, 1865. Her father, John Herbert, was born in County Clare, Ireland, and was united in marriage to Marguerite Dunn, a native of County Limerick, Ireland. They were married in the latter county and the same year 1860 came to America in a sailing vessel, which ended a voyage of six weeks by dropping anchor in the harbor of New York. Mr. and Mrs. Herbert then went to Rochester, New York, where they remained for five years, and on the expiration of that period removed to Muscatine, Iowa, where they
spent a year. Their next home was in Morris, La Salle County, Illinois, where Mr. Herbert managed a wholesale and retail coal
business. After ten years he returned to Iowa, settling in Lincoln Township, Calhoun County, where the year previous he had purchased two hundred and forty acres of valuable land, on which he is still living. In his political views he is a Democrat, and in religious faith is a Catholic. Mrs. Kenning is one of a family of five children: Mary, who is with her parents; Lizzie, the wife of our subject; Margaret, the wife of Mathew Rodney, who is engaged in the
hardware business in Iowa Falls; John, who wedded Mary Healey and is living in Lincoln township near Manson; and Edward, who is at home. The marriage of our subject and his wife has been blessed with eight children, all of whom were born in Calhoun County: Charles J., born January 16, 1891; Mary, born February 23, 1892; Ellen M.,
born April 21, 1893; John H., born June 27, 1895; Edward, born July 8, 1896; Frank, born August 4, 1898: Ralph, born February
25, 1900; and John, born May 31, 1901. As the years have passed John Kenning has not only been identified with mercantile interests, but has also been engaged in real-estate dealing and has met with a high degree of success through the purchase and sale of lands. He today owns two hundred and forty acres in Calhoun County and a
section of land in Sac County, and a number of lots in Manson, together with an elegant modern residence, which is his home. He is a man of keen discernment and good business and executive ability, forms his plans readily and is determined in their execution. Through his well directed affairs he has become one of the wealthy young
men of Calhoun County. Both he and his wife attend the Catholic church. He is independent in politics and has refused public office, yet he is a public-spirited citizen and does all in his power to advance the welfare and progress of the community in which he lives. Few men of his years have acquired as great success, yet his prosperity has all come through legitimate lines of business, energy, frugality and good management have formed the rounds of the ladder on which he has climbed to prosperity, and his life record is a credit to his family and to his city. [Source Biographical Record of Calhoun County, Iowa, by S.J. Clarke, 1902, p.353]


Calhoun Biographies maintained by Karon S. Valeu.
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