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Kenyon Reunion 1893


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 3/1/2011 at 16:11:25

The Kenyon Family Re-Union

Some weeks ago Mr. and Mrs. V. Kenyon sent out invitations to all the children to assemble at their home September 6, for a grand reunion. In response to this invitation different members of the family, children and grandchildren, came from the east and west, north and south, to be all together for the first time in years. The only ones unable to be present are Chester Kenyon of North Carolina, and one grandson. The family consists of Mr. and Mrs. V. Kenyon, Cora Kenyon, Oma Kenyon, Grundy Center; Orange Kenyon, Krum, Texas; Guy Kenyon and wife, of Colorado; Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Gregg, Felicity, Ohio; Rev. E. T. Gregg and family, Decatur, Ind.; M. H. Kenyon and family, Des Moines, Ia.; G. C. Allison and family, Peterson, Iowa; Theo. Kenyon and family, Peoria, Ill.; Millard Kenyon and family, Livermore, Iowa; F. K. Gregg and wife, Manchester, Iowa; Miss Grace Gregg, Peru, Ind.; and in addition brothers of B. Kenyon, Henry of Venice Center, N.Y., Frank of Scipio, N. Y., and Allen and daughter Gertrude, of Albany, Missouri.

At two-thirty p.m. the family all assembled in the parlor and the following program was rendered:

1st, Song, "Home Sweet Home," Family.
2d, Invocation, by Rev. E. T. Gregg, concluded by Lord's Prayer, by all.
3d, Family History, T. S. Kenyon.
4th, Original Poem, Guy T. Kenyon.
5th, Song, "Wayside Cross," T. S. and M. H. Kenyon, G. C. Allison and F. K. Gregg.
6th, Family Prophesy, Eva M. Gregg.
7th, Toast to Our Parents, Orange J. Kenyon.
8th, Piano Solo, "Dixie," Gertrude Kenyon.
9th, Letter from Chester read by Cora L. Kenyon.
10th, Address, Rev. E. T. Gregg.
11th, Song, "God Be With You Till We Meet Again," Family.

After the program Volney Kenyon and brothers, Allen, Henry and Frank and son-in-law, John H. Gregg, each made a few remarks and responses to toasts.

All the program was very good and interesting, but through lack of space we only give the family history, which may be of some interest to their friends.

There came into the world under the sunlight of the Empire state in that good old year of 1819, the year which received into its lap that angel of mercy, Florence Nightengale, and Victoria, Queen of England and Empress of India, the sire of this clan. Though born in the Empire state, his characteristics certainly indicate that his ancestry dated back to where
"The breaking waves dashed high
On a stern and rockbound coast,
And the woods against a wintry sky
Their giant branches tossed."

Not, however, to New England but to Old England can be traced the origin of the Kenyons. From 1732 to 1802 there lived Lord Lloyd Kenyon, who was a distinguished jurist, at one time Lord Chief Justice of England. He was a judge of rare and inflexible impartiality, few of his decisions ever being over-ruled.

From England there came to America three brothers--Kenyons--one settling in Rhode Island, another on Long Island, another in Renseller county, N. Y., up the Hudson. From the latter sprang our sire. They were peace makers--belonging to that sect made so illustrious by Wm. Penn, the Quaker. The good old Anglo Saxon names of Benj., John, James, and Job repeat themselves in the line of descent. How our sire came to be called Volney we cannot certainly know. A year after his birth their died in France the great philosopher Volney. Perhaps the father, Benjamin, was a great reader, thinker and controversialist and admiring the courage and fearlessness of Volney said, "My son shall be called by his name." He was indeed a man of much reading, clear understanding and strong powers of controversy. Volney, the son, has all his life been somewhat of a philosopher. He has had a wonderful faculty for taking things as they are and making the best of them. Anna, Harvey, George, Allan, Henry, Frank and Mary were the names of brothers and sisters. That some of them are here today, years intervening since their meeting, fills the soul of Volney and his family with a joy not easily told. Volney's childhood and youth were lived out in the state of his birth and then the star of empire arose in his soul and westward he took his way. Strong in the faith of "lickin' and larnin'" he halted amidst the smoky hills of Kentucky and began to direct the blue grass statesman. There he met one whose destiny seemed to be predestinated to mingle with his own, and hand in hand they started out, life aglow with sunshine. To them came one daughter, Nannie, and then grim visaged death stepped in and claimed the bride of a few months as his own. The schoolmaster of the Kentucky hills felt the weight of a great sorrow, but heroically he struggled on. A few years pass, three or four, and again he finds a traveler, worthy in every sense his company, and for years they have traveled happily together. He became a gardener and together they keep house in the very school room where he first taught. Soon they reach about for greater responsibilities. A farm is bought in Ohio. Prosperity attends them. Children come thick and fast, a blessing in the home.

Once that reaper whose name is death, with his sickle keen, cut down a flower and beneath the matted grass and wild rose bloom of an Ohio cemetery, in the churchyard at Zion, lies the only link broken out of the chain. Peace to the ashes of the brother Philemon.

In the Centennial year the family move to the rolling prairies of Iowa, leaving behind in Ohio the oldest daughter, Endora, who, in 1867, married John Gregg. Thus early the family began to scatter.

In 1876 Millard Filmore, the oldest son, marries Nancy Ida Wilson, a Pennsylvania lady. They live for a number of years near the home in Grundy Center, and then move to Humboldt county, in about 1882. Five jewels sparkle in their home.

Maholm, the second son, in 1878 marries Maggie L. Morgan of sainted memory. His father's sorrow is lived o'er in him. A sweet faced daughter is given them, but the mother's life passes out with the giving, and away to the east land is she borne and on the hillside within sight of the blue of the river rest her beautiful ashes. The little one simply peeps into this world and passes on to another. Again in 1881, Maholm marries Elizabeth Christopher and they now reside in Des Moines.

Theodore, the third son, marries Minnie C. Newcomb, at Shell Rock, Iowa, in 1882 and lived for a number of years in Grundy Center, then in Chicago, and now in Peoria, Ill., all the time being engaged in the drug trade. To their home have come two bright boys, Eugene and Fred.

In 1883 Chester M. Kenyon marries Mary E. Brower at Iowa Falls. She lives but a few years. Chester is a printer and has published papers at Iowa Falls and Humboldt, Iowa, and Forreston, Ill. From the latter place with Sarah, another companion of his heart, he goes to Washington, D. C., and from there to Hendersonville N. C., where again he is an editor. Into their home there have come two bright ones, Omer and Marguerite. It is much regretted that he cannot be here today.

Eva Kenyon married, in 1883, Edwin T. Gregg. Two children have come to them. They have lived in Iowa and Indiana.

In 1887 Eda Kenyon married G. C. Allison. Their home has been principally in Grundy Center and is now in Peterson, Iowa, where Cliff is cashier of a bank. The brightness of their children is the marvel of the family.

Cora, Oma and Orange are unmarried. The former two living at home and the latter at Krum, Texas, where he has charge of a station on the Sante Fe R. R.

Guy, the baby boy, of the family, has within the last few hours become a Benedict, bringing grace and beauty into the family. There is welcome warm and earnest to the newest member and with one voice we delegate to Guy the delightful duty of receiving her with open arms.

The years in which this family of so much interest to us has been developing have not all been years of bursting sunshine. Care and labors abundant have been met at every turn. There has been one hand above all others that has shaped this development--it has been the hand of the mother. She may think that her place in the home has not been of the first importance. Every other one knows that it has. She has been an executive of the first order and a peace maker who should now receive a large portion of the earth. To be lady manager of the World's Columbian Exposition may require a great amount of mind, but for forty years to successfully manage such a family requires a greater.

Upon the two strong arms, father and mother, who through good as well as ill report have brought these things to pass be blessings evermore.

--The Grundy County Republican (Grundy Center, Iowa), 14 September 1893


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