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KENYON, Volney 1819-1899


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 2/24/2019 at 18:37:11

Called Home

The Funeral of Volney Kenyon held January 21, 1898[sic]

The funeral of Mr. Volney Kenyon was held at the Baptist church Saturday afternoon, January 21, at 2 o'clock. A short preliminary service was held in the parlor at the home in the presence of the family alone.

The church was beautifully and becomingly decorated--the seat occupied by Mr. Kenyon for so many years being draped in mourning.

The services were very tender and touching, breathing a spirit of devotion and resignation becoming the obsequies of one as faithful, reverent and dignified as the departed.

The following were the pall-bearers: M. F., Theo. S. and Chester Kenyon, Rev. E. T. Gregg, Ed. S. King and E. H. Allison. The latter gentleman acted in the place of his brother, G. C. Allison, who was unable to be present.

The sermon, preached by the pastor, Rev. C. H. Marsh, from the text, "Number now and see who is gone from us," I Sam. xiv:17, was specially clear, concise and comforting.

He said in part: "A citizen has gone from us than whom there was none better; a neighbor who filled the Christ ideal of neighborliness; a church member, true, intelligent sympathetic; a husband much beloved; a father held in reverence, worthy of emulation. We shall miss him much--but he has become a part of the little colony which has gone out from the immediate circle to join the choir invisible. We are poorer, he and heaven are richer. It is our great privilege to go to him."

Sweet music was rendered by the quartette of the church.

The flowers were many and beautiful. Roses and carnations were sent from the Ladies' Aid Society and Epworth League of Grace M.E. church, Kokomo, Ind.

Those from abroad attending the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. M. F. Kenyon, Ottosen, Iowa; Mrs. John H. Gregg, Felicity, Ohio; T. S. Kenyon, Peoria, Ills.; C. M. Kenyon, Decatur, Ind.; Mrs. G. C. Allison and Theo. Allison, Peterson, Iowa; Rev. and Mrs. E. T. Gregg, Kokomo, Ind.; Mrs. Jas. Flemming, Dinsdale, Iowa.

The following obituary was read by Rev. Harter, of Webster City, Iowa:

Volney Kenyon, son of Benjamin and Anna S. Kenyon, was born in Cayuga county, N.Y., December 31, 1819, and died at his home in Grundy Center, Iowa, January 18, 1899, aged 79 years and 17 days. He was of a lineage of which anyone might well be proud. In the middle of the eighteenth century Lord Lloyd Kenyon was the chief justice of England. Mr. Kenyon belonged to this family. He had a birthright among the friends, and no doubt because of the persecution that everywhere attended these staunch and true people, his ancestors came to America, settling in New York. Here Mr. Kenyon received his early training, fitting himself to teach.

When he had attained his majority, possessed with the same spirit that had led his fathers across the sea, he set his face toward the waning sun to make for himself "a habitation and a name."

At this early day Kentucky called loudly for 'the flower of the youth' of the east. Her rugged hills, her virgin soil, her sparkling streams, her 'forest primeval' joined in one mighty melody of invitation, 'come for golden opportunity now is ripening and awaits you.'

Mr. Kenyon, clear-eyed and full of hope, entranced by this music, moved on to the spot where opportunity was most mellow for him, and began his career, which has ripened into full maturity and has been plucked by the hand of the Infinite.

He was an honor to his name and that Word, which is the eloquence of God, now makes music in his soul, 'well done good and faithful servant.'

He settled in Kenton county and as every true individual must do, he took account of his resources. He found that he had health, youth, industry, enough training to teach, implicit faith in God, a pure heart and a Canadian dollar. Kentucky honored all of his other resources but repudiated the dollar, and so he sent it back to a sister much beloved and with it she bought stamps with which to send him letters, telling him of the doings around the old fireside. Sometimes heroic hearts almost die of loneliness. Home is a word shaped by the hand of God in the fire of holiness.

For several years he taught, during which time he was married to Nancy T. Walton. To them was born one child and then the mother's life went out--the child is still surviving.

About this time he became a carpenter. He had a very accurate eye and exceedingly skillful finger. He understood the law of economy.

Upon the 22nd of November, 1849,--four years after the death of his first companion--he married Lucinda Riggs, who for half a century has made life a blessing to him. They began housekeeping in the schoolhouse in which he first taught. No man ever had a better companion.

Heaven has enriched this union with twelve children--a Godly heritage. All, save two alone, survive. Philemon, aged one year, six months and seventeen days, died June 20th, 1860, and lies beneath the tangled beauty of the wild rose in a country churchyard in Ohio near where the mighty water roars its constant requiem. Orange, at his toil in the far south land, scarce more than a year ago, drops his weary fingers from the keyboard of life and is resting now near where his father will be laid.

Being an apostle of industry and economy Mr. Kenyon, as a carpenter and gardener in Kentucky, soon accumulated enough money to buy a farm in Clermont county, Ohio, to which in 1860, he moved with his family. Here for sixteen years they toiled and prospered.

The older boys of the family had come to Iowa. The father made some investments here and when an opportunity presented, disposed of his Ohio farm and with the entire family, with the exception of one daughter, Mrs. John H. Gregg, moved to Tama county. Six months after this, in the autumn of 1876, they moved to Grundy Center and have lived here ever since.

In Kentucky, Mr. Kenyon united with the Christian church, of which he was one of the most earnest, intelligent, active, valuable and consistent members. Upon coming to Iowa, finding no church of his choice, he became a regular attendant of the Baptist church, which he joined about 1888.

He was a man of profound thought but of few words. He esteemed the privilege of worshiping God among the highest, rarely being absent from his place in the church. He however confessed Christ more in his unwavering integrity, his phenomenal patience and his perfect trust. He was a singularly quiet man, but with that type of quietness that made itself felt.

He has enriched the world by living in it, and coming to a ripe old age has simply passed to a richer place prepared for him.

"'Let not your hearts be troubled * * * I go to prepare a place for you.'"

The elements so mingled in him that he made the best of citizens, the most consistent of Christians, the truest of men. All who knew him can stand with uncovered heads and say,
"'Peace be to thee.'"

--The Grundy Center Herald (Grundy Center, Iowa), 26 January 1899, pg 4


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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