Humphrey of Alvin, Texas; Julius A., of Chaseley, North Dakota;
Ellen, wife of Edward Huffaker, of Andrew County; Rosa, wife of
Jackson Gates of Rochester Township ; Catherine, living at home with
her parents; Grace, wife of John Courley of Grand City; Lillian, wife
of Lloyd White of Conception, Missouri; and Etta, wife of M. J.
Cross of DeQuincey, Louisiana.
Hon. Keeran McKenny. When Judge Keeran McKenny came
to Gentry County for his permanent settlement, in 1871, he was pos-
sessed of a serviceable team of horses and enough cash to purchase
the land he needed for a home. In the forty-three years that have
followed he has accumulated more than eleven hundred acres of land,
and in addition to being extensively interested in farming and stock
raising operations has large holdings in other enterprises, commercial
and financial, and occupies an important place among the men who have
developed this part of Northwest Missouri. Mr. McKenny 's career has
been an active, industrious and interesting one, and he has used the
implements of destruction as well as those of construction, for during
the Civil war he served his adopted land as a soldier, and following
HISTORY OF NORTHWEST MISSOURI 1893
the close of that struggle remained in the employ of the Government
for several years. He is a native of Ireland, born in Kings County,
June 25, 1844, a son of John and Catherine (Guinan) MeKenny.
The paternal grandfather of Judge MeKenny was Andrew Mc-
Kenny, who passed his life in Etin, his only child being John Me-
Kenny. The latter was born in Kings County, and was there married
to Catherine Guinan, who died in Ireland, their children being : Bridget,
who died in Gentry County as Mrs. James Rourke ; Mary, who married
Chris Cummings and died in Nodaway County, Missouri ; Thomas A., a
farmer and stockman of Gentry County ; Judge Keeran, of this review ;
and Kate, who died at Laramie, Wyoming, as Mrs. John Guinan. The
father immigrated to the United States in 1854, settling in Ohio, where
he was first engaged as a contractor in public highways, but later
adopted the vocation of a farmer, to which he devoted his energies
to the time of his death, in 1902, when he was seventy-six years of age.
He married a second wife after coming to this country, in Clark County,
Ohio, in 1858. Mr. MeKenny was too old to participate in the Civil
war as a soldier, and never desired public office, being content to live
his life merely as an industrious agriculturist and good citizen of the
land of his adoption.
Judge Keeran MeKenny left his native land as a boy of twelve
years, two years after his father had come to America. He was
granted only ordinary educational advantages in the public schools, but
made the most of his opportunities and acquired a good mental train-
ing. Under the capable preceptorship of his father he learned the
duties of farmer and stock raiser, vocations to which he has given the
best years of his life. When the Civil war came on his sympathies
were with the Union, and in August, 1862, when but eighteen years of
age, he enlisted at South Charleston, Ohio, in Company C, Captain
Smith, the 110th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Col. J.
Warren Keifer. His regiment first belonged to General Millroy's
army, and after the battle of Winchester, in June, 1863, they joined
the Army of the Potomac and belonged to the Third Army Corps.
They got to the front at Winchester, Virginia, and participated in
the engagement that made "Sheridan's Ride" famous. In 1864
Mr. MeKenny was made a member of the Sixth Army Corps, and
went up the Shenandoah Valley with that intrepid general, participat-
ing in the Strasburg fight and later in the battle of Cedar Creek,
where Gen. Jubal Early's army was victorious in the forenoon and
later met with defeat. Then the 110th did no more campaigning
until the spring of 1865, when the campaign for the capture of Rich-
mond began and Judge MeKenny with his regiment participated in
such noted battles as the Wilderness, Mine Run, Chancellorsville, Spott-
sylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Appomattox, at which last named
the 110th was in the lead with the Sixth Army Corps when General
Lee surrendered his broken army. Judge MeKenny accompanied his
regiment to the grand review at Washington, D. C, and was mus-
tered out at Columbus, Ohio, in June, 1865. He was twice wounded
during his service, first at Winchester, and a second time at Cedar Creek.
One bullet, which he still keeps, was taken from his side, and the
other one bored through his left thigh in its flight. Judge MeKenny
was discharged as corporal of his company, and has since taken an
active interest in Grand Army matters, being at this time a popular
comrade of Tyler Post, at Ford City.
Following 'the close of the Civil war Judge MeKenny continued to
pass some six years in the employ of the United States as a freighter and
wagon-master." He joined the Forde company at Leavenworth, Kansas,
1894 HISTORY OF NORTHWEST MISSOURI
in April, 1866, and made his first trip across the plains to Salt Lake City,
his train taking out the Thirty-sixth Infantry to relieve what was
known as the '"galvanized Yankees," Southern prisoners who went out
West instead of returning to the South. Judge McKenny remained in
that western country until 1871, making two trips to Texas, and during
his various trips across the plains the red man was in hostile evi-
dence frequently, but no serious encounters occurred.
Judge McKenny wound up his service for the Government at Fort
Hayes, Kansas, and returned to Missouri and engaged in farming on
Grand River, Gentry County. After spending eight years in that local-
ity he came to his present farm, three miles northeast of Ford City,
here taking up 160 acres of land, which he improved and developed.
As the years have passed he has continued to add to his land holdings,
and now has a farm and a ranch, more than eleven hundred acres of
land. His general farming operations are extensive, and stock raising
has been a conspicuous factor in his activities, he showing marked suc-
cess as a cattle feeder, while his pasture and ranch are well stocked
with Mammoth steers.
In politics Judge McKenny is a republican, and has attended state
conventions and helped to nominate a candidate for governor of his
state at Springfield. He has also served on the republican county
committee, and nearly thirty years ago was elected presiding judge of
Gentry County, a position in which he served four years. He helped
to promote the Citizens National Bank of King City, of which he is at
this time president, and was one of the organizers of the Ford City
Bank. Reared a Catholic, he has continued to hold membership in that
On February 10, 1874, Judge McKenny was married in Gentry
County, Missouri, to Miss Mary Elizabeth Flood, a daughter of Michael
Flood and a sister of John Flood of King City, whose history appears
on another page of this work. Judge and Mrs. McKenny have been
the parents of the following children : Frank, who is cashier of the
Citizens Bank of King City; Catherine, who died here as Mrs. Frank
Downey, and left a child, Michael; Thomas A., who died at the age
of five years; James, a bookkeeper at Casper, Wyoming, who married
Marie Vadonna ; Thomas Leo, who died at the age of eight years ; Mary,
who married Mr. O'Malley, of Albany, and has two children, Kathline
and Elizabeth ; Charles, of this locality, who married Madge Handley ;
Annalaura, who died at the age of two years ; and Veronica Grace, who
died when seventeen years of age.
William M. Hunt. One of the oldest business men of Polo is
William M. Hunt, proprietor of the Pioneer Drug Store. Mr. Hunt
has lived in this vicinity for fifty-three years, and whether as a
business man or citizen his relations have always been straightforward
and public-spirited, and in this section where he has spent so many
years he has practically as many friends as acquaintances.
William M. Hunt was born October 30, 1849. His father was
Rev. John W. Hunt, who is now living at the advanced age of eighty-
five years at Polo, and who was born in Fleming County, Kentucky,
in 1829. The grandfather was James M. Hunt, of Kentucky, who saw
some active service as a soldier during the War of 1812 and the
Indian wars. Reverend Mr. Hunt was one of a family of ten sons and
three daughters. He married Susan Lebo, a native of Kentucky and
a daughter of John D. Lebo. Reverend Mr. Hunt and wife were the par-
ents of ten children, five sons and five daughters, namely: William
M. ; John F. ; Daniel M.; James R. ; Sarah L.; Mary L. ; Martha J.,
HISTORY OF NORTHWEST MISSOURI 1895
who died -young; George W., of Richmond, Missouri; and Frances,
who died as a girl. The Reverend Mr. Hunt has for many years been
a Baptist preacher, but is now retired from active service, while his
wife is deceased.
William M." Hunt was reared in Western Missouri, received his
education in the public schools, and ten years of his earlier career were
spent in the active work of teaching, for which he was especially well
qualified. Many of his pupils are now successful business men and
are represented also in the professions. After leaving the schoolroom
Mr. Hunt engaged in the drug business, and now for many years has
kept the Pioneer Drug Store at Polo, and is a reliable pharmacist and as
a merchant believes in the principles of fair dealing to all customers.
He was married November 11, 1882, at Polo, to Hattie A. Clarkson.
She was born, reared and educated in Caldwell County, a daughter of
T. B. Clarkson, who is a relative of James Clarkson, now holding a
place in the Federal Government as assistant postmaster general.
Mr. and Mrs. Hunt are the parents of three children. George C. is
engaged in the jewelry business at Polo, has a well established store,
is married and the father of three children, Nellie, Fern and Ralph.
Mr. Hunt's second son is W. V., who lives in Sulphur Springs, Missouri,
and has two children, William C. and a baby. The third son is W. H.
Mr. Hunt in politics is a democrat. He has served as a member
of the school board, and his best public service was in leading the
campaign and providing ways and means for the erection of the hand-
some schoolhouse which is now one of the chief features of the town.
It was built at a cost of $11,000. What he has done in behalf of the
school board is characteristic of all his civic relations with the com-
J. T. Kenower. A newspaper which has had a fine and vitalizing
influence in its community is the Bulletin of Breckenridge, the editor
and publisher of which, J. T. Kenower, has had a long and active career
both in educational work and as a. newspaper publisher. The Bulletin
was established in 1875, and for many years has held the field in com-
petition with a number of other journals of more temporary existence.
The Bulletin is the home paper of Breckenridge, and under the man-
agement of Mr. Kenower, who has been its editor since 1895, it has
not only published the news and furnished an available medium of
advertising, but has been an influence in politics and for local civic
J. T. Kenower was born in Xenia, Clay County, Illinois, September
12, 1860. He comes of Pennsylvania German stock, and his father,
George Kenower, was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and married Anna
Shelly, also a native of Pennsylvania, in Carlyle, Illinois. They moved
to Xenia, Clay County, Illinois, where the subject of this sketch was
born ; from there to Huey, Illinois, and from there, in 1884, to Bolivar,
Polk County, Missouri. In 1892 they moved to Breckenridge, Missouri,
where the father died at the age of eighty-eight years, and the mother
at seventy-six. He was a republican in politics, and both were Metho-
dists. There were four children, two sons and two daughters, and
the other son is George F. Kenower, editor of the Chronicle, of Wisner,
J. T. Kenower grew up on a farm, had the wholesome environment
and training of a farmer boy, had his early education in the public
schools, and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1883. After
his graduation he was for ten years identified with educational matters
and for two years was a teacher and superintendent in the Cherokee
1896 HISTORY OF NORTHWEST MISSOURI
Indian schools in the Indian Territory. He also taught for two years in
the Bolivar, Missouri, schools, and from 1891 to 1895 was superintendent
of the public schools of Breckenridge. Many of the men and women
now active in affairs in this section of Northwest Missouri and in other
states were pupils under him at Breckenridge.
Since 1895 Mr. Kenower has had charge of the Bulletin, and has
made it a journal that always stands for the best things in the com-
munity life, and the Breckenridge schools owe, to a large extent, their
present high standing to the impetus given them by Mr. Kenower, both
as teacher and as editor.
On August 25, 1891, Mr. Kenower married Ola Russell, a daughter
of J. E. Russell, a prominent farmer near Bolivar, Missouri. Mr.
Kenower and wife have four children: Pansy, attending Stephens
College at Columbia; Pauline, also a student in Stephens College;
Fred Russell and Ethel Estell, both at home. The family are members
of the Methodist Church, and Mrs. Kenower is active in club and social
affairs in Breckenridge.
Mr. Kenower is affiliated with the Masonic and other fraternal
orders, standing as he does, for the educational, moral and religious
uplift of the community.
In the fall of 1914 Mr. Kenower built a substantial brick building
with three floors, including the basement, designed especially for the
permanent home of the Bulletin on the corner of Sixth and Main
streets, all of which is occupied by the different departments of his
model, up-to-date printing office.
Thomas Jackson Butts. Prominent among the old and honored
residents of Kingston is found Thomas Jackson Butts, justice of the
peace, retired agriculturist, lawyer, and ex-soldier of the Civil war.
In the course of a long and useful life, he has at all times proved
his good citizenship, and although now past the age of three score
and ten, still takes a lively and active interest in the affairs of the com-
munity, and discharges the duties of his office in an able and efficient
manner. Judge Butts was born at Mirabile, Caldwell County, Mis-
souri, January 26, 1845, and is a son of Col. Thomas N. 0. Butts.
Colonel Butts, his father, was born in Culpepper County, Virginia,
a member of an old and honored family of the Old Dominion State,
and was married in 1832 to Harriet C. Ellis, who was born in "Woodford
County, Kentucky. In 1840 they moved to Mirabile, Missouri, where
Colonel Butts engaged in farming until the outbreak of the Civil war.
He was loyal to the South and enlisted in the Confederate army, sub-,
sequently serving in the commands of Generals Price and Marmaduke,
and participating in battles in Missouri, Arkansas and other parts of
the Southland. On his return from the war he settled down to farming
and continued to be so engaged until his death at the age of sixty
years. He took a prominent part in democratic politics for some years
and was known as one of the influential men of his community. Both
he and Mrs. Butts, who died when eighty years of age, were faithful
members of the Baptist Church. They were the parents of three sons
and six daughters: Samuel J., who died in 1880; William M. ; Thomas
Jackson ; Mrs. Fanny Vaughn, of Spokane, Washington ; while the other
five are all deceased.
Thomas Jackson Butts was reared on the home farm and secured
his education in the public schools of Caldwell County, which he left to
enlist in the State Militia. It should be noted that while his father
was in the Confederate service, the son saw the right on the other side,
and acted accordingly. On August 9, 1864, he became a member of
HISTORY OF NORTHWEST MISSOURI 1897
Company C, Forty-fourth Regiment, Missouri Volunteer Infantry, under
Gen. A. J. Smith, and took part in a number of hard-fought engagements,
including the battle of Franklin, Tennessee, in which he was shot
through the right arm. He was removed to the hospital at Cairo, Illinois,
and upon his recovery received his honorable discharge and returned
to the home farm.
Mr. Butts studied law under such distinguished preceptors as Gen-
eral Doniphan and C. T. Garner, and was admitted to practice in Octo-
ber, 1867. For two years he was a lawyer in Calhoun, Texas, but since
that time has been more or less actively identified with the bar at King-
ston. For many years Mr. Butts was engaged in successful agricultural
pursuits, but eventually retired from active business. In 1911 he was
elected justice of the peace, and this office he has continued to hold
to the present time, presiding over his court with an impartiality, ability
and judgment which have won him the esteem and respect of his fellow
citizens. He is a prominent member of Ben Loan Post No. 33, Grand
Army of the Republic, and has served in a number of official capacities
therein, and at the present time is adjutant of the post. His fraternal
connection is with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and his re-
ligious, belief that of the Christian Church. In all the duties of life
Judge Butts has displayed a conscientious devotion to high principles,
and the general confidence in which he is held by all who know him
is well merited.
Judge Butts was married in Daviess County, Missouri, in 1873, to
Miss Kate Stirman, who passed away August 12, 1876. They had one
son, T. N. 0. Butts, who died August 21, 1876. On January 15, 1885,
he was married to Mary A. Reynolds of Kingston, who was born, at
Warrensburg, Missouri. Their children are briefly mentioned by name
as follows: Effie May, who is employed in Pocatello, Idaho; Harriet
Clark; William M., of Idaho; Thomas Jackson, Jr., deceased; George
G. ; Francis Marion Cockrell, at home; and Abbie Maurine, deceased.
Trenton Chapter, P. E. 0. While the P. E. 0. is, as the following
article shows, one of the strongest woman 's organizations in the country,
it has manifested a special strength in Missouri, and nearly all the larger
towns and cities have chapters. For this reason it is deemed appropriate
to include in this work a brief sketch of the order in general and in
particular concerning the work and activities of the local chapter at
Trenton. The following article has been prepared and contributed to
this publication by one of the members of the Trenton Chapter.
The P. E. O. Sisterhood, the largest secret organization of women
independent of men's organizations, was founded at the Iowa Wesleyan
University of Mount Pleasant, January 21, 1869, by seven bright young
girls, members of the graduating class of that year, whose one desire
at that time was to perpetuate their love and friendship by the tie of
fraternity. They chose the star, whose five points represent faith, love,
puritv, justice and truth, as a means of recognition, and a motto
represented by the letters P. E. 0., the meaning of which is spoken
only when initiating new members.
The Sisterhood has grown until today it has over twenty-two thousand
members, with working chapters in twenty-nine states, British Columbia
and District of Columbia, twelve State Grand Chapters, all working
under the supreme or national body. Its aims and objects are : First :
Individual growth in charity towards all with whom we associate ; sec-
ond, to seek growth in knowledge and mental culture ; third, to aim at
moral culture, self control, and temperance in opinions, speech and
habits. The chosen work : The education of worthy young women who
1898 HISTORY OF NORTHWEST MISSOURI
desire to complete their higher education with the view to become self-
supporting. We have 130 now in the colleges and universities of the
different states preparing themselves for the duties of life.
The local chapter, A. D., P. E. 0., was organized November 23,
1903, by Mrs. Sophia McLean of Hamilton, state organizer, at the
home of Mrs. Addie Shreeve with ten charter members as follows : Miss
Lena Conrads, Mrs. Retta Ginn, Mrs. Nettie Hoffman, Mrs. Cora Mer-
rill. Mrs. Mabel Stepp, Mrs. Addie Shreeve, Mrs. Emma Melvin, Mrs.
Delia Allen, Mrs. Belle Easterday. Miss Conrads was chosen first presi-
dent as it was largely through her efforts and zeal that the organization
Chapter A. D. has been visited by three state inspectors, Mrs. Addie
Mauzer of Kansas City, Mrs. Charles Iddiols of St. Louis, and Mrs. Vina
Bowden of Brookfield, charming sisters, thoroughly familiar with their
work, and A. D. enjoyed their presence and received much inspiration
from their visits.
The most important event in A. D.'s history was the entertaining of
Missouri Grand Chapter convention. It was a big undertaking for the
sixteen resident members, but by a united effort and a unanimous
purpose, and with the generous assistance given by many loyal citizens,
it was possible for Trenton and Chapter A. D. to boast of having the
best convention ever held in the state. More than one hundred and
ten officers and delegates from all over the state were in attendance,
besides visitors from other states, including Mrs. Winona Reeves of
Keokuk, Iowa, supreme president, and Mrs. Helen D. Townsend of Albia,
Iowa, chairman of educational fund committee. From this array of
talent, P. E. O.'s naturally would receive much enthusiasm and en-
couragement, and A. D. will always cherish the memory of those three
days with guests as the brightest of the chapter's existence.
The local chapter has been honored by the State Grand Chapter in
electing two of her members to state office. Miss Conrads served three
terms as second vice president and chairman of the reciprocity bureau,
and Mrs. Hoffman served two terms as state treasurer and one term as
first vice president. While serving in this office she was elected treasurer
of Supreme Chapter, which necessitated her resigning state work. She
served four years as supreme treasurer and is now first vice president
of Supreme Chapter.
A. D. 's program has been varied and interesting. The first year was
devoted to the study of the constitution, P. E. 0. history and initiation
ceremony ; one year with American history, another, the study of woman 's
work in the world, women in literature, women in business, women in
politics, women as composers, etc. The chapter has studied Ireland and
her people, Japan and her people, prominent women of the Bible, our
cities' needs, our schools, Russia, parliamentary law. Other features have
been debates, constitutional quiz, etc. Alternating with current, events,
all this interspersed with vocal and instrumental music, making each
year's work pleasing and instructive.
The social events have been many and most enjoyable. The first
effort was a reception, given at the home of Mrs. Merrill, when 150
guests responded to invitations. Refreshments were served in three
rooms, each beautifully decorated in yellow and white, the chapter colors,
and cut flowers were used in profusion. In January, 1906, Chapter A. D.
entertained husbands and sweethearts by initiating them into some of
the "mysteries" of the Sisterhood, conferring upon them the degree of
B. I. L. (brothers-in-law). Each gentleman was anxious to become a
B. I. L., so the mysterious and weird initiation followed immediately by
fifteen white robed figures in official capacity. It is needless to add the
HISTORY OF NORTHWEST MISSOURI 1899
guests were surprised and somewhat embarrassed, but as it was all for
fun, greatly enjoyed. An elaborate luncheon, music and glee followed,
and each guest expressed himself as having had the ''best time of
Two nights of each year are set aside for pleasure, when pro-
grams and work are forgotten, the anniversary when the work is
initiation and banquet, and a winter picnic for the B. I. L's, which
is usually the occasion for the initiation of some new brother, mak-
ing a delightful evening of feasting, fun and frolic.
On February 8, 1910, the members of A. D. were entertained by
the B. I. L.'s at Cook's Hall, when they gave a burlesque on the
P. E. 0. initiation, a mock banquet, then a trip to the Gem Theater,
where a special program had been arranged, very personal and of
ridiculous nature. Souvenir spoons eighteen inches long were pre-
sented as favors. We were then taken to the, home of E. M. Harbor,
where an elaborate banquet with everything from turkey and cran-
berry sauce to brick ice cream and cake was served. The evening
was full of surprises and a great success.