JOHN EDWARD KENNA

JOHN EDWARD KENNA

TOPIC

Forty-fifth Congress, October 10, 1877

Stories about JOHN EDWARD KENNA

VANBIBBER CONTENT

    <div>IDENTIFICATION: Isaac VanBibber and Hester Op den Graeff Jacob Isaacs VanBibber and Christinia ___________ Isaac Jacobs VanBibber and Frances Schumacher Peter VanBibber and Anna ____________ John VanBibber and Chloe Staniford Marjory VanBibber and Andrew Donnally Caroline Donnally and John Lewis Margery Lewis and John Edward Kenna

    John Edward Kenna

    <div>IDENTIFICATION: Isaac VanBibber and Hester Op den Graeff Jacob Isaacs VanBibber and Christinia ___________ Isaac Jacobs VanBibber and Frances Schumacher Peter VanBibber and Anna ____________ John VanBibber and Chloe Staniford Marjory VanBibber and Andrew Donnally Caroline Donnally and John Lewis Margery Lewis and John Edward Kenna

    John Edward Kenna

    At the opening of the extra session of the Forty-fifth Congress, October 10,
    1877, a broad shouldered young man, six feet tall and well proportioned, with
    a good-humored but resolute countenance and a wide-awake, determined
    expression on his face, took a seat on the Democratic side of the House of
    Representatives.

    He had an easy, off-hand way about him that captured the attention of the
    reporters at first sight, and his youthful appearance, in comparison with the
    grave and reverend seniors who sat around him, at once had the effect of
    making him an object of interest to the galleries and floors as
    "Representative Kenna, of West Virginia, the youngest member of the House."

    John E. Kenna was born in Kanawha county, Virginia, April 10, 1848. His
    father, Edward Kenna, came from Ireland to American when fourteen years of
    age, and was employed at Natchez, Mississippi, by an extensive firm, of which
    the venerable Felix La Coste, now of St. Louis county, Missouri, was the chief
    member, when the great tornado of 1840 swept over the town, almost entirely
    destroying it, killing several hundred residents and leaving many of its
    inhabitants to escape barely with their lives. Among the latter was Edward
    Kenna, who wrote a description of the great hurricane, which has been
    preserved and republished on several recurring anniversaries of the dread
    event.

    From Natchez, Edward Kenna made his way to Cincinnati, where he took such
    employment as he could command. He was thus engaged when some providential
    circumstance brought him in contact with Charles Fox, a respectable lawyer,
    who kindly tendered him the use of his library and advised him to study law.
    This advice was readily accepted, and Mr. Kenna began the study of law with
    Mr. Fox, finding among his associates in his early career at the Cincinnati
    Bar, George Hoadly, Wm. S. Groesbeck, George H. Pendleton, and others who have
    since risen to National distinction.

    In 1847 Mr. Kenna married Margery, the only daughter of John Lewis, of Kanawha
    county, Virginia, a grandson of General Andrew Lewis, and soon afterward
    settled in that county. Here for eight years he successfully practiced his
    profession, devoting a large part of his time also to enterprises connected
    with the development of the Kanawha and Coal river valleys. In 1855 he earned
    a State reputation by a speech in the Staunton Convention, seconding the
    nomination of Henry A. Wise for Governor. He was absolutely a self-made man
    and is remembered as being of indomitable will, extraordinary energy,
    brilliant mind and public spirit. He was one of the largest and finest
    specimens of physican manhood the writer ever saw.

    This much is here said of him, because it is known that his own struggles,
    single-handed and alone in life, had inspired him with the hope that he would
    live to see an only son armed and equipped by his aid and encouragement for a
    successful career. Among his intimate friends he often gave expression to this
    deep desire. Little did he then realize that his boy had the same difficulties
    before him which he himself had confronted, and would conquer them as well. In
    1856, in the prime and vigor of a splendid manhood, at the age of only thirty-
    nine years, with so much of life and promise before him, he met an untimely
    death. He left two little girls, aged respectively four and six years, and
    John Edward Kenna, the subject of this sketch, an orphan boy at eight years of
    age.

    In 1858, Mrs. Kenna, with her three children, removed to Missouri where her
    brother resided, and where she remained until the breaking out of war. She had
    a governess for awhile, under whose tutelage her children were trained in the
    branches of an English education; but the failure of her husband's estate,
    which largely consisted of unmarketable lands, in the absence of judicious
    management, to realize funds, took away this advantage and her son began
    active employment. He continued his labor to the opening of a new farm, and
    often Senator Kenna now refers with pride to the fact, that he can look upon
    one of the finest plantations in Missouri, and remember that he redeemed it
    from its natural state with a prairie plow and four yoke of oxen, when he was
    but eleven years of age. While so engaged he became an expert teamster and did
    much of the heavy hauling and opening up of new habitations on the then
    Western prairie.

    The fact that he was an only son led his mother, during her widowhood, to rely
    greatly upon him, notwithstanding his youth; and this dependence had a
    tendency to give self-reliance and fit him, more rapidly than is usual, for
    the sterner duties of life. A gentleman who was acquainted with him in those
    days tells me that he was a brave, manly boy, and shirked no responsibility in
    any form. Indeed, this may be said of his entire career.

    In early life Mr. Kenna exhibited a special liking for field sports -
    especially hunting. Game was plentiful in Missouri when he resided there, and
    nearly always, when the weather was unfit for farm work, he was most sure to
    be in the field with his dog and gun. In this way he acquired skill in
    handling the rifle, which has given him a State reputation in West Virginia as
    an expert marksman, and has afforded him rare opportunites for sport in the
    mountains adjacent to the Great Kanawha Valley, where he has for many years
    resided. Every fall he spends several weeks in the hill country in search of
    game, and it is well known that he is not excelled in such sports by the old
    resident hunters in the district that he so often frequents.

    At sixteen years of age Mr. Kenna enlisted in the Confederate army, and
    followed its fortunes to the end of the war. In an engagement in which he was
    on detached service from Gen. Shelby's brigade, he was badly wounded in the
    shoulder and arm, but declined to be retired on account of his wounds, and
    therefore remained with his comrades in active service in the field. The
    retreat of General Price from Missouri, in 1864, has gone into history. It was
    a series of skirmishes and battles with both the main army and its detachments
    from the Missouri river to the Kansas line. In all this constant and pressing
    march, though but sixteen years of age, and suffering from his wounds, he
    never failed of a task that any other soldier performed, and never lost a day
    from active service. From Missouri the command to which he belonged retreated
    into Arkansas, endured hardships that are indescribable. The severe exposures
    of the hurried march caused a serious illness which drove him to the hospital
    at Washington, Arkansas, where he lay in a dangerous condition for six weeks.
    Careful nursing, however, brought him through. He rejoined his command, and in
    June, 1865, was surrendered to the Federal forces at Shreveport, Louisiana;
    and in August of that year he returned to his native Kanawha, where his
    mother, stepfather and sisters then resided, and where he has since remained.

    He secured employment at the salt-making firm of Thayer & Chappell, soon after
    his return to West Virginia, and remained with them until February, 1866.
    Realizing the incompleteness of his education, and possessing a strong desire
    to rise in the world, through the assistance of kind friends, notably the Rt.
    Rev. Bishop R.V. Whelan, Mr. Kenna entered St. Vincent's Academy, at Wheeling,
    and there earnestly took up a course of study, running through two and a half
    years, that gave him such an insight into books as to enable him to
    successfully pursue his studies alone at home. Many young men of Wheeling were
    his schoolmates at St. Vincent's, who have watched with interest his
    successful career.

    After leaving school in 1868, Mr. Kenna studied law at Charleston, in the
    office of Miller & Quarrier, and was admitted to the Bar, June 20, 1870. In
    the practice of law he seemed to have discovered his calling. From the
    beginning he rose rapidly in the profession. In 1872, he was nominated by the
    Democratic party and elected to the office of Prosecuting Attorney of Kanawha
    county. In that capacity he rendered acceptable and efficient service. In
    1874, he came within a few votes of being nominated to Congress. His practice
    extended into all the counties surrounding Kanawha; and in 1875, in the
    absence of the Circuit Judge, Mr. Kenna was elected by the members of the Bar
    to fill the position of Judge of the Circuit, pro tempore. This was a marked
    compliment to the ability of one of his years, and was made the more so by the
    acceptable manner in which he discharged the important obligations of the
    Bench.

    In 1876, Mr. Kenna was nominated by the Democrats as their candidate for
    Congress by the Third District of West Virginia. His competitors were Hon.
    Frank Hereford, who had represented the district for three successive terms,
    and Hon. Henry S. Walker, a man of great brilliancy as a writer and public
    speaker. The only objection urged against Mr. Kenna was his lack of age and
    experience in public affairs. He had courage, and, though young in years, he
    had learned much of the world from associations with men. A number of leading
    members of his party in his native county issued a circular letter in favor of
    the re-nomination of Major Hereford. While this did not daunt Mr. Kenna, it
    greatly wounded his pride. He announced a series of public meetings and
    addressed the people in behalf of his own candidacy. At one of these meetings
    in Charleston, at which a number of the signers of the circular letter were
    present, Mr. Kenner, in the course of his speech, said: "I have no word of
    unkindness for these distinguished men {referring to the signers of the
    circular}. But you will pardon me when I say that if I could exchange places
    with any one of them; if I could stand, a matured, successful, established
    man, in all that the terms imply, and look upon a boy left in orphanage at
    eight years; if I could watch the pathway of his childhood, with the
    obstructions confronting it, and witness his struggles, his hardships, his
    labors and his prayers; if I could see him marching on through adversity until
    kinder stars seemed to shine upon him, and he was about to attain through
    trial and vicissitude a position of honor to himself and of usefulness to his
    fellow men - before I would sign a paper whose only effect would be to break
    down and ruin that young man, I would be carried to one of your lonely
    hillsides and there laid to rest forever." The effect of this speech was seen
    and felt. A primary election was ordered in Kanawha county, and Mr. Kenna
    carried the county, on a full Democratic vote, against both of his
    competitors. This led to his triumphant nomination August 10, 1876. He was
    elected by a splended majority, and accordingly took his seat as stated in the
    beginning paragraph of this brief biography.

    In Congress, Mr. Kenna rapidly developed peculiar faculties for legislative
    duties. He was appointed to a conspicuous place on the Committee of Commerce,
    in which position he served four years, suceeding in a most satisfactory
    manner in securing appropriations for the improvement and development of the
    commercial arteries of his District and State, and rendering valuable service
    to the country at large. December 5th, he delivered his maiden speech in the
    House of Representatives; and the 29th of January, following, he presented to
    the House from his Committee, the first bill under his charge. His management
    of this measure attracted general attention and resulted in its passage. He,
    therefore, developed at the very threshold of legislative life an aptness for
    it, and a coolness of judgment meriting the testimonials he received from
    other members, and from many of his constituents. He never spoke except when
    he had something to say. His splended physique - standing full six feet - his
    smooth diction and clear enunciation, and his self-poise, never failed to
    attract attention and command respect. He was re-elected in 1878, '80 and '82

    • four times in all. His growth, during the six full terms he served in the
      House of Representatives, was continuous and steady. But few who served
      contemporaneously with him developed as rapidly. He always represented the
      progressive, liberal and vigorous elements of his party, and consequently
      holds the respect of those agressive, working members of his own party and the
      esteem of his political opponents in legislative councils.

    Mr. Kenna is a natural leader of men. He possesses wonderful power over his
    associates, especially in political campaigns. Because of this fact, he was
    made Chairman of the Democratic National Congressional Executive Committee in
    1886, and was re-elected to the same important position in 1888.

    The legislative session of West Virginia in 1883, was the theater of a great
    conflict in the choosing of a Senator to succeed the Hon. H.G. Davis, who
    declined a re-election. Mr. Kenna, who had but a few months before been
    elected a fourth time to the House of Representatives, announced his desire to
    become a Senator to Congress. The contest was a vigorous one, and although
    several able members of his party were competing with him for this exalted
    prize in politics, Congressman Kenna, with apparent ease, carried off the
    caucus nomination, and was thereupon duly elected by the Legislature to that
    honorable position.

    He promptly resigned his seat in the House, and, March 4, of that year, took
    his seat in the highest legislative chamber of the land. His long experience
    in the lower House qualified him for great efficiency in the Senate, and from
    the very beginning he took a leading rank among the able members of that
    distinguished tribunal. Ready and foreful in debate, he found no trouble in
    sustaining himself upon any question he undertook to discuss.

    He was re-elected to the Senate in 1889. There was but one of a Democratic
    majority in the Legislature on joint ballot, and one member, the Hon. C.P.
    Dorr, announced at the opening of the session that he would not support
    Senator Kenna for re-election. This made the contest interesting, especially
    to Senator Kenna's political opponents; but the well known qualities of
    leadership which were known to be possessed by the Senator served him well in
    that historic campaign, and after a month's balloting, his friends remaining
    true to the last, Delegate Dorr came to his resuce, and his election was
    accordingly secured. It was a great triumph, and could only have been won by
    one who possessed the ability to hold to him, with hooks of steel, his party
    leaders.

    Senator Kenna is six feet tall; weighs one hundred and eighty-five pounds; is
    light complected; naturally social and genial; has a large following of
    personal friends; is industrious and energetic. In politics his success is
    almost phenomenal. He has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Rose A.
    Quigg, of Wheeling, whom he married September 27, 1870, and his second was
    Miss Anna Benninghaus, also of Wheeling, whom he married November 21, 1876.


    Taken from Prominent Men of West Virginia, Geo. W Atkinson and Alvaro F
    Gibbens, W.L. Callin Publishing, Wheeling, WV, 1890.

    </div>

    He had an easy, off-hand way about him that captured the attention of the
    reporters at first sight, and his youthful appearance, in comparison with the
    grave and reverend seniors who sat around him, at once had the effect of
    making him an object of interest to the galleries and floors as
    "Representative Kenna, of West Virginia, the youngest member of the House."

    John E. Kenna was born in Kanawha county, Virginia, April 10, 1848. His
    father, Edward Kenna, came from Ireland to American when fourteen years of
    age, and was employed at Natchez, Mississippi, by an extensive firm, of which
    the venerable Felix La Coste, now of St. Louis county, Missouri, was the chief
    member, when the great tornado of 1840 swept over the town, almost entirely
    destroying it, killing several hundred residents and leaving many of its
    inhabitants to escape barely with their lives. Among the latter was Edward
    Kenna, who wrote a description of the great hurricane, which has been
    preserved and republished on several recurring anniversaries of the dread
    event.

    From Natchez, Edward Kenna made his way to Cincinnati, where he took such
    employment as he could command. He was thus engaged when some providential
    circumstance brought him in contact with Charles Fox, a respectable lawyer,
    who kindly tendered him the use of his library and advised him to study law.
    This advice was readily accepted, and Mr. Kenna began the study of law with
    Mr. Fox, finding among his associates in his early career at the Cincinnati
    Bar, George Hoadly, Wm. S. Groesbeck, George H. Pendleton, and others who have
    since risen to National distinction.

    In 1847 Mr. Kenna married Margery, the only daughter of John Lewis, of Kanawha
    county, Virginia, a grandson of General Andrew Lewis, and soon afterward
    settled in that county. Here for eight years he successfully practiced his
    profession, devoting a large part of his time also to enterprises connected
    with the development of the Kanawha and Coal river valleys. In 1855 he earned
    a State reputation by a speech in the Staunton Convention, seconding the
    nomination of Henry A. Wise for Governor. He was absolutely a self-made man
    and is remembered as being of indomitable will, extraordinary energy,
    brilliant mind and public spirit. He was one of the largest and finest
    specimens of physican manhood the writer ever saw.

    This much is here said of him, because it is known that his own struggles,
    single-handed and alone in life, had inspired him with the hope that he would
    live to see an only son armed and equipped by his aid and encouragement for a
    successful career. Among his intimate friends he often gave expression to this
    deep desire. Little did he then realize that his boy had the same difficulties
    before him which he himself had confronted, and would conquer them as well. In
    1856, in the prime and vigor of a splendid manhood, at the age of only thirty-
    nine years, with so much of life and promise before him, he met an untimely
    death. He left two little girls, aged respectively four and six years, and
    John Edward Kenna, the subject of this sketch, an orphan boy at eight years of
    age.

    In 1858, Mrs. Kenna, with her three children, removed to Missouri where her
    brother resided, and where she remained until the breaking out of war. She had
    a governess for awhile, under whose tutelage her children were trained in the
    branches of an English education; but the failure of her husband's estate,
    which largely consisted of unmarketable lands, in the absence of judicious
    management, to realize funds, took away this advantage and her son began
    active employment. He continued his labor to the opening of a new farm, and
    often Senator Kenna now refers with pride to the fact, that he can look upon
    one of the finest plantations in Missouri, and remember that he redeemed it
    from its natural state with a prairie plow and four yoke of oxen, when he was
    but eleven years of age. While so engaged he became an expert teamster and did
    much of the heavy hauling and opening up of new habitations on the then
    Western prairie.

    The fact that he was an only son led his mother, during her widowhood, to rely
    greatly upon him, notwithstanding his youth; and this dependence had a
    tendency to give self-reliance and fit him, more rapidly than is usual, for
    the sterner duties of life. A gentleman who was acquainted with him in those
    days tells me that he was a brave, manly boy, and shirked no responsibility in
    any form. Indeed, this may be said of his entire career.

    In early life Mr. Kenna exhibited a special liking for field sports -
    especially hunting. Game was plentiful in Missouri when he resided there, and
    nearly always, when the weather was unfit for farm work, he was most sure to
    be in the field with his dog and gun. In this way he acquired skill in
    handling the rifle, which has given him a State reputation in West Virginia as
    an expert marksman, and has afforded him rare opportunites for sport in the
    mountains adjacent to the Great Kanawha Valley, where he has for many years
    resided. Every fall he spends several weeks in the hill country in search of
    game, and it is well known that he is not excelled in such sports by the old
    resident hunters in the district that he so often frequents.

    At sixteen years of age Mr. Kenna enlisted in the Confederate army, and
    followed its fortunes to the end of the war. In an engagement in which he was
    on detached service from Gen. Shelby's brigade, he was badly wounded in the
    shoulder and arm, but declined to be retired on account of his wounds, and
    therefore remained with his comrades in active service in the field. The
    retreat of General Price from Missouri, in 1864, has gone into history. It was
    a series of skirmishes and battles with both the main army and its detachments
    from the Missouri river to the Kansas line. In all this constant and pressing
    march, though but sixteen years of age, and suffering from his wounds, he
    never failed of a task that any other soldier performed, and never lost a day
    from active service. From Missouri the command to which he belonged retreated
    into Arkansas, endured hardships that are indescribable. The severe exposures
    of the hurried march caused a serious illness which drove him to the hospital
    at Washington, Arkansas, where he lay in a dangerous condition for six weeks.
    Careful nursing, however, brought him through. He rejoined his command, and in
    June, 1865, was surrendered to the Federal forces at Shreveport, Louisiana;
    and in August of that year he returned to his native Kanawha, where his
    mother, stepfather and sisters then resided, and where he has since remained.

    He secured employment at the salt-making firm of Thayer & Chappell, soon after
    his return to West Virginia, and remained with them until February, 1866.
    Realizing the incompleteness of his education, and possessing a strong desire
    to rise in the world, through the assistance of kind friends, notably the Rt.
    Rev. Bishop R.V. Whelan, Mr. Kenna entered St. Vincent's Academy, at Wheeling,
    and there earnestly took up a course of study, running through two and a half
    years, that gave him such an insight into books as to enable him to
    successfully pursue his studies alone at home. Many young men of Wheeling were
    his schoolmates at St. Vincent's, who have watched with interest his
    successful career.

    After leaving school in 1868, Mr. Kenna studied law at Charleston, in the
    office of Miller & Quarrier, and was admitted to the Bar, June 20, 1870. In
    the practice of law he seemed to have discovered his calling. From the
    beginning he rose rapidly in the profession. In 1872, he was nominated by the
    Democratic party and elected to the office of Prosecuting Attorney of Kanawha
    county. In that capacity he rendered acceptable and efficient service. In
    1874, he came within a few votes of being nominated to Congress. His practice
    extended into all the counties surrounding Kanawha; and in 1875, in the
    absence of the Circuit Judge, Mr. Kenna was elected by the members of the Bar
    to fill the position of Judge of the Circuit, pro tempore. This was a marked
    compliment to the ability of one of his years, and was made the more so by the
    acceptable manner in which he discharged the important obligations of the
    Bench.

    In 1876, Mr. Kenna was nominated by the Democrats as their candidate for
    Congress by the Third District of West Virginia. His competitors were Hon.
    Frank Hereford, who had represented the district for three successive terms,
    and Hon. Henry S. Walker, a man of great brilliancy as a writer and public
    speaker. The only objection urged against Mr. Kenna was his lack of age and
    experience in public affairs. He had courage, and, though young in years, he
    had learned much of the world from associations with men. A number of leading
    members of his party in his native county issued a circular letter in favor of
    the re-nomination of Major Hereford. While this did not daunt Mr. Kenna, it
    greatly wounded his pride. He announced a series of public meetings and
    addressed the people in behalf of his own candidacy. At one of these meetings
    in Charleston, at which a number of the signers of the circular letter were
    present, Mr. Kenner, in the course of his speech, said: "I have no word of
    unkindness for these distinguished men {referring to the signers of the
    circular}. But you will pardon me when I say that if I could exchange places
    with any one of them; if I could stand, a matured, successful, established
    man, in all that the terms imply, and look upon a boy left in orphanage at
    eight years; if I could watch the pathway of his childhood, with the
    obstructions confronting it, and witness his struggles, his hardships, his
    labors and his prayers; if I could see him marching on through adversity until
    kinder stars seemed to shine upon him, and he was about to attain through
    trial and vicissitude a position of honor to himself and of usefulness to his
    fellow men - before I would sign a paper whose only effect would be to break
    down and ruin that young man, I would be carried to one of your lonely
    hillsides and there laid to rest forever." The effect of this speech was seen
    and felt. A primary election was ordered in Kanawha county, and Mr. Kenna
    carried the county, on a full Democratic vote, against both of his
    competitors. This led to his triumphant nomination August 10, 1876. He was
    elected by a splended majority, and accordingly took his seat as stated in the
    beginning paragraph of this brief biography.

    In Congress, Mr. Kenna rapidly developed peculiar faculties for legislative
    duties. He was appointed to a conspicuous place on the Committee of Commerce,
    in which position he served four years, suceeding in a most satisfactory
    manner in securing appropriations for the improvement and development of the
    commercial arteries of his District and State, and rendering valuable service
    to the country at large. December 5th, he delivered his maiden speech in the
    House of Representatives; and the 29th of January, following, he presented to
    the House from his Committee, the first bill under his charge. His management
    of this measure attracted general attention and resulted in its passage. He,
    therefore, developed at the very threshold of legislative life an aptness for
    it, and a coolness of judgment meriting the testimonials he received from
    other members, and from many of his constituents. He never spoke except when
    he had something to say. His splended physique - standing full six feet - his
    smooth diction and clear enunciation, and his self-poise, never failed to
    attract attention and command respect. He was re-elected in 1878, '80 and '82

    • four times in all. His growth, during the six full terms he served in the
      House of Representatives, was continuous and steady. But few who served
      contemporaneously with him developed as rapidly. He always represented the
      progressive, liberal and vigorous elements of his party, and consequently
      holds the respect of those agressive, working members of his own party and the
      esteem of his political opponents in legislative councils.

    Mr. Kenna is a natural leader of men. He possesses wonderful power over his
    associates, especially in political campaigns. Because of this fact, he was
    made Chairman of the Democratic National Congressional Executive Committee in
    1886, and was re-elected to the same important position in 1888.

    The legislative session of West Virginia in 1883, was the theater of a great
    conflict in the choosing of a Senator to succeed the Hon. H.G. Davis, who
    declined a re-election. Mr. Kenna, who had but a few months before been
    elected a fourth time to the House of Representatives, announced his desire to
    become a Senator to Congress. The contest was a vigorous one, and although
    several able members of his party were competing with him for this exalted
    prize in politics, Congressman Kenna, with apparent ease, carried off the
    caucus nomination, and was thereupon duly elected by the Legislature to that
    honorable position.

    He promptly resigned his seat in the House, and, March 4, of that year, took
    his seat in the highest legislative chamber of the land. His long experience
    in the lower House qualified him for great efficiency in the Senate, and from
    the very beginning he took a leading rank among the able members of that
    distinguished tribunal. Ready and foreful in debate, he found no trouble in
    sustaining himself upon any question he undertook to discuss.

    He was re-elected to the Senate in 1889. There was but one of a Democratic
    majority in the Legislature on joint ballot, and one member, the Hon. C.P.
    Dorr, announced at the opening of the session that he would not support
    Senator Kenna for re-election. This made the contest interesting, especially
    to Senator Kenna's political opponents; but the well known qualities of
    leadership which were known to be possessed by the Senator served him well in
    that historic campaign, and after a month's balloting, his friends remaining
    true to the last, Delegate Dorr came to his resuce, and his election was
    accordingly secured. It was a great triumph, and could only have been won by
    one who possessed the ability to hold to him, with hooks of steel, his party
    leaders.

    Senator Kenna is six feet tall; weighs one hundred and eighty-five pounds; is
    light complected; naturally social and genial; has a large following of
    personal friends; is industrious and energetic. In politics his success is
    almost phenomenal. He has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Rose A.
    Quigg, of Wheeling, whom he married September 27, 1870, and his second was
    Miss Anna Benninghaus, also of Wheeling, whom he married November 21, 1876.


    Taken from Prominent Men of West Virginia, Geo. W Atkinson and Alvaro F
    Gibbens, W.L. Callin Publishing, Wheeling, WV, 1890.

    </div>
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