Biography of John Spencer Kenyon

Discover your
family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

choose a state:
Start Now

John Spencer Kenyon is a member of the furniture firm of Hardcastle & Kenyon at Emporia. Established nearly thirty-five years ago, this is one of the oldest furniture houses in Kansas, and so far as known only one firm had been in business for a longer time and that is the Thompson Brothers at Topeka.

Mr. Kenyon’s had been a most creditable business record. His name had been familiar to the people of Emporia and that section of Kansas for more than a generation, and always suggests the best qualities of commercial enterprise. His public spirit had also been a factor in the city’s improvement and growth.

He was born in Central New York, Madison County, August 2, 1842, a son of John and Samantha (Corbin) Kenyon. His parents were also born in Madison County, both in the year 1806, and the mother died there in 1859 and the father in 1882. John Kenyon was a farmer, and after the organization of that party followed the principles of the republicans. John S. Kenyon is the only survivor of a family of six children, among whom he was the third in order of birth. His brother Albert was a teacher and died in Madison, and the second son, Enos, was a dry goods salesman and died in Madison County. The younger brother, William, died in boyhood, and the only sisters, Mary Ann and Francelia, both died in childhood.

Educated in the public schools of Madison County and at the seminary at Cazenovia, New York, John S. Kenyon spent the greater part of the first forty years of his life as a teacher. He taught in New York State three years and for seventeen years was closely identified with educational interests in Macoupin County, Illinois. For four years of that time he served as county superintendent of schools.

In 1882 he came to Emporia and about that time the firm of Hardcastle & Kenyon was established, and that name had been continued ever since and it is the oldest and most reliable furniture house in that part of the state. The large store is situated at 520-522 Commercial Street, and the stock and show rooms require two floors, each 50 by 130 feet, and its trade extends over a country surrounding Emporia for a distance of forty miles.

A number of years ago Mr. Kenyon assisted in establishing the Citizens National Bank of Emporia and is still a director. He belongs to the Emporia Commercial Club, is an independent republican in politics, and is regarded as one of Emporia’s most prosperous citizens. Besides his business in the city he owned a fine home at 226 West Twelfth Street, eight other houses which are occupied by tenants, and two farms comprising 400 acres in Lyon County.

In Missouri in 1874 Mr. Kenyon married Miss Mary Virginia Hardcastle. She died at Emporia December 29, 1915, leaving no children. Her father was Edward Hardcastle, an Illinois farmer.

MLA Source Citation:

Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies. Web. 25 January 2015. - Last updated on Dec 29th, 2011

Categories: , ,
Locations: , , , ,

Contribute to the Conversation!

Our "rules" are simple. Keep the conversation on subject and mind your manners! If this is your first time posting, we do moderate comments before we let them appear... so give us a while to get to them. Once we get to know you here, we'll remove that requirement.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Newsletter Signup

We currently provide two newsletters. Why not take both for a run?

Genealogy Update: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new, or significantly updated, collection or database on our website.

Circle of Nations: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new (or significantly updated) Native American collection or database on our website.

Once you've clicked on the Subscribe button above you'll receive an email from us requesting confirmation. You must confirm the email before you will be able to receive any newsletter.

Connect With Us!

Pin It on Pinterest


Share This

Share this post with your friends!