Biography of Samuel Aaron Kenoyer
Samuel Aaron Kenoyer, a prominent real estate operator of Miami, has won a substantial, measure of success through the capable management of his business affairs and has also aided materially in improving and developing his city, being recognized as a most progressive and public-spirited citizen. He was born in Kentland, Newton county, Indiana, September 30, 1873, of the marriage of James and Nancy Jane Kenoyer, the former also born in that county, while the latter was likewise a native of the Hoosier state. For a time the father engaged in farming and he afterward turned his attention to the carpenter’s trade, which he followed at Marshall and Kentland, Indiana. He is an honored veteran of the Civil war, enlisting from Newton county in the Fifty-first Indiana Volunteer Infantry and serving throughout the entire period of hostilities, after which he was stationed for a time in Texas. Upon receiving his discharge he returned to Indiana, where he resumed his farming operations. He is still living at the age of eighty years, but the mother passed away in 1919. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, actively interested in its affairs, and is affiliated with the Methodist church, of which his wife was also a member. He is a republican in his political views and a stanch supporter of the principles and candidates of the party.
Samuel A. Kenoyer spent the period of his boyhood in Kentland, having little opportunity to attend school, and when eighteen years of age he went to Omaha, Nebraska, but left that city shortly afterward and made his way to Indian Territory, working for three years as a farm hand, he was employed as fireman on the Texas, Pacific & El Paso Railroad, after which he entered the service of Fred Harvey, working for a year and a half at Winslow, Arizona, and Gallup, New Mexico. He then returned to Indian Territory, where for a time he followed the occupation of farming, after which he went to Missouri and completed a course in bookkeeping at the Great Western Business College of Webb City, that state. He was identified with business interests of Baxter Springs, Kansas, and Webb City, Missouri, following which he became a solicitor for the Prudential Life Insurance Company at Joplin, Missouri, and filled that position for three years. In 1915 he returned to Miami and entered the real estate field, with which he has since been identified. He laid out the subdivision of Cardin, successfully disposing of the lots, and he has negotiated many important realty transfers. He has great faith in the future of Miami and has made extensive investments in real estate, being the owner of the Commerce building, the finest office building in the state, and in 1916 he erected the Kenoyer building, thus greatly contributing to the improvement of the city. He also has mining leases and is the owner of considerable farming land in Ottawa county. He is an astute, farsighted business man, alert, energetic and determined, and since 1913 he has made rapid strides toward the goal of success.
At Seneca, Missouri, on the 8th of July, 1900, Mr. Kenoyer was united in marriage to Miss Felicia Magdalene Cardin, a native of Miami county, Kansas, and a daughter of Thomas Jefferson Cardin, who was born in Georgia. He was a veteran of the Civil war, in which he served for three years as a soldier in the Confederate army, and after receiving his discharge he made his way to Missouri, where he was engaged in carrying mail for the government, boarding at the home of Cole Younger, the noted outlaw, and knowing the brothers intimately. He later removed to Miami county, Kansas, in the vicinity of the Quapaw Indian agency, and his demise occurred near Miami on the 17th of January, 1921, while his wife passed away at Sulphur Springs in 1895. Mrs. Kenoyer is a Miami by birth and a Quapaw by adoption. Her grandfather, Louis La Fontaine, was one of the chiefs of the eastern Miami, later going with the western Miami and subsequently being adopted by the Quapaw tribe. Mrs. Kenoyer became the, owner of valuable holdings in the center of the zinc belt of Oklahoma, on which were located some of the best mines in the state, and upon her land at Pickens, in the Tar river fields, stood the McConnell mill, the pioneer mill of that district. Mr. and Mrs. Kenoyer have become the parents of a son, Harold Aaron, who was born at Joplin, Missouri, April 19, 1913.. Mrs. Kenoyer is devoted to the interests of her family, and her husband attributes much of his success to her advice and assistance. She is keenly interested in the development of Miami and is active in lodge circles, being a member of the Eastern Star and the White Shrine.
Mr. and Mrs. Kenoyer are faithful adherents of the Christian church and he is a member of its official board, while she is also active in church work. During the World war both did their utmost to-aid in promoting the various Liberty Loans and other drives for the purpose of securing the funds necessary to prosecute the war. His public spirit finds expression in his membership in the Chamber of Commerce, whose well devised plans for the extension of the commercial interests of Miami receive his hearty. support. His political allegiance is given to the republican party, and fraternally he is identified with the Masons, belonging to Miami Lodge, No. 140, F. & A. M., to the consistory at McAlester, Oklahoma, and to Akdor Temple of the Mystic Shrine, while he is likewise connected with the Eastern Star, the White Shrine of Jerusalem and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He is a popular member of the Rockdale Country Club and when leisure permits finds recreation in hunting big game in the north. He is deeply interested in baseball and the activities of the Southwestern League, doing all in his power to promote the national sport. He purchased the lease on the present ball park, which he turned over to the city of Miami, and his influence, energy and financial aid can always be counted upon in the furtherance of every movement for the benefit and upbuilding of his community. He is a self-made man whose advancement has its root in industry, perseverance and unfaltering determination.
He received no financial assistance when he started out in life but has steadily worked his way upward through the force of his personality and his ability until he now occupies a foremost position in business circles of Miami.