Obituary Record

Frederick W. Sr. Kenny
Died on 2/22/1911
Buried in Blair Cemetery

Blair Democrat 23 Feb 1911


After an illness lasting several weeks F. W. Kenny, Sr., passed away at the family home in this city at 8:30 last Saturday evening and the funeral services were held from the family residence Tuesday afternoon under the auspices of the Masonic lodge. As a mark of respect all the business houses closed from 2:00 to 3:00 o’clock.

In the passing of Mr. Kenny, Blair loses one of its most substantial citizens. Coming here in the early days he has been active in the welfare and progress of the town from its very beginning. The people of the community early recognized his integrity and many sought his advice and counsel in business matters. What Mr. Kenny told one could be depended upon to be the facts as he understood them, and no man stood higher in the estimation of his acquaintances that he did.

He was public spirited and generous, always giving when called upon and many a resident was helped over rough places in life by Mr. Kenny that the people at large knew nothing of. He was very active in Grand Army circles and served two years as Commander of the Department of Nebraska. He was a “father” to the members of the local post and when it became generally known that Comrade Kenny would never be able to meet with them again their sorrow was great and his illness the chief topic of conversation with them.

Mr. Kenny had not been feeling real well for the past year or two, having a great deal of difficulty in getting his breath at times, and was urged to lay aside his duties at the bank and try the benefits of a change of climate, but his heart was in his work and he couldn’t bear the thought of leaving an institution that he had given the best in his life to.

Arlington Review Herald 23 Feb 1911

Death of F. W. Kenny, Sr

Word was received in Arlington, Sunday, that F.W. Kenny, Sr., and old and respected citizen of Blair had died the night before, after an illness lasting some time. He was 67 years old, and had been for nearly 40 years an active factor in advancing the interests of Blair and Washington county. He was born in Geneva, O., Feb.6, 1844, and took an active part in the war of the rebellion, as a member of the First Ohio battery. He was well known to all the older residents of Washington county, and was universally respected. He leaves a family consisting of wife, five daughters and two sons. The funeral took place Tuesday at Blair.

Pilot 22 Feb 1911

(Photo) (Civil War Veteran)

F. W. Kenny, Sr., Passes Away

Death Closes Career of a Washington County Pioneer, President Blair National Bank, and a Prominent Business Man.

After a brave struggle, lasting many weeks longer than even his physicians believed possible, Frederick W. Kenny, sr., passed peacefully away at about 8:15 Saturday evening of heart trouble. He had grown gradually weaker with each succeeding attack, but was conscious all day Saturday and recognized all the family up to the very end. All of the children except F. W. jr., were present when death, long deferred by his great vitality, finally came.

For several years Mr. Kenny had had periodic attacks but recovered promptly and went about his business as usual. Some three months ago he became alarmed and Dr. Bridges, of Omaha, was consulted. He advised absolute rest for a certain period and thought he might thus regain sufficient strength to ward off the attacks that were becoming more and more frequent. He improved some but the trouble was too deep seated to ever again produce normal health, and in due time the tired heart was finally unable to go any farther.

The funeral was held at the family residence at 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon, the service at the house being under the auspices of Jordan Commandery, and at the grave Washington Lodge, No. 21, A.F.&A.M. had charge. Both orders attended as a body, as did also the G.A.R. and the Easter Star, of all of which orders the deceased was an honored member.

Mr. Kenny was also a member of Adirondam Chapter, R.A.M. He was commander of John A. Dix Post for two years and was Junior Vice-Commander of the state department of the G.A.R. for one year. He had been a member of the Board of Education for over twenty-five years and was mayor of Blair for one term.

Deceased was born in Geneva, Ohio, Feb. 6th, 1844 and had therefore passed his 67th birthday only a few days ago. He enlisted in Battery “C,” 1st Ohio Vol. L. Artillery in Aug., 1862, and remained with the same battery to the close of the war. He served under General Sherman, and was a part of the famous army that marched from “Atlanta to the sea.” His battery also took part in the Grand Review that took place in Washington D.C. May 24, 1865.

From 1865 to 1869 Mr. Kenny worked in a large wholesale hardware store in Chicago and in the latter year came to Blair, then a new town and started in the hardware business with H. C. Riorden. Mr. Riorden afterwards sold to J. S. Stewart and the firm of Kenny & Stewart is yet remembered by many. In 1884 he helped organize the Blair state Bank, afterwards changed to the Blair National, and became its president, remaining as such until his death.

On May 2nd, 1871, he was married to Miss Aimee J. Taggart, and to them eight children were born, all of whom are living except Clarence, who died at the age of 19 months. F. W. jr., is in New York City, Mrs. Paul R. Howard lives at North Bend, John M., of Lewiston, Mont., Mrs. Lyman Peck, of Ft. Calhoun, Mrs. Burtis Smith, of Omaha, and Misses Sue and Maude who live at home.

Mr. Kenny was an ideal citizen in many ways, clean, capable, courteous, a good business man and a good husband and father. His example is a most excellent one for us to follow and we shall all be proud to be held in as high esteem when the last summons comes to us. The city schools were dismissed in his honor yesterday afternoon and every business house in town was closed during the hour of the funeral.

He is now at rest in the cold and silent city of the dead and all our hearts are bowed in sorrow at the great loss the community has sustained, and for the still heavier burden of grief his family must bear in the days to come. God had been very kind to them to give them such a head to their household and He will surely be as kind to them in the lonely hours when grief comes like an overwhelming flood.

Tribune 22 Feb 1911

(Photo of Mrs. F. W. Kenny, Sr.) (Photo of F. W. Kenny, Sr.)


The death of F. W. Kenny, Sr., at the family residence Saturday evening cast a gloom over the entire city. While it was known that Mr. Kenny was seriously ill, and while the word had been passed along that the chances were one hundred to one against him, nevertheless his friends never lost hope and somehow the feeling prevailed that he would again be at the bank where he has constantly worked for nearly twenty-four years.

Mr. Kenny was born at Geneva, Ohio, February 6, 1844, where he lived and grew to early manhood. At the age of eighteen years – August 1862- he enlisted in Battery “C”, First Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery, which was under command of Captain Geary, but which had been organized October 8, 1861, by Captain Dennis Kenny, a brother of our F. W. Kenny. Mr. Kenny remained with this battery till the close of the war and was mustered out June 15, 1865. This battery was one of those taking part in the Grand Review at Washington May 24, 1856, and during the war it probably saw as much service as any other battery in the Union army.

In 1865 Mr. Kenny removed to Chicago where he remained till 1869 when he moved to Blair and engaged in the hardware business with H. C. Riordan, but later with J. S. Stewart, the firm being known as Kenny & Stewart. In 1887 the Blair State Bank was organized and Mr. Kenny was elected president, which position he held until his death, thought January 1, 1906, the bank was reorganized as the Blair National Bank.

For over twenty-five years, of the forty-one that Mr. Kenny lived in Blair, he was a member of the board of education and served as mayor of the city for one term.

Mr. Kenny was married May 2, 1871, to Miss Aimee J. Taggart, and of the children all are living except the oldest, Clarence, who died at the age of nineteen months. Those living are F. W., Jr., Clara (Mrs. Dr. Howard) of North Bend; John M., Aimee (Mrs. Lyman Peck) of Ft. Calhoun; Sue, Maud and Mary (Mrs. Burtis Smith) of Omaha.

Mr. Kenny was a member of Washington Lodge No. 21 A.F. and A.M.; Adoniram Chapter, R.A.M.; Jordan Commandery, Knights Templar; and of John A. Dix Post No. 52, Department of Nebraska G.A.R. Of this he was Quartermaster for many years, Commander two years, Junior Vice Commander of the State Department one year.

The funeral services were held at the residence Tuesday afternoon at two o’clock and were conducted by the Masonic fraternity.

For forty years Mr. Kenny has been one of Washington county’s most prominent citizens and has always been prominently identified with its growth and development. He was a man of strict integrity and gave the closest personal attention to his business, whether public or private, and the growth and development of the Blair State and National Bank was due much to his personal efforts. He was a man held in high esteem by all who knew him and his influence had been indelibly stamped on the community. He was a kind husband, father and a good citizen.

As a mark of respect the schools were closed during the afternoon and all of the business houses in Blair closed from two to three o’clock - the hour of the funeral.

Pilot 29 March 1911

The recent death of F. W. Kenny, president of the Blair National Bank, left that office vacant and the directors met last Saturday and promoted Mr. C. A. Schmidt, who has been cashier since Mr. Stevens left, to the presidency. As had been rumored Thomas Finnell, formerly with the Arlington State Bank but for the last year connected with the Corn Belt Bank & Trust Co., of Gregory, S. D., was chosen as cashier. Mr. Finnell is a close friend of T. E. Stevens, who was associated with him in the Arlington State Bank, and that explains his selection for the important position of cashier at this time. Mr. Finnell has proven himself a successful business man and his large acquaintance in Washington county especially fits him for the place. He expects to be free up at Gregory by the middle of April and will then move to Blair and make this his future home. Mr. Schmidt is certainly to be congratulated upon his elevation to the important position of president of such an old established institution, and the honor comes as a fitting tribute to his energy, ability and fidelity to the institution. He had filled the position of cashier with credit and had worked in such complete harmony with Mr. Kenny that the business will continue along the same careful and conservative lines that have characterized it in the past. The directors in the bank are T. E. Stevens, A. P. Howes, Chas. Selleck, H. H. Couchman and C. A. Schmidt.

Note: He is buried in Block: 26 Lot: 10 Grave: 10 in the Blair Cemetery. Find a Grave # 115890802

~~~ Obituary courtesy of the Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings on file in the Blair Public Library at Blair, Nebraska.~~~

Printed in the Blair Democrat/Courier on 2/23/1911