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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



EZRA W. KENYON, of Mt. Hope Township, is an honored pioneer of the Prairie State, of which he has been a resident since he was a little boy four years old. He was born in Plainfield, Windham Co., Conn., on the 21st of January, 1836, and is the second son of Ezra T. and Susan (Kathbone) Kenyon; a sketch of his parents may be found in the biography of Dennis Kenyon, in another part of this volume.

The subject of this biography received his early education in the subscription school, and later attended the free schools after their establishment in this locality. He commenced the duties of life at an early age by assisting his parents on the farm, and made his home with them until after his marriage. He then settled on a farm in what was known as New Kentucky, and is located on section 20 of Mt. Hope Township. It was wild prairie land when he first came into possession of it, and he set himself industriously to work, breaking the sod, cultivating the soil and erecting the necessary farm buildings. He occupied this until 1865, and then removed to his present homestead. This last was also uncultivated, and he went through the same processes which he had employed on his first purchase. It consisted originally of eighty acres. He persevered in his operations until it is now finely improved and under a good state of cultivation. A view of the place is shown on another page.

The landed possessions of Mr. Kenyon now aggregate 860 acres of land, furnished with suitable farm buildings. The family residence is commodious and convenient, the out-buildings are in excellent order for the storing of grain and the shelter of stock, and his valuable farm machinery is modeled after the most approved plan. In short, all the appliances of the homestead give indication of the direction of an intelligent mind and wise judgment, and the farm, with its appliances, is one of the most attractive spots in the landscape of McLean County.

Mr. Kenyon was married on the 25th of March, 1858, to Miss Margaret A. Leonard, a native of Susquehanna County, Pa., who was born on the 19th of May, 1837. Mrs. Kenyon is the daughter of Phillip and Eliza (Prescott) Leonard. The household of Mr. and Mrs. K. includes three children Sarah E., Emma L. and Arthur T., and all, with the exception of the son, are connected by membership with the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Kenyon is Republican in politics, well informed, and takes an interest in all matters of general importance. He has been intimately connected with the business and industrial interests of this section, and has contributed his full quota toward the building up of his adopted town and county.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 597. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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