Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901

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James McKennan

JAMES McKENNAN, a prosperous farmer of Howard township, Labette county, Kansas, lives in section 24, township 34, range 17. He was born in Herkimer county, New York, April 30, 1837, and is a son of Ezekiel and Sophia (Warner) McKennan.

Ezekiel McKennan was of Scotch-Irish descent. He came to America when eighteen years of age, and located in New York State, where he engaged in farming. He became quite an extensive land owner, and at the time of his death left considerable valuable real estate. In religious belief he was at first a Presbyterian and later a Congregationalist. He and his wife became parents of 11 children, as follows: Rachel; Hugh; Oliver; Sophia; Sarah; James; George; Jennie; Mary; and two who died in infancy. Mr. McKennan remained in his native state until November 15, 1869, when he decided to go west. After making a visit to friends in Michigan and Iowa, he started for Kansas. Arriving at Kansas City, be purchased a mule-team and proceeded to Montgomery county, Kansas, whence he went to Parker, Linn county, March 2, 1870. There he remained a short time when he moved to Labette county, and purchased his present farm June 8, 1872. Upon this but few improvements had been made. A claim house had been built, and about 20 acres of land had been broken. Mr. MeKennan has made many improvements, and now has one of the finest farms in the township. About 50 acres are under a high state of cultivation, and the remainder is used for grazing purposes. In 1882 he built a cottage of seven rooms, which adds greatly to the appearance of the property.

Mr. McKennan was united in matrimony, March 24, 1873, with Mae Kempton, who was born in Orleans county, New York, February 12, 1854, and is a daughter of Chauncy and Marion D. (Billings) Kempton. They had two children: Edith, born in July, 1875, who died at the age of four months, and Bret, now a lad of sixteen years. Politically, Mr. McKennan is a stanch Republican, but does not aspire to office. Mrs. McKennan is a member of the Congregational church. A portrait of Mr. McKennan is shown on a foregoing page.