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Edward Benninghaus Kenna

West Virginia

"Edward Benninghaus Kenna was born in Charleston, W.Va. Oct. 10, 1877, a son of Senator John E. Kenna and Anna Benninghaus Kenna. He was educated at St. Mary's College, Maryland, and at Georgetown University, D.C. afterwards taking a law course at West Virginia University. Before entering the University he taught English and Elocution at the Horner Military School of Oxford, N.C. He did his first literary work for the New York Sun, the New York Herald, the Century, and Donahue's magazine. He was always more interested in out-door sports and after leaving college joined the ranks of professional athletes. Mr. Kenna died in 1912."

[Mary Meek Atkeson, West Virginia Writers 1669-1913 (M.A. Thesis, West Virginia University, 1914)] [This biographical sketch also appears in "Edward Benninghaus Kenna," in Ella May Turner, Stories and Verse of West Virginia 293-300 (Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Mennonite Publishing House, 1925)(1923) along with six of Kenna's poems.]

Kenna's middle name, Benninghaus, is the maiden name, of his father's second wife, Anna Benninghaus, of Wheeling. John E. Kenna married Benninghaus on November 21, 1876.

John Edward Kenna
John Edward Kenna, Edward's father, was born in Valcoulon, West Virginia in 1848 and grew up on a farm. He served in the Confederate army as a private, was wounded in 1864. After the war he attended St. Vincent's College at Wheeling, West Virginia and studied law at Charleston. He was admitted to the bar on June 20, 1870. He served as prosecuting attorney for Kanawha county from 1872 until 1877, and in 1875 was elected by the bar to hold circuit courts in Lincoln and Wayne counties.

John Edward Kenna was elected to Congress in 1877 and to the U.S. Senate in 1883. [John Edward Kenna Biographical Sketch]


Edward B. Kenna, Lyrics of the Hills (Morgantown, West Virginia: Acme Pubishing Company, 1902)

______________, Songs of the Open Air and Other Poems (Charleston, West Virginia: Tribune Printing Co., 1912)

Research Resources

"John Edward Kenna," in Men of West Virginia 411-415 (Chicago: Biographical Pubishing Co., 1903)(vol.2)

"John Edward Kenna," in Henry W. Scoll, Distinguished American Lawyers with Their Struggles and Triumphs in the Forum 495-510 (New York: Charles L. Webster, 1891)