KENNEY, THOMAS J. - The city of Springfield can number with its best class of citizens those men who have chosen it as a permanent home after retiring from an active business life, investigating in property there and taking a deep and intelligent interest in all that concerns its progress and development. It is not unusual to find among these substantial, retired citizens natives of Ireland, for that country has contributed generously to America. Among those indicated is Thomas J. Kenney, who has lived at Springfield since 1868. He was born in County Galway, Ireland, December 6, 1845, a son of Timothy and Ella (Broderick) Kenney.
Timothy Kenney was born in 1806, in County Galway, and died there in 1881. He married Ella Broderick, who was born in 1815, in the same place, and survived her husband. They never came to America, the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean and forming new ties in a strange country seeming too great an undertaking for them. To them were born nine children, seven of whom still survive, namely: Thomas J.; Michael, residing in Pittsburg, Pa.; Patrick, a resident of St. Louis, Mo.; John, living at Springfield; timothy, making his home at Pittsburg; Julia, wife of Michael Connors, living in Ireland, and Anna, wife of Joseph Shaughnessey, living in New Zealand.
Thomas J. Kenney attended school in Ireland and worked for his father on the home farm. In 1863 he came to the United States and settled first in New Jersey, from there went to Pittsburg, and later to Grafton, W. Va., in 1868 coming from there to Springfield, Ill. He acquired his independent means as a miner, gradually working his way up from the bottom until he became mine manager, and when he retired, in April, 1910, he was serving in the important and responsible position of manager of the Capitol Coal Mine.
On July 11, 1868, Mr. Kenney was married at Springfield, in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, by Rev. Father Sullivan, to Miss Mary McGrevey, who was born in County Mayo, Ire., June 16, 1851, a daughter of Patrick and Bridget (McDonald) McGrevey. The father of Mrs. Kenney was born in Ireland in 1819, and died May 2, 1909, at Springfield, in which city he had settled in 1867. His wife was born also in County Mayo, in 1806, and died at Springfield in 1891. Mrs. Kenney was the eldest born of their three children, the others being: Bridget, who is the wife of James Redmond, a retired farmer living at Springfield; Annie, who is the wife of James Berry, also of Springfield. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Kenney, four of whom survive, as follows: Nellie E., who was born December 23, 1873, lives at home; Mary, who was born June 5, 1876, is the wife of John Gafney, and they live at Toledo, Ohio; Julia, who was born January 19, 1878, is the wife of William Dray, and they live at Chicago; and John J., who was born December 23, 1882, is married and lives at Springfield.
Mr. Kenney and family are members of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, at Springfield. In politics he is a Democrat. He is a member of the organization known as Loyal Americans, while Mrs. Kenney belongs to the Pioneers of America. They have a wide circle of friends.