Col. Nathaniel Kenyon


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Nathaniel Kenyon was one of our first settlers, and our first postmaster after in incorporation of Chatsworth in 1867, and a much respected Civil War veteran.
Nathaniel's father was minister of the Baptist Church in Chatsworth from 1877 to 1879. He was from New York state and married to Julia Pratt, whose parents are claimed to have come over on the "Mayflower".

Nathaniel was their only child. Nathaniel married Abigail Sprague in Granville, IL. She was born in Granville in 1843 and died here in 1879 and is buried in Chatsworth-Charlotte Cemetery. The 1870 census shows Nathaniel, Abigail and daughter, Minnie, age 1 year, in Chatsworth. He then married Ella Eugenie Scofield in 1880 in Chatsworth (see record below) and they had 8 children. The first one, Ransom, was born in Chatsworth in 1881. By 1883 they have moved to Kansas and the second child is born and all others. Nathaniel was a First Sergeant in the 11th Ill. Infantry, Co. K for 3 months in 1861. In 1863 he reenlists for 3 years and is promoted to Lt. Col. By 1876 his is drawing a pension. On one sheet he is listed as Captain and on one as Lt. Col. While a 1st Lt.  he was captured and held prisoner for 8 months at Ft. Donelson and he was wounded in the head at Vicksburg. He was with the march by Gen. Grant at Vicksburg. In the 1870 U.S. census for Chatsworth he is listed as a hardware merchant. Abigail is there and a daughter Minnie who is 1 year old. Nathaniel's biography in "The History of Livingston County, 1878, shows his wife as Abigail Rosa and daughter Minnie, born Dec.7, 1867 (the year of our incorporation). It also says he became postmaster in 1863. Ill. Marriage records show that Minnie Gertrude Kenyon, born in Chatsworth, married a Charles D. Weston in Batavia, IL. in 1886. He was from Michigan. I haven't found any further records on them.  In the 1880 U.S. census for Chatsworth he is listed as postmaster. In the 1878 "History of Livingston County" it says- The post office was established in 1860 and that Charles Brooks is postmaster and that Brooks was succeeded Matthew Hall and he by Kenyon as postmaster. His is also Master? of the A.F. & A.M. Lodge here.

The 1865 U.S. Census shows him in Pleasant Ridge, Livingston County
Pleasant Ridge Township formed from Saunemin Township in April, 1859
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1870 Census shows him in Chatsworth
Wife Abigail and daughter Minnie, age 1.
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1880 Census shows him in Chatsworth
Widowed with one adopted child. 
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Photo by Caroline Hoag/Findagrave
Nathaniel is the only son of Rev.  Archibald and Julia Pratt Kenyon.

Archibald Kenyon was the son of Samuel Rogers Kenyon and Clarissa Harlow Miller. He was married to Juliana Pratt. He also married second wife, Angeline B. Crandall, at Hoosick, New York, 4 June 1857, where she was born. He and is wife Angeline, are seen listed on the 1880 Federal census living in Chatsworth, Livingston, Illinois, where he is listed as a Baptist Minister. He is listed on the 1890 census as living in Hoopeston, Vermillion, Illinois.


This stone is listed as the stone of Rosa Kenyon, but I believe it to be Abigail Rosa Sprague Kenyon.
Photo by Michael D./Findagrave

Hymn written by Rev. Archibald Kenyon and biography of Archibald that gives a possible hint as to where Nathaniel Colver Kenyon got his name.

Rev. Archibald Kenyon was born in Athol, Warren County, NY July 31, 1813. His early school advantages were very limited and he was compelled to make up the lack by personal efforts. In November, 1831 he became interested in the subject of religion and July 8, 1832 he was baptized and united with the Wait's Corner or White Creek Baptist church. In the winter of 1833 he removed his membership to the Hague Baptist church, by which he was licensed to preach March 18. At this time he received much encouragement and advice from Rev. Nathaniel Colver. For awhile he studied at Woodworth Academy, Sandy Hill and then at the Academy at East Bennington April 15, 1835 he was ordained at Adamsville, NY where he was preaching half of the time, alternating with Lakeville. Subsequently he was pastor at South Salem. The year 1838 he spent in evangelistic work in Vermont and elsewhere He then accepted a call to the pastorate of the West Baptist church in Providence, RI. In 1843 he removed to Vernon, Oneida County, NY. After a year he went to Clinton, near Utica, where he remained three years and a half. At Cleveland Ohio he organized an anti -slavery Baptist church. Five  years he spent in preaching on the Reserve. He became connected with the Free Mission movement and edited the Free Mission Visitor. In 1852 he accepted a call to the pastorate of the Tabernacle Baptist church Chicago. In 1857 he organized and became pastor of the Berean Baptist church. From Chicago he removed to Iowa City, Iowa. Subsequently returning to Illinois he had pastorates at New Rutland, Union, Wis., Peoria, Chatsworth, East Lynn and Hooperton, Ill. and Thompsonville ,Wis. Mr Kenyon is the author of a large number of hymns some of which have been set to music by Rev. Robert Lowry  and are found in the "Royal Diadem Pure Gold River of Life Songs of Love",  "Our Glad Hosanna", " Glad Refrain", etc. He has also written many Christian ballads and temperance songs. The following hymn by Mr. Kenyon is from "Our Glad Hosanna". 

From "Our Glad Hosanna"

Jesus, hear me when I pray, 
Keep and help me all the day; 
Save from fear and care and sin, 
Make me pure and strong within. 
Weak I am, and weak must be, 
Lost unless I 'm saved by thee; 
Jesus, now thy grace impart, 
Keep my trembling, wandering heart. 
Power and grace are thine, I know, 
Richest love thou canst bestow; 
Save my soul from Satan's wiles. 
Cheer my pathway with thy smiles. 
Only now a pilgrim, 
I Look for mansions in the sky. 
There to dwell with angels bright, 
Clothed in robes of heavenly light.
Hark! the cry is wafted onward. 
Borne by every breeze and wave. 

Source: Baptist Hymn Writers And Their Hymns by Henry S Burrage D. D. 1888

This is believed to be the daughter of Nathan and Abigail Sprague Kenyon
Info provided by Ruth Harold Crane.
Notice in the 1880 census that a Margaret Crane aged 61 is keeping house for the Kenyon family.
Minnie's Death Certificate
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At Geni.com I found this on Minnie
Minnie Gertrude Weston
May have been adopted - Sprague Project
May have been married twice

Marriage record to Ella Eugenine Schofield

Name Nathaniel C. Kenyon Event Type 
Marriage Event Date 03 Oct 1880 
Event Place Livingston, Illinois, United States 
Event Place (Original) Chatsworth, Livingston, Illinois 
Gender Male Age 43 Marital Status 
Unknown Birth Year (Estimated) 1837 
Birthplace South Salem, New York 
Father's Name Archibald Kenyon 
Mother's Name Juliana Pratt 
Spouse's Name Ella E. Schofield 
Spouse's Age 20 Spouse's 
Marital Status Single 
 Spouse's Birth Year (Estimated) 1860 Spouse's 
Birthplace Brenton 
Spouse's Father's Name Aaron Schofield 
Spouse's Mother's Name Mary Ann Hayes

Ella's Memorial 
Ella was born Aug. 29, 1861 in Brenton Township, Ford County, IL. Her parents moved to Kansas also and are buried there.

NameElla E Scofield
Event TypeCensus
Event Date1880
Event PlaceBrenton, Ford, Illinois, United States
Marital StatusSingle
Race (Original)W
OccupationAt Home
Relationship to Head of HouseholdDaughter
Relationship to Head of Household (Original)Dau
Birth Year (Estimated)1862
BirthplaceIllinois, United States
Father's BirthplaceConnecticut, United States
Mother's BirthplacePennsylvania, United States
Sheet LetterB
Sheet Number269
Person Number4

Marriage Record for Nathaniel and Ella Schofield Kenyon

Name: Nathaniel C. Kenyon
Name Note:
Titles and Terms:
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 03 Oct 1880
Event Place: Livingston, Illinois, United States
Event Place (Original): Chatsworth, Livingston, Illinois
Registration Date:
Gender: Male
Age: 43
Marital Status: Unknown
Previous Wife's Name:
Birth Date:
Birth Year (Estimated): 1837
Birthplace: South Salem, New York
Marriage License Date:
Marriage License Date:
Father's Name: Archibald Kenyon
Father's Titles and Terms:
Father's Birthplace:
Mother's Name: Juliana Pratt
Mother's Titles and Terms:
Mother's Birthplace:
Paternal Grandfather's Name:
Paternal Grandmother's Name:
Maternal Grandfather's Name:
Maternal Grandmother's Name:
Spouse's Name: Ella E. Schofield
Spouse's Titles and Terms:
Spouse's Gender: Female
Spouse's Age: 20
Spouse's Marital Status: Single
Spouse's Previous Husband's Name:
Spouse's Race: W
Spouse's Birth Date:
Spouse's Birth Year (Estimated): 1860
Spouse's Birthplace: Brenton
Spouse's Father's Name: Aaron Schofield
Spouse's Father's Titles and Terms:
Spouse's Mother's Name: Mary Ann Hayes
Spouse's Mother's Titles and Terms:
Spouse's Paternal Grandfather's Name:
Spouse's Paternal Grandmother's Name:
Spouse's Maternal Grandfather's Name:
Spouse's Maternal Grandmother's Name:
Reference ID: Item 3 "alpha-K"
GS Film Number: 001392961
Frame Number:
Digital Folder Number: 005204697
Image Number: 00299

Citing this Record:
"Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1940," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KFL4-SB3 : 4 November 2017), Archibald Kenyon in entry for Nathaniel C. Kenyon and Ella E. Schofield, 03 Oct 1880; citing Livingston, Illinois, United States, county offices, Illinois; FHL microfilm 1,392,961.

The Children of Nathaniel and Ella Schofield Kenyon

1. Ransom Scofield Kenyon-Memorial
Ransom was born in Chatsworth, Nov.29, 1881

2. Maurice Clover Kenyon-Memorial
Maurice Colver Kenyon
Photo by Shirley Barnes/Findagrave

3. Kathleen Kenyon Deming-Memorial
4. Rodney Eugene Kenyon-Memorial
5. Lucille Kenyon Farling-Memorial
6. Junie Kenyon-Memorial
7. Howard Nathaniel-Memorial

Photo by Rebecca Ewing Peterson/Findagrave

Howard is the author of American Kenyons, published 1935. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1921. NAVY CROSS WWII, Iwo Jima Campaign Obituary: Death in Nation, Ponca City, Okla, Jan. 3, Retired Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Howard N. KENYON, 60, who won the Navy Cross during World War II, died Wednesday. Kenyon, who retired about five years ago, was decorated for his part in the Iwo Jima campaign. Obituary: The Washington Post, KENYON, Howard N., Brig. Gen. (USMC retired). On Wednesday, Jan 1, 1948 at his home, rural Rte no. 2, Ponca City, Okla, husband of Elizabeth deSaussure Kenyon, father of Margarette, Elizabeth, Ella, Lucille, (Nath.) Colver and Howard Kenyon.

8. Freeda Kenyon Hunt-Memorial


Civil War Records

Nathaniel C. Kenyon

United States Civil War Soldiers Index
NameNathaniel C. Kenyon
Event TypeMilitary Service
Military Beginning RankFirst Sergeant
Military Final RankFirst Sergeant
Military SideUnion
State or Military TermIllinois
Military Unit11th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (3 months, 1861)
Military CompanyK
NoteSee also 11 Ill. Inf. 3 years
Affiliate Film Number48

Nathaniel C. Kenyon

United States Civil War Soldiers Index
NameNathaniel C. Kenyon
Event TypeMilitary Service
Military Beginning RankFirst Lieutenant
Military Final RankLieutenant Colonel
Military SideUnion
State or Military TermIllinois
Military Unit11th Regiment, Illinois Infantry
Military CompanyK
Military Company NoteF&S
NoteSee also 11 Ill. Inf. (3 Mos.)
Affiliate Film Number48

Nathaniel C. Kenyon

United States Civil War and Later Pension Index
NameNathaniel C. Kenyon
Event TypePension
Event Date11 May 1876
Event PlaceIllinois, United States
Military Regiment11
Military UnitInfantry
Military RankCapt.
Shipping CompanyK
File Name130669

Nathaniel C. Kenyon

United States Civil War and Later Pension Index
NameNathaniel C. Kenyon
Event TypePension
Event Date11 May 1876
Event PlaceIllinois, United States
Military Regiment11
Military UnitInfantry
Military RankLt. Col.
Shipping CompanyField & Staff
File Name130669


Pension Papers for Nathaniel C. Kenyon

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Biography from the History of Livingston County-1878

COL. NATHANIEL C. KENYON,Post- master, Chatsworth; was born in Washington Co., N. Y., Feb. 21, 1838, and is the son of Rev. Archibald and Juliana ( Pratt) Kenyon ; in the Fall of 1852, with his parents, came to Illinois and settled in Chicago, thence to Carroll Co. on a farm ; here he remained until 1858, then to Putnam and Marshall Cos. At the breaking- out of the late rebellion, he enlisted as private in Co. K, llth I. V. I., April 30, 1861, for three months; during the three months, the llth was stationed at Villa Ridge, Ill., and Bird's Point. Mo., doing garrison duty ; on the 30th of July, he re-enlisted for three years as First Lieutenant in Co. K, llth I. V. I.; the regiment remaining at Bird's Point, making frequent expeditions into various parts of the State till Feb. 2, 1862, then to Fort Henry, in the capture of which they participated, then to Fort Donelson, where they arrived Feb. 12, and the 13th began the attack ; during the 13th and 14th, they were under fire continually, and on the 15th the enemy endeavored to cut their way through the llth's line and escape; here they held them in check for three hours, with great slaughter on both sides ; the loss to the regiment was one Captain, one First Lieutenant, seventy-two men killed, and two hundred and sixty-six wounded and missing, of whom some sixty were made prisoners by the enemy ; here Col. Kenyon was taken prisoner, and remained as prisoner of war for eight months, then paroled ; he returned and joined his regiment, and participated in the memorable inarch of Gen. Grant to the rear of Vicksburg, where the regiment entered on the 4th of July ; at this battle he received a very severe scalp wound, which detained him from duty for thirty days; participated in the battles of Liverpool Heights, Yazoo City,Jackson, Mobile, Spanish Fort, Fort Blakesly ; llth day of July, 1865, the regiment was mustered out at Baton Rouge, La., thence to Springfield, where it was paid off and finally discharged ; Col. Kenyon was promoted Captain of Co. K, 1862 ; in 1864, promoted Lieutenant Colonel, which office he held at the close of the war ; the llth I. V. I. lost 425 men, the highest death total of any organization which went from Illinois ; Col. Kenyon at the close of the war returned to Illinois and settled in Chatsworth ; in 1868, was appointed Postmaster of Chatsworth, which office he has in a very creditable and efficient manner filled ever since. Married, in 1863, to Miss A. R. Sprague. of Illinois ; one child - Minnie, born Dec. 7, 1867.

Read some info on the "The Nineteeth Century City" blog concerning entries in Col. Kenyon's diary that he kept while a POW in Tennessee


This is an interesting story from the Chatsworth Plaindealer that appeared after his move to Kansas

Colonel N.C. Kenyon Murdered 
June 29, 1888 
The extracts made below from today's Chicago Hearald and today's Peoria Transcriptrefer to Col. N.C. Kenyon, a former resident and postmaster of this place and a gentleman well known and highly esteemed by all old citizens. We await further information with anxiety, as the Colonel was a gentleman whom we highly esteemed as a friend and fellow citizen. All old acquaintances will deeply deplore the loss of so good a man at the hands of a lawless assassin, and while sympathizing with the bereaved relatives, will hope with us that the lawless murderers may receive their just dues, and that speedily, which is nothing short of the hangman's active services. 
Geuda Springs, Kan. July 5 -- Mayor Kenyon and Justice of the Peace Furey attempted yesterday to suppress a whisky stand which Jim Cherry, Ike David, and one Simmons, negroes, from Arkansas City, had established in a cornfield here. Cherry shot the Mayor through the breast, inflicting a fatal wound, and Furey through the leg. Two of the negroes swam the Arkansas River. A posse has been organized and is now searching for them in Indian Territory.-- Chicago Hearld 
Arkansas City, Kan. July 5 -- Geuda Springs, the summer resort of Southern Kansas, eight miles west of here, was celebrating the Fourth. Several parties from here went over, taking with them beer and whisky for sale. The marshal, mayor and deputies went to the building where they were selling and attempted to arrest the violators, but were met with revolvers. N.C. Kenyon, mayor, was shot dead and C.J. Furry, justice of the peace, was badly wounded. The violators and murderers made their escape, but word was telegraphed here and an armed posse went out in hot pursuit. It is not generally known who did the shooting, but it is generally believed on Sill (sic) Lincoln, a cowboy, killed Kenyon. The pursuing party came in today with Jim Cherry, Ike David and two colored men. David and Cherry are whisky men from this place, and Geuda telephones they are the two who did the shooting. They are under heavy guard, but the streets are a solid mass of people, who express themselves as being determined to rid this town and Geuda of these lawless "joint" men. All are expecting an armed posse from Geuda Springs before morning, and should they arrive, the general belief is that the prisoners will stretch hemp. -- Peoria Transcript. 
On August 10, this letter appeared in the Chatsworth Plaindealer from Mrs. Kenyon. 
Geuda Springs, Kan., Aug.7,'88 Mr. Smith -- Dear Sir, -- The friends of Mr. Kenyon will doubtless be pleased to learn that he is recovering from his terrible wound. Our physician tells us he is virtually out of danger, and we think within a few weeks he will be able to get out into the fresh air and sunshine. Judge Furry died from the effects of his wound Aug.4. Thanking you again for your kindly interest. Yours truly E. Kenyon

Headstones for Nathaniel C. Kenyon
Geuda Springs Cemetery
Geuda Springs, Kansas

Headstone photos by Judy Mayfield/Findagrave.om

Recent find at Legacy.com : I do not know if this person is related to our Nathaniel C. Kenyon

NATHANIEL C. KENYON (Age 87) Colonel U.S. Army (Retired) January 23,1930 ~ July 16, 2017 
Of Annapolis, MD, died at home with his wife of 57 years, Inger, and daughter,Camilla by his side. He was born in Charleston, SC, to Gen. Howard N. Kenyon, USMC and Elizabeth (DeSaussure) Kenyon. He was the oldest of six children and spent his childhood traveling where his father's career dictated, including Panama and Washington, DC. He received his BA from George Washington University in 1951 followed by his LLB from Georgetown Law School in 1953, LLM from Harvard Law School in 1954, MALD from Tufts University of Law and Diplomacy in 1960, and MS from the Command & General Staff College in 1968. He married Inger Nielsen from Horsholm, Denmark in Cambridge MA on January 29, 1960. They met in Seoul, Korea while he was stationed there with the 1st Cavalry Division and she was working as a nurse in the National Medical Center. He was a career JAG Army officer who specialized in international law. His early work took him to Seoul, Korea, Heidelberg, Germany, Orleans, France, and the Pentagon. He taught at the Army War College in Carlisle PA from 1972 -1975. He was then transferred to EUCOM in Stuttgart, Germany where he was head of Legal Affairs for the European Command from 1975-1980 and the legal advisor to General Alexander Haig, the commander of NATO at the time. In 1984 he retired from the Pentagon as Chief of International Affairs and began many years of sailing on the Chesapeake Bay with his wife and first mate, Inger. He was an avid gardener, bibliophile, classical music connoisseur, and was always reading several books at once. He eagerly shared his love of literature, poetry, plants and music with his wife and daughter and grandchildren. After retirement, he relinquished membership in several organizations except his membership in the Society of the Cincinnati. He is survived by his wife Inger; daughter Camilla Schwarz (Jay) and grandchildren Natalie (John) Jack, Elizabeth Ross and Maren Schwarz. Arrangements are private.
Published in The Washington Post on July 30, 2017