Nino Roderick Dhu Kenyon
Nino inherited the land owned by his father Fred P. Kenyon at Argo-Fay in York Twp, Carroll Co, IL. He farmed the land until his retirement, when he sold the land, and he and Bessie moved into the house next to Spencer's Store to live with their
son. The house had been left by Fred P. to Nino's son Harold "Rusty" Kenyon. He enjoyed his retirement, and after the death of his wife Bessie, told his children that he was going to spend their inheritence. His only regret, he said, was that
their mother could not be there to help him do it. He tried his best to do this by traveling to California several times for the winter months to visit his wife's sister Hazel and her husband David Jones, and going to Chicago on the train as
often as possible to see the Cubs play baseball.
Nino and his wife "Bessie" were 3rd cousins; both descendants of Capt. James Sharp. Nino through his Mother Mary Rebecca Gill, and "Bessie" through her Mother Agnes (Shields) Boyd.
EXTRACT FROM OBITUARY:
Nino R. Kenyon, 69, lifelong resident of the Argo Fa community died at 1:30 a.m. Friday April 24 in the Morrison Community hospital after a six week illness.
Funeral services were conducted a 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the Argo Methodist church, with burial in Upper York cemetery at Argo Fa. The Rev. Albert V. Ihne pastor officiating. Music was provided by E. J. Houzenga, James Zimmerman and Mrs George
Mr Kenyon was born Sept 12, 1883 near Argo Fa, son of Frederick and Mary Gill Kenyon and recieved his education in the community. On January 24, 1906 he was married at Argo Fa to Mary Elizabeth Boyd and they engaged in farming there until
retiring a few years ago. To them were born four daughters and two sons, one of whom died in infancy. Mrs Kenyon passed away in 1943.
Surviving are the four daughters Mrs Clyde (Hallie) Groharing, Morrison; Mrs Blaine (Hazel) Leavens and Mrs Arnold (Helen) Schiefer, both Oak Park, Mrs Ray (Janet) Morgan of Fulton, and one son Harold at home; six grandchildren, and one brother
Lloyd Kenyon of Mt. Carroll.
Mary Elizabeth "Bessie" Boyd
Mary Elizabeth (Bessie) Boyd always knew when she was growing up in Butlerville, Indiana, that some day she would be a school teacher. She was a good scholar, intent on getting the best education available to her. After graduating from the three
year high school, she learned that a fourth year would be added, and returned for another term. One of her very close friends, and classmates was Hannah Milhaus, whose son Richard Milhaus Nixon would become President of the United States. Family
legend indicates that after high school she may have attended the State Teacher's College at Terre Haute, and received a teacher's certificate. The college's records do not support this. The college would eventually become Indiana State
University. She apparently attended there sometime between1897 and 1899.
Bessie somehow heard of a teaching opportunity in Carroll Co. Illinois; probably through her "Aunt Mollie", Mary Bell (Shields) Bailey. Aunt Mollie was now back in Indiana after having made the trip to Illinois where she met and married Alban J.
Bailey. It could also be that Bessie was drawn to Illinois by Mary Elizabeth (Sharp) Gill, or even her eventual mother-in-law, Mary Rebecca "Mollie" (Gill) Kenyon. The Sharps, some of whom had gone from Pennsylvannia to northwestern Illinois,
and some to southern Indiana, most certainly played a role in this conncection. In the summer of 1900 she and her friend Bertha King set off from North Vernon, Indiana, for Mt Carroll, Illinois. Both of them would seem to have been brave, (if
not daring), well educated women for their time.
Bessie taught the first year at the Bluff School in York Twp, boarding with the Straugh family. She then obtained the teaching position at the Argo-Fa school, and boarded, along with Bertha King, at the Frederick P. Kenyon home. Frederick's
wife, Mary Rebecca (Gill), was of course related to Bessie through the Sharp line. (See Sharp Family). It was then that she met Nino, her future husband. He is recorded as a pupil in her school during the 1901/02 school year. He was 18 and she
21 at the time. She taught for several years in Argo-Fa, returning home to Indiana to spend vacation time. Bertha, however, returned to Indiana after a year or two, married a medical missionary, and left for the Phillipines.
In 1906 Bessie married Nino Roderick Dhu Kenyon. They lived the rest of their life in Argo-Fa. During their early married years, they and their young family lived with Nino's parents on the Kenyon Homestead. Later, a modern house was built
for Frederick and his wife, in which Bessie and Nino later lived during their retirement. Though she retired from school teaching upon her marriage, she was active as a Sunday school teacher all her life.
EXTRACT FROM OBITUARY:
"Mrs Nino Kenyon of Argo Fa died early Tuesday morning November 9 in Jane Lamb hospital, Clinton, (IA) where she had been taken the previous evening after a short illness in her home. Her sudden death is a great shock to her family and friends.
Mrs Kenyon and her husband had recently returned from a two month stay with her sister Mrs David Jones and her husband in Los Molinas, Calif, where they had assisted in the harvesting of a large crop of prunes on the Jones ranch and she was
apparently in her usual health.
Funeral service was held on Thursday at 1:30 in the home, and at 2 in the Methodist Church in Argo Fa with the Rev. James Foard officiating with burial in the cemetery there (Upper York). -------
Mary Elizabeth "Bessie" Boyd, daughter of Wm. and Agnes Boyd was born December 27, 1880, near Butlerville, Ind. and passed away in the Jane Lamb Hospital Clinton, Iowa November 9, 1943, and the age of 62 years 10 months 12 days. She received her
education in rural school near Butlerville, later graduating from Butlerville high school. After teaching school near her home she came to Illinois where she taught in the rural schools in York township untilshe was married to Nino Kenyon on
January 24, 1906, who was engaged in farming on the Kenyon homestead.
Here they continued to reside until three years ago when they retired from farming and moved to their present home in Argo Fa.
To this union 6 children were born: Hallie (Mrs Clyde Groharing), Morrison; Hazel (Mrs Blaine Leavens), Oak Park; Helen Marshall at home; Janet (Mrs Ray Morgan), Argo Fa and Harold with the armed forces in Hawaii. One son passed a way in
infancy. Surviving are her husband, five children, 3 grandchildren: Richard Groharing, Pamela Leavens, and Sandra Morgan. One sister Mrs David Jones, Los Molinos, Calif and a brother Will of Oklahoma and a number of nieces and nephews.
Preceeding her in death were the infant son, her parents and 4 brothers.
She was a loyal member of the Argo Fa Methodist church and took an active part in the Sunday School having served as junior supt. for a number of years. She was a member of the Royal Neighbors of America and an active member of the Argo Fa Home
Economics club and a member of the Thomson library board. For many years she was a newspaper correspondent for several papers.
Bessie was loved and respected by all who knew her. She was a wonderful mother, neighbor and friend and will be greatly missed by her family and entire community."
Harold Boyd "Rusty" Kenyon
Rusty served in the 33rd Infantry as an army medic in the South Pacific during WW II. His experiences in combat, though seldom discussed, were a psychological burden that he bore with difficulty the rest of his life. The effects of the malaria
and yellow jaundice that he contracted during his service in the tropics caused him to lose his eyesight in his later years. Though it was difficult for him to establish friendships, those that he did were cherished. He was a true outdoorsman,
and was an excellent hunter, trapper, and fisherman. Dale Gardner, a young man who had worked for him during the time he was in charge of the drainage district between Thomson and Savanna, became an astronaut. On a picture that he sent to
Rusty after his first trip into space, he inscribed; "It's been a long road from fixing pumps, to fixing satelites." Commander Gardner's was but one life that he gently touched, yet left an impression.
Rusty never married.