Contributed by Charlene Holland
J.A. KENNONJ. A. Kennon was born in Tennessee June 12, 1855, to James H. and Martha A. (Standefer) Kennon, both of whom were also born in that State, the former September 13, 1835, and the latter January 12, 1835, their marriage being celebrated there on August 31, 1854. To them four children have been born: John A., Nancy E. (born February 3, 1857, wife of L. L. Standefer), Sarah J. (born December 20, 1858, wife of A. P. Ewton), and James H. (born October 2, 1862). James H. Kennon was a farmer during the greater part of his life, but at the opening of the Rebellion was engaged in blacksmithing, a calling he continued for about one year, after which he entered the Confederate service as a private in the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment in Bragg's army, and was killed at the battle of Chickamauga, a member of the Baptist Church. His widow resides with her daughter, Mrs. A. P. Ewton. At the age of eighteen years J. A. Kennon started out to make his own way in the world, and has made farming his chief occupation. In 1876 he removed from Tennessee to Alabama, where he remained four years, then came to Scott County, Ark., in 1880, and homesteaded 160 acres of land, afterward purchasing 40 acres adjoining on the east, and of this farm he has cleared about 50 acres, and put the same in a good agricultural condition. On this land corn averages thirty bushels to the acre, cotton one-half bale, and wheat and oats are also raised. His buildings and fences are all good; he has an excellent young orchard of four acres. He was married on August 5, 1875, to Miss Sarah J. Smith, who was born in Tennessee November 9, 1858, a daughter of John and Ann E. (Williams) Smith, but he was called upon to mourn her death March 3, 1884, she leaving him with three sons and one daughter to care for: Alpha S. (born April 25, 1876), Oliver A. (born October 25, 1877, died two days after birth), Cora Ann (born October 18, 1879), Delta Lee (born October 2, 1881), and James M. (born January 28,1884). On December 25, 1884, Mr. Kennon married Miss Mary V. Ritter, who was born in Mississippi on August 30, 1855, a daughter of Benjamin F. and Nancy C. (Joiner) Ritter, to which union four children have been born: Beta E. (born November 14, 1885), Hattie L. (born January 17, 1887), Martha G. (born December 24, 1888), and Ninnie M. (born January 28, 1890). From 1886 to 1888 Mr. Kennon served as constable of his township, and is a member of Big Coon Lodge No. 75, of the I.O.O.F., having joined this order in 1878. He and his wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church. Mr. Kennon's grandfather, Standefer, was a son of James and Martha (Standefer) Standefer, and a member of Congress from East Tennessee for about sixteen years. He was on his way to Congress when he died suddenly at the table, supposed to have been poisoned by a Negro woman. His grandfather, Kennon, was a native of Virginia.
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