McKENNEY - Claudius Townsend McKENNEY, son of Michael I. McKENNEY, who was of
Scotch descent and was born in Cayuga County, N.Y., March 13, 1808, and was the son of
Thomas McKENNEY, who followed farming for a living in New York. When a boy in 1818, the
family removed to Ohio and later to Indiana, and from there to Cass County, Michigan, where he
lived until 1851. In his early life he (Michael) was crippled by having a knife stuck into his spine,
which happened in this way: He shot a deer, when his companion undertook to cut its throat,
while he held the animal, which, in its struggle for life, struck his arm, causing the knife to glance
and strike our subject's father, inflicting a wound which crippled him for life. In his early life he
followed shoemaking, and later followed farming, but was unable to do heavy manual labor. In
November, 1851, he came from Michigan to Harrison County, Iowa, and settled on the site of the
present home of J. D. McKENNEY, where he took a claim of five hundred acres, about forty
acres of which had been plowed. There was a double log house upon this place in which they lived
until the death of the father, July 18, 1858. The mother still (1891) lives and makes her home with
her daughter, Mrs. A. E. PARKER, of Jefferson Township.
When our subject came to Harrison County, he was but five years of age, hence his history is
identical with that of the county, and great has been the change since he can recollect. Here he has received his education, and while he was never hungry, yet he knows something of the days when cornbread was the chief article of diet. He remained at the old homestead with his mother until twenty-one years of age, having worked out prior to that time, however, by the month. After he became of age he farmed part of the old place, and a few years later purchased the interest of the other heirs on two hundred acres of land, and to this he has added until he has three hundred and ten acres, of which eighty acres is plow land and eighty acres is timber, the balance in pasture and meadow land.
Our subject was born in Cass County, Michigan, August 23, 1846. He is the son of Michael and Anna Eliza (TOWNSEND) McKENNEY, and is the seventh child of a family of eight children. He was married December 19, 1875, to Alice CULTON, a native of Illinois, born December 12, 1858, and the second child of Thomas and Jane CULTON, who had a family of seven children. They moved to Harrison County, in February, 1871, and settled in Jefferson Township, and later moved to Logan, but are now living in Nebraska.
Our subject and his wife have been blessed with four children -- George T., Jessie R., Michael Ira, Claude T., all at home.
Politically our subject is Republican, and owing to the uprightness of his character, stands high in the community in which he lives.
Concerning the ancestry of this family it may be said that John McKINNEY, the father of
Thomas McKINNEY, came from Edinburgh, Scotland, with a brother named Amos. His wife was Lydia (SHERWOOD) McKENNEY. Thomas McKENNEY's wife was Dorcas (INMAN)
McKENNEY. Thomas was born January 3, 1781, and died June 12, 1852. Dorcas, his wife, was born February 24, 1779, and died June 4, 1845. Thomas and his family removed from New York State to Ohio in 1817, and to Indiana two years later. In 1828 he went to Michigan and built the first house on what is called McKenney's Prairie, LaGrange Township. There was a family of three sons and five daughters. Michael, the eldest son, and our subject's father, married Anna Eliza TOWNSEND, November 1, 1832, who was born in Canada, July 6, 1814. She and her mother were the first white women to set foot in LaGrange Township, Cass County, Michigan. Her father built the first house there in 1828. Michael, with his six children, and his father, Thomas McKENNEY, started for Iowa, October 7, 1851, and arrived at Kanesville (Council Bluffs), November 3. They rented a log cabin at $4 a month. The 19th of November they removed to Harris Grove, Harrison County, the site of the present homestead of James D. McKENNEY.
Source: 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa.