Charity Alice McKenney

As I’m going to be posting an 1883 diary of Charity Alice McKenney, I thought it might be a good idea to first do a post giving a bit of background on her.

Charity, the fifth of six known children, was born 1856 October 31 in Lake Minnetonka, Hennepin, Minnesota to Robert Eugene McKenney and Mary Bartow, and died 1922 October 5 at Grants Pass, Josephine, Oregon. This family is related to our McKenneys, probably cousins, and appear to have been close, at least until the Robert Eugene family moved from Iowa to Minnesota. I’ll post more on this elsewhere and for now will stick with what we know about Charity.

About 1876, at Wayzata in Hennepin, Charity married Albert Reynolds who had likely been born–though listed in 1880 as from Virginia–in Indiana about 1848. She was 20 and he was about 28. Their first child, Nellie, was born April 22, 1877. A second child, Edith, was born in February of 1880 but died in July of 1881. The 1910 census gives her as having had only these two children.

Below is the earliest photo we have of Charity, a young woman dressed in all her finery, heavy beads about her neck, her hair styled in what she would probably have described as “tony”, a word that she uses a number of times in her 1883 diary when describing what she counts as being elegant.

Charity Alice McKenney, touched up

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Original.


Original image courtesy of Allan McKenney.

The first census we have of Charity and Al Reynolds show them living with her brother John. The birth information for Al, Alice and John is erroneous.

1880 MN HENNEPIN MEDINA
p. 103B
Al REYNOLDS 32 b. VA parents b. VA
Alice 24 b. IN parents b. IN
Nellie 3 b. MN parents b. VA and IN
Edith 4 months b. MN parents b. VA and IN
John MCKINNEY brother in law 27 b. IN laborer parents b. IN

Charity’s mother had died in 1879, the same year that a nephew, Samuel, was born in Louisiana to Charity’s brother, Samuel Bartow McKenney, and his wife, Antoinette Lagroue. Samuel Bartow McKenney was murdered in 1881 and that nephew was apparently sent from Louisiana to live in Minnesota with Charity and Al. He accompanied the family on the 1883 trip to Oregon.

It’s unknown when Charity’s marriage to Al ended. In 1898 August 19, in Lincoln Co. Oregon, she married Calvin John “Cal” Barnes, who had born in 1853 in Maine and had been previously married.

John Calvin Barnes was also from Minnesota. He was living in 1860 in Excelsior, Hennepin, Minnesota (Charity’s family was living there in 1862, or at least her father was), then in 1870 in Medina, Hennepin, Minnesota, where Charity was living in 1880. About 1876 he married his first wife, Jennie Tulloch (Tullochs are mentioned in Charity’s diary). I don’t know if they were in Oregon by 1883, but Shepard and Olive Barnes, parents of John Calvin, were in Oregon and, upon arrival in Oregon, Al and Charity McKenney Reynolds went to their place. As yet, I’ve been unable to locate the family of John Calvin Barnes in 1880 but I do find in 1900 in Beaverton, Washington, Oregon, that Edna, a daughter of John Calvin Barnes and Jennie, is living in the household of her uncle James W. Barnes and she is observed as having been born in Minnesota in 1882. In 1880, in Medina, the family of Allan Reynolds, father of Al Reynolds, living beside Mellen Barnes, a brother of John Calvin Barnes. Looking into it a little further, I find Martha Kirk Reynolds, a sibling of Al, had married Aldridge Barnes, a sibling of John Calvin and are living a little further down on this same 1880 Medina census page.

Many of the members of these Barnes and Reynolds families appear to have moved to Oregon and settled in the same area as Al, Charity and John Calvin.

Jennie Tulloch Barnes is given on a Rootsweb page as having died in 1925 and if this is correct then that first marriage for John had ended in divorce.

Cal Barnes and Charity Alice (McKenney Reynolds) Barnes
Calvin Barnes and Charity Alice McKenney Reynolds Barnes, circa 1905, Oregon. Image courtesy of Allan McKenney.

mckenney_barnes_calvin_charity

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In 1900 Cal and Charity were in Alsea, Lincoln, Oregon. Her first husband, Al Reynolds, was also still there, boarding in the household of William Wakefield, about nine households from Charity and Al’s daughter who had just married to Oscar Peterson, whose heritage was Swedish. Nona (Nellie) and Oscar Peterson had a servant, Gertrude Epperson, so they must have been doing fairly well for themselves to afford such a luxury. Next door to the Wakefield household is a Josiah C. Reynolds, born in Indiana. That year Al Reynolds is also given as born in Indiana. I have seen a mention on a genealogy board that they were indeed brothers.

By 1910, Cal and Charity were in Beaver, Lincoln, Oregon, Al Reynolds remaining in Alsea, listed in a boarding house as a carpenter. Then in 1920 Cal and Charity were in Grants Pass, Josephine, Oregon. Al had died April 1918 in Toledo, Lincoln, Oregon.

1900, Alsea, Lincoln, Oregon
BARNES Eldridge S. March 1845 55 married 15 years b. Maine parents b. Maine
Martha K. wife April 1844 56 married 33 years 2 of 5 children surviving b. OH father b. PA mother b. NJ
BURGLAND Atlanta daughter July 1870 29 married 6 years b. Minnesota father b. Maine mother b. OH
WILIE ? Bessie niece Sept 1855 12 b. Minnesota father b. IL mother b. Minnesota
BARNES John C. April 1853 47 married twice b. Maine parents b. Maine
Alice C. wife 1856 43 married twice 1 of 1 children surviving b. Minnesota parents b. OH
MCKINNEY Alvin nephew Nov 1882 17 b. LA father b. OH mother b. LA
REYNOLDS Myrtle niece May 1889 11 b. OR father b. IN mother b. Maine

1910, Beaver, Lincoln, Oregon
16/16 BARNES Calvin J. 57 married 2x married 8 years b. Maine parents b. Maine farmer
Alice C. 54 married 2x married 8 years 1 of 2 children surviving b. MN parents b. OH
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Beaver, Lincoln, Oregon; Roll T624_1281; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 166; Image: 371.

1920, Grants Pass, Josephine, Oregon
Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Grants Pass, Josephine, Oregon; Roll T625_1495; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 212; Image: 680.
507 BARNES J. C. 66 b. Maine parents b . Maine retail something illegible
Alice C. wife 64 b. Minnesota parents b. OH saleslady in own store
PETERSON Verna grandson 19 b. OR mother b. MN father b. Wisconsin govt fisherman

Charity Alice McKenney and John Calvin Barnes
Charity Alice McKenney and John Calvin Barnes (to the right). Image courtesy of Allan McKenney.

mckenney_barnes_charity

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After Charity died in 1923, Calvin married a third time to a Julia A. who had been about 1867 in Washington.

That is all I know about Charity Alice and the families of her husbands at this point and I probably won’t delve too much further into these families. It’s interesting enough to find the prior association of them in Minnesota and that they had moved to to the same area in Oregon and remained closely associated.

Next, Charity’s diary.

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