Eli W. McKenney (Eli Wilson McKenney, sometimes spelled Eli W. McKinney), son of George Washington McKenney Sr. and an unknown woman, was born 1877 in Iowa. Half-brother of our George Washington McKenney Jr., he was career military and in the Philippine War of Independence/American-Philippines War.
George W. McKenney’s first wife, Isabella, had died several years earlier and with her death he had boarded out, it seems, the younger of their surviving children, including my ancestor, George W. McKenney Jr. During that time afterward it appears George W. McKenney Sr. returned to Iowa and married again. We had no information on who the second wife was but I believe she was a Sarah F. Dotson (Dodson).
Sarah F. Dotson was born about 1850-1854 in Davis County, Iowa.
The 1856 Salt Creek, Davis, Iowa census shows her with siblings and mother, Eliza.
32/22 Eliza Dotson 45 Indiana
John 14 Illinois
Albert T. 10 Iowa
Her mother remarried and in 1860 we find Sarah as “Sallie” in the household of her stepfather, Thomas Sumner. They are in Union, Appanoose, Iowa, but her brother, Albert, is also in the Salt Creek, Davis, Iowa census, 16, in the household of a John and Rachel Sconce, who are relatives. Prudence Lynch, daughter of a Delilah Jane Dotson and William Lynch, had married John Casper Sconce in 1848 in Davis. So, Albert is on pg. 748. On page 750 is a 16 year old George Breckinridge who will marry Lucy Etta Campbell in 1868. Lucy Etta Campbell was a sister of Marion Campbell who wed Martha Elizabeth McKenney, Eli’s half-sister, in 1867 in Wapello County, Iowa.
226/217 Thomas Sumner 46 farmer b. IN
Eliza 48 b. KY
John C. 11 b. IN
Martha 7 b. IA
James R. 23 day laborer b. IN
Delila Dodson 20 domestic
John 27 day laborer b. IL
Albert 14 b. IA
In 1870 we find Sarah in the Village, Van Buren, Iowa census.
233/224 Johnson Thomas 31 saloon keeper 300 100 NY
Catherine 30 IN
Hannah 7 IA
William 3 IA
Virginia? 1 IA
DODSON Sarah 19 domestic servant IA
George W. McKenney Sr. and his family had been living in Village in 1860 and still had relatives in Van Buren County. It may be that he met Sarah here after Isabella’s death. It may be that they had an acquaintance even before Isabella’s death.
Then, in “Iowa, Marriages 1809-1992”, we find the marriage of a George W. McKenney and Sarah F. Dotson on 1875 Aug 22 in Davis County, Iowa. 1875 is the year that we find George W. McKenney’s children boarded out in Kansas, but George W. McKenney is no where to be found in the Kansas census.
I had always assumed Eli’s mother had died. In 1880, George W. McKenney appears in Arkansas with his son Eli, and only gives himself as single rather than widowed.
By Feb 1879 George W. McKenney had built a house in the Chautauqua Co. area and it appears that Sarah had moved to that county with the family after Eli’s birth, but they had separated by 1880 when she is found living as a servant in Sedan.
Kansas, Chautauqua, Sedan, 075
264/271 Hamilton Emily 59 b. OH father b. VT mother b. NY
Barr 24 son b. KS father b. PA mother b. OH
264/272 Hamilton Henry 26 Quarry man b. MO father b. PA mother b. OH
Susan 24 wife typhoid fever b. GA father b. NC mother b. GA
McKenney Sarah 28 servant house keeper b. IA father b. IN mother b. KY
Then in 1885 we find in Ottumwa, Wapello, Iowa, a divorced Sarah McKenney.
149/163 Joseph M. Smalley 45 restaurant
Catherine 87 keeps house
ME. 19 in restaurant
Ellen Cramlett 20 single domestic
Sarah McKinney 31 f divorced domestic b. Davis County
This is tentative research, but I believe she is the same Sarah Dotson who married George W. McKenney in 1875 in Davis County, Iowa, and that she is the mother of Eli W.
On April 19, 1891, in Ottumwa, Wapello, Iowa, Sarah married a 2nd time to a Tom B. Hanna who was born about 1852 in Putnam County, Indiana, his parents being George R. Hanna and Mary Burgiss. Sarah gave herself as Sarah Dodson McKinney, born 1852, child of John Dotson and E. Stapleton.
Name: T. B. Hanna
Titles and Terms:
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 19 Apr 1891
Event Place: Ottumwa, Wapello, Iowa, United States
Birth Year (Estimated):
Father’s Name: George R. Hanna
Father’s Titles and Terms:
Mother’s Name: Mary Burgiss
Mother’s Titles and Terms:
Spouse’s Name: Sarah Dodson Mckinney
Spouse’s Titles and Terms:
Spouse’s Birth Year (Estimated): 1852
Spouse’s Father’s Name: John Dotson
Spouse’s Father’s Titles and Terms:
Spouse’s Mother’s Name: E. Stapleton
Spouse’s Mother’s Titles and Terms:
Reference ID: 190
GS Film number: 979592
Digital Folder Number: 004309604
“Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XJF3-BY7 : accessed 19 Dec 2013), T. B. Hanna and Sarah Dodson Mckinney, 1891.
In 1900, Sarah and Tom are living in Union, Iowa. They had no children but she gives herself as having 1 child still living, which would have been Eli W. McKenney.
Union, Appanoose, Iowa 1900
46/46 Hanna Thomas Nov 1843 56 b. IN father b. OH mother b. IN
Sarah F. wife Sept 1851 48 married 10 years 1 child living b. IA father b.OH mother b.IN
Tom Hanna died before 1910, when we find Sarah living in Richland, Wapello, Iowa.
1910 Richland, Wapello, Iowa
10 Griffith Carl A. 28 married 5 years b. IA parents b. IA farmer
Maud wife 23 b. IA parents b. MO
Ethel F. daughter 3 b. IA
Bernice daughter 1 b. IA
Hannah Sarah F. boarder 57 widowed 1 child living b. IA father b. OH mother b. KY
In 1922 she was living at 328 S. Vinea, Iowa City, Ottumwa, Iowa, given as the widow of Thomas.
In 1930 she was in the Wapello County Home and Insane Asylum in Highland, Wapello, Iowa.
Wapello Co. Home and Insane Asylum
Hanna Sarah 89 wd 22 b. IA father b. OH mother b. KY
Now, back to Eli E. McKenney and what we know of his life with his father, George.
Eli W. McKenney was recorded in the family genealogy and my grandfather knew of him so I was aware of Eli before doing census research.
After the death of Isabella, Addie and George W. Jr. were boarded out during the time George W. was remarrying up in Iowa and having son Eli with Sarah.
In 1880 the McKenney family has reunited and is in Arkansas. George W. McKenney Sr. was a traveling carpenter and I assume he was there for work. He has with him his three youngest children, Addie, my George, and Eli.
1880 ARKANSAS WASHINGTON CO FAYETTEVILLE
17 June 1880 by J. F. SIMONDS
MCKINNEY George W wm 48 Head given as single carpenter b. OH father b. Ireland mother b. PA
George W. Jr.wm 18 Son b. IA father b. OH mother b. PA
Addie M. wf 15 Daughter b. IA (has not been in school)
Eli W. wm 3 Son b. IA
George W. McKenney Sr. was residing in Cedar Vale, Chautauqua, Kansas in 1884 and is in the census at Center, Chautauqua, Kansas in 1885, but he is only with his son George Jr. in 1885. His daughter Addie McKenney had by this time married Samuel Alvin McWhirt and I think it’s a good bet that Eli was living with Addie at Pawhuska on the Osage Reserve.
January 16 1887 George W. McKenney Sr. married a third time. This marriage was to an Alice Tilson at Rogersville, Hawkins, Tennessee. They thereafter disappear into the Oklahoma Territory and I find nothing on him again until 1905 when he has returned to Kansas, without Alice, and is living in the household of his son George W. McKenney Jr.
According to the 1930 census, Eli was married first at age 20, which would have been about 1897. I’ve no information on this, if there was a very early marriage.
The 1900 census gives him as single. He is serving in the Philippines. His home is given as being in Pawhuska which is where his half-sister Addie was living.
McKenney, Eli W. Private, Pawhuska, OK., white male June 1877 23 single, Born Iowa, father born Ohio and mother born Iowa.
1900 > MILITARY AND NAVAL > PHILIPPINES > 32ND INFANTRY
Series: T623 Roll: 1840 Page: 212
I have been unable to locate him in any 1910 census.
1920 shows him in an army hospital. A newspaper article later gives him as a Major but here he is listed as a mechanic.
1920 Colorado Adams Co. census ED#8 (Colfax Precinct #12) U. S. Army General Hospital #21
Eli W. MC KENNEY age 43 b. IA, father b. OH, mother b. IA, mechanic, single
17th day March
FITZSIMONS ARMY MEDICAL CTR 12101 E COLFAX AVE AURORA, CO (now closed, the hospital was opened in 1918 for lung patients from WWI)
Eli moved about 1920 to Vicksburg, Warren, Mississippi, where he is observed married and with a young family in 1930. One son is named for himself and the other is named for his father.
1930 MISSISSIPPI, WARREN CO., BEAT 1, DISTRICT 5
188/188 HILTON Lem and Ethel, 28 and 22, both born MS
189/189 MCKENNEY Eli W. Owns house53 married at 20 b. IA parents b. IA Trunk Farmer
Mary F. 47 married at 18 b. MS parents b. MS
Eli W. Jr. 8 b. MS
Geo. W. 5 b. MS
190/190/190 JOHNSON Mollie 50 widowed b. MS
Eli Wilson McKenney Jr., according to public records, was born 1922 March 6 in Mississippi, served in the Navy during WWII, died 2005 Jan 26 at Corpus Christi, Nueces, Texas, and is buried at the Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Bexar, Texas in Section 35, Site 1. His wife was a Catherine Lois Brannan.
A 1937 news article recorded George W. McKenney Jr. visiting with his half-brother.
This is based on a small newspaper article (see below) noting a visit from his “brother” G.W.jr. This visit, I believe, was made in 1937.
“Brothers to Meet in Culkin after Seventeen Years
“Major and Mrs. Eli W. McKenny, of the Culkin neighborhood, are Expecting a visit from Major McKenny’s brother George McKenny Former mayor of Chataqua, Kansas, and his wife and son, of Sedair, Kans., who will arrive here next week. They are traveling by auto.
“The visit will be the first time the two brothers will have met since Major McKenny came south about seventeen years ago. The Kansans Wish to visit the National Military Park while here. This will be the First time that George McKenny and his son have been south. After staying here for a short while, the visitors (torn) New Orleans for a few (torn). “
Eli Sr. was still alive in 1952 when his sister, Addie, died and is mentioned in her obituary.
My hope is that descendants will hit upon this page and contact me with further information on Eli and his line. I have no photos of Eli and it would be nice to have one. Are you a descendant? Don’t hesitate. Contact me! Would love to hear from you.
A photo of Eli with his older half-brother George W. McKenney Jr. and his older half-sister Addie McKenney McWhirt can be seen here. I think it was taken in the early to mid 1940s.
Eli’s Marriage in the Philippines
Eli was also married to a woman in the Philippines. They had children: Julia, William and Lucila. Please, if you have info on non-living individuals in these lines and perhaps even photos you would care to share, contact me.
Update on Eli’s military pension application and information on his infantries:
I found this at Genforum on researching veterans of the Spanish-American War. “Our National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) had a fire in 1973 that burned about 80% of Army service mens records from about the Span War to early 1960’s.” As I was interested in researching Eli in the Spanish-American war, I was glad to see that the person who had supplied this information referred another researcher to Ancestry records for the Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. This includes the Spanish American War.
Thus I found Eli’s pension application. The date is 1938 Oct 19 and is made from Mississippi. He’s listed as having been in the 32nd infantry, which we knew, as well as the 14th, which I hadn’t known about.
The researcher at Genforum also said to look at the “U.S. Returns from Regular Army Infantry Regiments, 1821-1916 Record for Edwin C. McNeil”.
The “U.S. Returns from Regular Army Infantry Regiments, 1821-1916 Record for Edwin C. McNeil”, gives in the 14th Infantry, 1911-1916 Eli W. McKenney who was a private. Company L. So this matches with our Eli’s pension application. The date for this return is September 1914 and it looks like they were in the states of Washington and Alaska and Fort Missoula Montana by then. Company L, Eli’s company, seems to be shown as being in Ft. Missoula Montana in 1914.
I have no idea when Eli entered Company L of the 14th infantry but a brief online history of the 14th gives them as being in the Philippines during the Spanish-American war, then in 1901, then in 1903-1905, then from 1906-1910.
Our Eli W. McKenney is the only Eli McKenney who appears in these returns. They don’t have returns for the 32nd Infantry so I am guessing they were probably destroyed in the fire of 1973.
As for pension applications, there are three other pension applications for Eli McKenney/McKinneys. One of these is an Eli from Ohio who served in the Civil War. One of these is the Eli in Iowa who was in the Civil War who is the son of William McKenney, and the other is for an Eli from Ohio who was in WWI (War of 1917) in Infantry 3 out of Ohio and filed on 1919. The pension application for our Eli W. McKenney is below:
Update December 2013
Eli had three children in the Philippines: Julia, William and Lucila. I’ve received from Maria Seifred the below wonderful photo of the family of Eli’s daughter, Lucila McKenney Pijuan, who had twelve children.
Thank you, Maria!