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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesWest Virginia

John Edward KENNA

(1848-1893)
Senate Years of Service:
1883-1893
Party:
Democrat

KENNA, John Edward, a Representative and a Senator from West Virginia; born near St. Albans, Kanawha County, Va. (now West Virginia), April 10, 1848; moved with his mother to Missouri in 1856; received a limited schooling; during the Civil War enlisted in the Confederate Army; attended St. Vincent’s College, Wheeling, W.Va.; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1870 and commenced practice in Charleston, W.Va.; prosecuting attorney for Kanawha County 1872-1877; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-fifth, Forty-sixth, and Forty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1877-March 3, 1883); had been reelected to the Forty-eighth Congress in 1882 but resigned as of March 4, 1883, having been elected Senator; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1883; reelected in 1889 and served from March 4, 1883, until his death in Washington, D.C., January 11, 1893; funeral services were held in the Chamber of the United States Senate; interment in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Charleston, W.Va.

Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; U.S. Congress. Memorial Addresses. 73rd Cong., 2nd sess., 1935. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1935; Schlup, Leonard. “West Virginia Constitutionalist: John E. Kenna and Relations Between the Senate and President.” Journal of the Alleghenies 31 (1995): 99-110.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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