John McKenna, a man of stirring energy and possessed of those qualities which bring success in the business affairs of this life, is one of the substantial farmers and well to do stockmen of the vicinity of Fletcher. The gaining of his present farm home was attended with a display of determination and winning energy. On the night of November 17, at the still hours of midnight, he laid the four corners of his present farm, broke some land and then hired away to the land office to file.

John McKenna was born in Philadelphia, on January 14, 1860, being the son of John and Anna (McKenna) McKenna, natives of County Derry, Ireland. The father was born in 1832, came to America in 1857, settled in Pennsylvania, where he engaged in dairying until his death in 1887. The mother died in 1866. Our subject was reared by an uncle, James McKenna, in Wilmington, Delaware. He was educated there and when twenty, came to Portland, landing there in July, 1880. Thence he made his way to Waitsburg, Washington, where he freighted for five years then took preemption.

In 1886 he went on the Oregon side of the Snake above the Salmon and raised horses. In the fall of 1895 Mr. McKenna came to the reservation with Samuel Phiney, who founded Fletcher. He took his farm as mentioned and has devoted himself to raising diversified crops and stock. He has some fine Shorthorn Durhams and is prospered in his labors.

On May 8, 1804, Mr. McKenna married Miss Minnie, laughter of Richard and Jennie (Williamson) Fay, natives of Pennsylvania and born in 1842 and December 31, 1856, respectively. The father went from his native state to Missouri, thence to the Grande Ronde valley, Oregon, thence to Wallowa County and there he died on February 4. 1899. Mrs. McKenna was born August 23. 1874, in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, and has the following named brothers and sisters: Clara Hensley, Ida, Walter, all in Wallowa County. Mr. McKenna has four brothers and sisters, James, Rosa. Mary, Anna, all in Pennsylvania. To Mr. and Mrs. McKenna two children have been born, Anna, born July 1896, Paul, born January 9, 1897.

Mr. and Mrs. McKenna are members of the Catholic Church and in politics he is a Democrat.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903