Doubly entitled to representation in the roll of honor of his state and country is Henry McLenon, a venerable citizen of Benton township, for he not only made a brave fight as a pioneer but, moreover, for three years gallantly served in the defense of the Union during the Civil war. He has had the pleasure of beholding the transformation of these wild, uncultivated wastes into beautiful farms, of seeing flourishing villages, schools and churches dot the landscape and well-kept, convenient public highways replace the irregular trails and unbroken prairie of less than half a century ago. In all of these great works of civilization he has nobly done his part and no one in his community is more highly regarded.
A son of William and Margaret (Cunningham) McLenon, our subject was born in the neighborhood of Belfast, Ireland, in 1821. He had but one brother, Daniel, and his only sister, Jane, has passed to her reward. In his youth Henry McLenon learned the weaver's trade and for several years he worked at the loom. At length he decided to come to the United States and, in 1851, he bade adieu to the land of his birth. At Manchester, England, he and his family took passage for the United States, where they arrived after a tedious voyage of nearly four weeks. At first they located in Ohio, there making their home until 1857, when they came to Kansas. Mrs. McLenon, whose maiden name was Mary Ann Dillen, departed this life when sixty-four years of age. Their four children are George O., William H., Mrs. Ellen Graham, and Mrs. Jennie Faukhaull. After the death of his first wife Mr. McLenon married Belle Boatwright, arid three children have blessed their union, namely Henry L., Charles Stewart Parnell and Emma.
As just stated, Mr. McLenon and family cast in their lot with the pioneers of northeastern Kansas forty-three years ago. He now owns a fine farm of two hundred and sixty acres, improved with substantial house and buildings and other accessories of a model modern country home. One of the most attractive features of the place is the splendid orchard and a fine grove of black walnut and maple trees. Mr. McLenon possesses good taste, and has indulged his inborn love of trees and shrubbery to the great improvement of his farm. In all of his business relations his course has been marked by justice and sterling integrity, and all of his neighbors and acquaintances speak of him in high terms of praise. Although nearing four-score years, he is strong and vigorous, giving promise of many years of usefulness and happiness.
When the land of his love and adoption was passing through the fiery ordeal of the war of the Rebellion, Mr. McLenon volunteered his services, and enlisted in Company D, Thirteenth Kansas Infantry. From September, 1862, until the close of the war, he was ever at his post of duty, watchful and faithful to the least of his tasks as well as to the greatest. At one time, while engaged in a skirmish with some of General Price's troopers, he fell into the hands of the enemy, and very nearly lost his life. He is a loyal member of the Grand Army of the Republic, belonging to Lancaster Post. Politically he is affiliated with the Republican party.