Lee R. Kenny
Lee worked for years for the M & O Railroad as an engineer. He worked there
since he was 16. Lee went to school in his spare time and for 12 years practiced law as an attorney. One day his
first cousin, Francis Earle Kenny, who also worked at the Railroad, call Lee to ask him if he could work with him that day in the roundhouse. Lee had accepted and headed for work in his car. He got close to work, but got stuck in the snow and went to get Fran. Together they got the car out of the deep snow. The weather was terrible that day with blizzard like conditions. Later that day, Lee dropped over dead at the controls of the engine.
This information came from Francis Kenny
Philip Kenny, (Lee's son) wrote: "I compared notes with Rosanne, and here's what we both remember (keep in mind, Rosanne was 8 yrs old, and I was 6 years old when our dad died - however, we talked about him a lot in subsequent years. As
information, I refer to my dad, in the following write-up, as Lee - otherwise, I would have to say dad/uncle/grandfather/etc...):
Lee was in private practice for approximately 11 years, and shared an office with Hugh Gillespie, and a few other attorneys. Hugh Gillespie was once Dean of the Creighton Law School, and helped Lee with the proper books to study in order to pass the bar exam, etc.. Hugh Gillespie and Lee must
have been very good friends, as Gillespie was Rosanne's God Father. Rosanne seems to recall that Lee had agreed to become a member of the Omaha Law Firm of Kennedy, Holland, DeLacy, etc... and may actually have been associated
with that firm at the time of his death (This could be confirmed by looking up an old Martindale-Hubble, which lists all the lawyers & firms.) We recall that Lee had become rather famous, because of his involvement in a big case which forced certain trucks (fuel, etc..) to have chains hanging on the back of said trucks, and actually dragging on the pavement. When we
went to the movies in the 30's they had little news clips called "Time Marches On", and his picture and story about the case was in that news reel - it made national news!
His connection with the railroads: (I quote from his obituary notice of 2-11-36) "Mr. Kenny had been employed at the M.& O. (subsidiary of the C&NW) since he was 16. He gave his mornings to his law practice, and from 2 to 10 p.m. was engine hostler at the roundhouse"
The article states that he had been a practicing attorney for 12 years. I can't rely 100% on the dates
in the article, because it had his age wrong, and stated that he had been a
railroad man for 81 years - whereas, he died when he was 46.
That's about all we remember - - it is nice to share it with you. Love
to all "- - Phil (and Rosanne)
Moo McDonnell, who is Phil and Rosanne's sister, shared some nice thoughts of her childhood and her father. She recalled how cold the old house was in the winter, and in the mornings, her mother would have oatmeal waiting for them on the stove and she remembers her father shaving in the kitchen. At night, Lee would shovel coal into the furnace, but by morning, it was cold again in the house. To Moo, her father was the most kindest and gentlest man she ever knew. She always felt spoiled by him, being the first girl after four boys. Moo and Rosanne would always be waiting for Lee when he would come home from work, because he had always stopped by the dime store to get them a bag of candy. the candy was just for the two of them, not the boys, so they always felt extra special. Lee had a love for music, the Democrats and baseball.
Most times when Lee and Clare would pass each other, one would give a little pinch or squeeze to the bumbocity (rear end). There was much love in their house.
When Lee died, they were only in their new house at 50th and California, for 8 months. Lee's eldest son, Jack, was working with him in those days as an adjuster. The kids that were old enough to work, gave most or all their pay towards the upbringing of the family. Lee only had $1000 in insurance and no social security until the next year. Jack and Dan took on the fatherly responsibilities.