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Frank Kenney
Born June 16, 1880

While the newspaper of the average country town is usually taken as a criterion of the business enterprise of the place, and the support accorded it is generally indicative of the thrift and, progressiveness of the people, it is upon the editor that rests the responsibility of making the news medium representative of the best interests of the community he seeks to serve and securing the support and loyalty of those who will profit by a large circulation. For almost a decade, Frank Kenney has guided the destinies of the Oxford Mirror, more than doubling its general efficiency and vastly increasing the value of the position it has come to hold in Oxford Junction. The present editor was born at Albany, Illinois, June 16, 1880, and is a son of Mr. and Mrs. John Kenney. The parents were of Canadian birth and ancestry, their native home having been Smiths Falls. During his life the father was a roadmaster in the employ of a railroad, but he died when his son was but eight years of age, so that the latter was reared by his mother, who is still living.
Frank Kenney received his education in the public schools of Oxford Junction, graduating in the class of 1896. In 1893, while he was still a pupil, he began to learn the printer's trade in the Oxford Mirror office under the direction of Charles A. Seaton and then when his education was completed he went to Savanna, Illinois, to work in the Daily Journal office, of which his brother-in-law, F. S. Greenleaf, was proprietor. In 1898 he had an opportunity to buy the plant of the Oxford Mirror, and feeling that it was a chance not to be missed, he assumed charge of the paper on the 9th of March, that year. The Mirror had been started in 1879 by George F. Crouch, under very favorable circumstances, although Oxford Junction was at the time only a small village. The first issue appearing October 30 was a six column folio and sold at a subscription price of one dollar and a quarter a year. The next year the price was reduced to a dollar and the journal continued on a prosperous career, although with several changes of editors until February 5, 1889, when the office was totally destroyed by fire.
The founder, Mr. Crouch, again appeared upon the scene and, bringing out the paper, said editorially: "Phoenix like, the Mirror has arisen from the ashes, and today appears before its readers in a new form, printed on new presses, from new type, in a new office, and with a new editor at its head." The subscription has grown from five hundred and seventy-five each week to one thousand, while the advertising patronage has increased in relative proportion and the job department more than tripled its effectiveness. While these increases are materially due to the business policy of the owner, they are due in even greater degree to his wise foresight, which permitted nothing but the best work to issue from his office. This policy won customers from other towns that were not lacking in printing establishments, although they were not able to produce the quality of typographical work upon which the Mirror prided itself. Standing by the town, working for its best interests, the paper has won a loyal support from the citizens of Oxford Junction, who have every reason to feel proud of the weekly that bears the name of their town.
In Oxford Junction, July 31, 1902, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Kenney and Miss Bess Panuska, and they have one son, born April 14, 1909. Politically Mr. Kenney has allied himself with the democratic party, on which ticket he was elected to the city council in 1903 and to the secretaryship of the school board in 1902, holding both positions up to the present. Fraternally he enjoys pleasant relations with the Masons since he was admitted to the order in 1902, and with the Knights of Pythias. In the latter society he has been especially active, having filled all the chairs, finishing as chancellor commander in January 1908. Enterprising and a man of strong principles, he has contributed in no small degree to the progress of Oxford Junction, while his administration of public trusts has been both efficient and honorable.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 571.


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