Friday, May 22, 2009

Charles Kearny

Charles Kearny, a son of the celebrated Gen. Stephen W. Kearny, an old settler of St. Joseph (Missouri) and has been for many years a clerk in the Pacific Hotel.  He is well known to commercial travelers and has been a witness of the great changes, not only in this city but in the surrounding country.  In 1878, he assumed the position of clerk in the Pacific House...During all these years our subject has been day clerk, hardly missing a day.

Our subject was born in Jefferson Barracks, Mo., March 7, 1834, and is son of Gen. Stephen and Mary (Radford) Kearny...

In 1855 Mr. Kearny came to St. Joseph, where he entered into a retail grocery business, and built the second brick house in the place.  On account of the wildcat money and the corresponding depression in financial circles, he left the business at the end of two years, and then went to Texas where he engaged in running a ranch, raising horses and sheep until the war broke out.  For the following two years he was in St. Louis and other cities.  Going to Leavenworth, Kans., he engaged in the grain and commission business, contracting to furnish the Government with supplies.

In 1866 Mr. Kearny returned to St. Joseph as agent for the St. Louis Steamboat line, continuing with them for about two years.  His next step was to operate a farm of one hundred and sixty acres near Wathena, Doniphan county, Kan., and he continued as a farmer for some fifteen years.  While there, he was one of the County Commissioners for two years.

In Jersey City, in September, 1855, our subject married Miss Annie Stewart, who was born in New Jersey.  Her father, Thomas G. Stewart, was for some years a business man in St. Louis...Mr. and Mrs. Kearny have seven children: Mary, the wife of W.W. Bloss, formerly editor of the Gazette; Harriet, Mrs. H.A. Owen; Annie, wife of W.C. Bragg; Radford, who is engaged in the cigar business in this city; Robert, a clerk in the Micholet Hotel; Jennie and Phillip, who live at home.

Under John Corby Mr. Kearny was a City Councilman...He is a Democrat in politics, and religiously belongs to Christ Episcopal Church.
-Portrait and biographical record of Buchanan and Clinton counties, Missouri

According to this, Kearny did not return to St. Louis until, at the earliest, April of 1861.  Based on that, it's difficult to see how he could have been a member of the Cyclone Club, as Merritt Griswold stated in his letter to Al Spink.  We have a decent amount of knowledge about the activities of the club in 1859 and 1860 but know nothing about what happened in the spring of 1861 except for the fact that the club broke up.  It's possible that the club, despite deep political divisions, was still active right up until the Camp Jackson affair in May of 1861.  It's possible that Kearny arrived in St. Louis just prior to the break up of the club, joined and was able to get in a few games.  It's also possible that the book, which was written in 1893 and most likely based on Kearny's recollections, is wrong.  It's also possible that Griswold was wrong and Kearny was never a member of the Cyclone Club.  

At this point, without further evidence, it's difficult to say.  However, I'm inclined to believe that the timeline is off by a year of so and Griswold was correct to state that Kearny was a member of the Cyclones.   

No comments: