Interested in one of warehouses in which powder was stored that caused great loss of lifeóBusiness ruined by affair.

    William R. Kenyon, former mayor of Butte and at one time a leading merchant of the city and a prominent politician of the state of Montana, is dead in Amsterdam, N.Y. The end came there yesterday and was caused by acute indigestion. Mr. Kenyon was 67 years of age and leaves two daughters, Fredericka and Caroline, and one son, William. His wife died several years ago.

     Mr. Kenyon was a native of Oswego N.Y. When a young man he went to Iowa, where he was in the mercantile business and took an active interest in politics. From Iowa he came to Montana and to Butte, where he again engaged in the hardware business. After some years of success in this line he started the Kenyon-Connell company, one of the largest supply houses at the time in the Northwest. It was the great explosion of January 15, 1895, that practically ruined the concern. The warehouses of the Kenyon-Connell and Butte Hardware companies near the Great Northern depot were destroyed by an awful explosion of giant powder on the night of that day, following an outbreak of fire. Virtually the entire fire department of Butte was wiped out and many citizens killed, the total loss of life, as far as ever could be ascertained, being 57.

Suits are Brought

     Suits on behalf of relatives were brought against the two concerns aggregating more than $100,000. Several verdicts were had against the Kenyon-Connell company, the first being for $5,000. Before the jury came in with the verdict in the case the whole Kenyon-Connell stock was attached by the Clark bank for big indebtedness it had run with the bank.

     When his company was thus wiped out, Mr. Kenyon left Butte for Dallas, Texas, where he started again in the hardware business and continued in it until a few years ago, when he retired.  It is said his business venture in Texas was not altogether successful. On leaving Texas, Mr. Kenyon went to Amsterdam, N.Y. where he engaged in the lumber business with his brother with success.

     Mr. Kenyon was a democrat in politics and took quite an active part in public affairs while in Butte. He was elected mayor of the city in 1888 and again in 1889, the term then being for one year. In 1894 he was chairman of the democratic state central committee. He was one of the original members of the Silver Bow club.


Date: Tuesday, July 30, 1907
Paper: Anaconda Standard
Anaconda, Montana
Volume: XVIII  Issue: 321  Page: 9