In the Evans book, “A History of Scioto County,” there is a brief biography of Pat Kenrick, a man of integrity. “Mr. Kenrick was born in 1839, in the parish of Kilcommon, County Limerick, Ireland. His father was John Kenrick and his mother’s maiden name was Katharine Killey. His father was a farmer. His parents had three children: (A brother,) Edward, who did business in Portsmouth and resided on Ninth Street. Pats (Sister,) Nancy, married a Wm. Boswell and resided in Cincinnati.
From Ireland, the family immigrated to Canada, in the summer of 1849. There in the city of Quebec, the Father (John Kenrick) received fatal sunstroke. From that city, the family went to Black Rock, N. Y. near Buffalo. They remained there two months and went from there to Cleveland. From there, they came to Portsmouth by canal. They landed at Portsmouth, Ohio, October 28, 1849, and the remainder of (Kenrick’s) life was spent there. It was necessary for the boy to work and he went into the employment of T. M. Patterson to learn the book-binding business. He did learn it, but it did not suit his taste and he gave it up. It was, however, a consolation to him that he had a trade on which to fall back if necessity required it. On April 16. 1861, he enlisted in Co. G. 1st Ohio Volunteer Infantry (O. V. I.) – for three months service and served till August 1, 1861. He made a good soldier and was much liked by his comrades. On June 10, 1862, he was made quartermaster of the city of Portsmouth and of the several militia companies stationed there and held the position so long as such an officer was required. The city had quite a supply of military stores and equipment. After the war, he prospered and was very popular with all who met him and knew him.”
“In 1867, he started the St. Charles Exchange, on the east side of Market Street and conducted it for 17 years. He was a very popular landlord and restaurant keeper and served good meals as were ever put up in Portsmouth. Everyone liked him and he had a pleasant welcome and a gracious adieu to all who visited him. He was one of the most liberal and sympathetic of mankind. A woman or child, a crippled or disabled person, always called forth his sympathies. If any one had a tale of woe, they had a sure listener in Pat, and if ministering to the poor and needy constituted the best Christian, he was the best in town.”
“Pat was always a democrat and in 1889, he was a candidate on that ticket for County Commissioner against John Kaps on the Republican ticket. The vote stood, Kaps 3,683; Kenrick, 2,949; the majority for Kaps, 734. When James E. Campbell, the Democratic candidate for Governor was elected; Pat who had been a loyal constituent was to be taken care of. He wanted the stewardship of the State Penitentiary, but in the division of the spoils, instead obtained the superintendence of the kitchen, a very good place. He had numerous opportunities for making money, but insisted on honesty and integrity and required that the state should be justly served. However, he did not like the place and in eighteen months gave it up.”
“On October 28, 1875, he had married Miss Sarah J. Rhodes, daughter of John Rhodes, and his married life was a very happy one, though not blessed with children. When he left the employment of the state, he located in New Boston, on the Rhodes place and lived there almost all the time till a few days before his death. He died Sunday, November 13, 1898, at his residence on the southeast corner of Washington and Seventh streets, of Bright’s disease. He died in the communion of the Roman Catholic Church, in which he had been reared. Pat Kenrick was a man of emphasis in all he did. He had a heart full of sympathy for all mankind. He was always fond of children and never could do too much for them. He loved to be surrounded by them and to minister to their pleasures. He never, from his standpoint, injured any human being. His life was spent in Portsmouth and he was a familiar figure in it for thirty-four years.”
Mr. Kenrick was a man of charity, honesty and a true pioneer; a standard to make Portsmouth a City to be proud of
This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper.
Reach Bob Boldman at firstname.lastname@example.org