Tom Kennon's Blacksmith Shop
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 36° 36.988 W 090° 49.665
15S E 694258 N 4054524
Quick Description: Tom worked this shop until he was 96, now it is part of a heritage museum.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 2/16/2010 7:10:24 AM
Waymark Code: WM87TW
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Big B Bob
Views: 2

Long Description:


One of the most important people in all of our pioneer communities was the blacksmith. Most early settlers came to this area by horse and oxen-drawn wagons and their need for the services of a blacksmith was universal. Shoeing horses and oxen was important, especially in our rocky Ozark Hills. Although the use of oxen was rare after the turn of the century, horse shoeing continues to be in demand today. The list of items made and repaired by the local blacksmith during the settlement of this area is almost beyond belief. Included were small tools used in the kitchen and dining room, gigs, guns, wagons and farming tools of all sorts. Tom Kennon was proficient at most of these tasks as he worked in his shop for more than sixty years.

The Kennon family came to Missouri before the Civil War. They moved to Ripley County where Tom was born on July 2, 1884. He married Pearlie Freeman in April, 1906 and she died in 1926. He then married Nellie Holland who died in 1939. In September, 1941, he married Dolas Mackley. He fathered seventeen children and adopted four for a total of twentyone children reared and schooled. It is easy to understand that many Ripley County families were positively affected by the life and work of Tom Kennon.

The original building housing the Blacksmith Shop was constructed soon after 1910. Kennon, already a blacksmith, moved his tools from a smaller building into one similar to this in about 1920. Tom Kennon ceased to work in his shop after 1980 when he was 96 years old. He was 104 when he died on August 17, 1988. His blacksmith tools were donated to the Homestead by his family.

Operating Status: Operating

Web Address: [Web Link]

Franklin St. & Charles St.,
Heritage Homestead,
Doniphan,, MO USA

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