JOHN J KENNEY, the eldest son of Patrick and Mary Kenney, was born in New York city, March 2nd, 1858. He removed
with his family to Staten Island, when six weeks old, and has even since resided here. He was educated in the best
public schools of the county, taking a high rank from the first, as a quick and intelligent student. After graduating,
he began life as a teacher in the Madison avenue public school, in New Brighton, and taught for nearly three years.
He then entered the law office of the late Tompkins Westervelt, county judge of Richmond county; was admitted to
the bar at Brooklyn, Feb. 12th, 1880, after which he established an office in New Brighton, Staten Island, and
has since enjoyed a lucrative practice.
In July 1882, he was elected clerk of the village of New Brighton, which position he filled with entire satisfaction
to the board of trustees for nine years. He resigned July 25th, 1881, in order to give more attention to the practice
of the law.
He was elected school commissioner of Richmond County in Nov. 1887, and administered the office with such .entire
satisfaction to the public that he was reelected in 1890, receiving the largest majority of any candidate on the
He has been especially devoted and energetic in the performance of his duties as school commissioner. Under his
supervision there has been a constant improvement in the government and management of schools. He inaugurated in
this county, the system of uniform examination for teachers' licenses, which has resulted in producing a better
class of teachers, and abolished the system by which licenses were issued as a favor and frequently with the merest
pretense of examination. School buildings have received his attention to the extent of securing new buildings of
modern design and great value. His vigorous work secured new buildings at Port Richmond, West Brighton, Graniteville,
Garretsons, Giffords, New Springville and Richmond.
In spite of. Mr. Kenney's popularity with all classes, he still remains unmarried.
Prominent Men of Staten Island 1893
A. Y. Hubbell, Publishers
New York, 1893.
Richmond County, NY
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