Edward Lenney, brother William B. Lenney, John W. Lenney

In 1854, J. B. Lenney, then living in Pennsylvania, was informed by friends living along the Mackinaw river that there was a good site for a town at the new railroad crossing. He sent his brother in law, John Bush, to erect a building there for store and shop, but after arrival Bush was dissuaded from building. Next year Mr Lenney himself arrived and put up the building which became known as the Farmers' Store, west of the Alton and south of the T. P. & W. tracks. Mr. Bush erected a building for a hotel known as the Bush House, and Mr. Lenney put up a residence in "East Chenoa." John M. Bryant built the "National Hotel" in 1856. The first drug store was built back of the Bush House in 1857 by Dr. Stevenson, the first practicing physician. In the same year George Lounsberry built a blacksmith shop and he with Louis Ziegler erected a wagon shop. The first depot was built on the Wye, some distance north of the present one, and occupied by Samuel Emery as a hotel along with the station uses. But it caught fire while the first meal was being prepared and burned down. The town was organized in Aug., 1864, and elected J B Lenney as president

In 1854 there was nothing in Chenoa but the sod house of the railroad workers.

 By the following year the first store came to Chenoa to serve the area farmers that were coming and were sure to come in larger numbers. The store, simply called the Farmer's Store, was run by J.B. Lenney. It was one block from the Chicago and Alton Railroad depot. The store served as a residence for Lenney, a cabinet shop, and a supply store. Lenney drove to Peoria to get his supplies those first few months and at that time he would not see another person or plowed furrow until he reached Washington in Tazewell County.

John married Sarah A. Bush in January 1848.  Nine children were born to them, six of whom were living at the time of the Chenoa history was written.  William B. a farmer, John W. a druggist, Blair a painter, Lyslie K. a clerk Edward a farmer, and Mary E.

In 1850 Fayette County, Pennsylvania John "Lene" is 37, Mary 53 ?? with Susan 30, Elizabeth 28, Mary 21 JOHN 19, Hannah 17, Nathan 13, and Nancy 9.

In 1860 Chenoa John B. is 29, Sarah Ann 26, William 13, Blair 8, John Wilder 10, Mary Ellen 6, Edwin2, and a month old son.   (he might be the Wiliam Leaney in 1850 Philadelphia son of William and Mary Leaney - maybe a nephew that John adopted?)

In 1880 Chenoa, Illinois, Edward is 22, a clerk in a store, born in Pennsylvania.  John Lenney, 60 is justice of the peace, Sarah is 54. Brother William is 30, farming, Blair 32 a painter, sister Mary E is 27, brother Leslie is 13, born in Illinois,


Edward proved up a quarter in 17, 7N 48W in 1893.  And in 1895 he timber-claimed a quarter in 8, 7N 48W.

John W. Lenney timber-claimed a quarter in 9, 7N 48W in 1895.

In 1900 Chenoa John, born Oct 1819 and Sarah A. January 1823, both in Pennsylvania have been married 52 years. Blair, March 1849 is a painter, Kate W., April 1852 (wonder if this is the Mary in the 1880 census), Edward S. Nov 1856 is a grocery clerk.

In 1910 Chenoa Sarah A. is 85, widowed, Edward is 47, a cook in a restaurant.  They're living with Blair, a painter in his own shop.

Blair Lenney, born Jan 15, 1849 in Shippensburg, PA, died Jun 6, 1929 in Chenoa, was to be buried in Payne Cemetery, Livingston County, Illinois.    That cemetery is only three miles northeast of Chenoa. Father John B. Lenney, mother Sarah Ann Bush, both born in Shippensburg.


Lenney Blair 1849 6 Jun 1929 abt 80 (known & unmarked grave; side 2, row 1) Death cert. # 570243, Chenoa, McLean co., IL 1, 5
Lenney John Blair, Deacon 1819 1902 abt 83 (known & unmarked grave; side 2, row 1)   1
Lenney Kate Mary Ellen 1853 1905 abt 52 (known & unmarked grave; side 2, row 1)   1
Lenney Martha Ann   6 Mar 1922 unk (known & unmarked grave; side 2, row 1) Death cert. # 570126, Chenoa, McLean co., IL 1, 5
Lenney Sarah Ann Bush 1825 1914 abt 89 (known & unmarked grave; side 2, row 1)   1
Lenney William Bush 1847 1915 abt 68 (known & unmarked grave; side 2, row 1)

Samuel Bush was born at Shippensburg, Pa., June 5 1822. He was a cabinet maker by trade; came to Wilmington, Ill., in 1857, and a few weeks later came to Chenoa where he has resided since with the exception of two years in Kansas in 1866 and 1867, and one years residence in Texas. November 12, 1861 he enlisted as sergeant in Co. D 11 Illinois Cavalry commanded by Col. Robt. G Ingersoll. Aug. 31, 1862, was promoted to 2d Lieut, and Nov. 6, 1862 to 1st Lieut., and was in command of the company most of the time for two years, and was mustered out April 15, 1865. Was in the battles of Vicksburg, Corinth, Memphis, Black river and the many skirmishes of the regiment in the three and a half years service. His father, brother John, and brother-in-law, John B. Lenney, came to Chenoa in 1856. He married
Mary Ann East in 1876; draws $12 pension; is a Republican in politics, a Presbyterian in belief his fathers'
family being of that belief. He joined Post .85 G. A. R. June 26 1883.

Edwin Silliman was elected Peoria County Treasurer in 1869, serving one term. In 1872, after his term had expired, Edwin and Sarah moved to Chenoa, Illinois. Edwin's obituary states that "he was identified with the mercantile and social interests of Chenoa since that time, a period of fifty-eight years. Mr. Silliman entered into a partnership with George W. Jewel in agricultural implements and carriage making upon coming to Chenoa, and after a few years sold his interest to John T. Gibson, who served as a Sergeant in Co. G of the 86th Illinois, and went into the drug business with John W. Lenney. He later served for a short time as assayer for a mining company in Colorado, and after following the merchantile business for several years, retired from active business in 1890, investing wholly in farm lands."

Silliman and Lenney applied for a patent for a treatment for rheumatism -


William married Martha E. Carlisle March 24, 1887 in McLean County

William B. Lenney proved up on a quarter in 15, 7N 48W in 1893