The following story appeared in the August 8, 1882 edition of the Benson Times. This obituary serves as an example of how fragile life was for the pioneer settlers of Clontarf and Tara. Obituaries from the area tell the sad stories of children who succumbed to whooping-cough and scarlet fever, fathers who died in terrible farm accidents, and mothers who passed away in childbirth and left behind young families. There are more dramatic deaths as well – a young man who was struck by a train, a little boy who ate poisoned plums, and a Clontarf woman who caught fire.
John Kenna was one of the pioneers in Tara Township, arriving with his family in 1878 from Concord, New Hampshire. For more on the Kenna family click here.
Mr. Kent and Mr. Duggan were neighbors of the Kenna family in Tara as well as being old friends from New Hampshire. I wonder if there is any further information about this incident in the Benson paper? I am curious if the Kenna-descended readers had heard this story, and if here are any family anecdotes surrounding it?
(Thanks to the Swift County Historical Society for the obituary!)