Studio Portrait. Older couple seated, five young adults stand behind them

Studio photograph of the Kenny – Boyle family, c. 1888.
Seated in front, L to R: Thomas Kenny (step-father) and Mary Brien Boyle Kenny, mother of the children.
Standing in back, L to R: Mary “Mayme”, Charles “Charlie”, Francis “Babe”, Jennifer “Jennie”, and Walter “Fred”. (Gift of William and Marie Ferrill)

August 21, 1911 – Mary Brien Boyle Kenny died at the age of 69. She had been in poor health for some time, and the previous week, she had fallen and broken her arm at the elbow. The Beacon attributed the shock of that injury as a contributing cause of her death.

Mary was born in New Brunswick in 1842, and when she was young, she emigrated with her parents to Maine, where she grew up and met her first husband. She married Thomas Boyle in Bangor, Maine when she was 18 years old. In 1863, Thomas went to California, and Mary and their infant son John followed a year later. The Boyles settled in Albion and later moved to Greenwood (Elk) and the south coast.

Mary and Thomas had 8 children together, and Mary was pregnant with their youngest daughter when Thomas died suddenly from a heart attack in 1878 at the age of 42. Mary remarried in 1881. The Beacon described her as “a woman of great moral courage, strong character, and loving disposition.”

Mary’s funeral was held at the Catholic Church, with Rev. Father Edwards officiating. Following the service, she was buried in Hillcrest Cemetery. Survivors included her second husband, Thomas Kenny; sons, Edward, William, and Charles Boyle; daughters, Mrs. George W. Burke, Mrs. A. J. Jennings, and Mrs. G. W. Fairbanks; sisters, Mrs. John Conway and Mrs. Jerome Rafter; and brothers, Charles, John, and Albert Brien.

New Book! A Mendocino Remembrance by Mendocino native John Preston Fraser. This charming memoir brings to life the unique place that was the town of Mendocino, California before it became the artist colony and tourist destination for which it is well known today. During the 1940s, Mendocino was a quiet community of unpaved roads and Victorian-era architecture perched on bluffs above the Pacific Ocean. Fraser’s reminiscences are accompanied by vintage photographs from the Kelley House Museum archives paired with contemporary color images taken by photographer Jamie Armstrong, offering readers an enjoyable “Then and Now” view of Mendocino. $35