Portrait of John Patrick Kenney

Born: April 20, 1904

Died: July 2, 1931

Married: Cecelia Cleary, 1925

Children: John "Jack" Kenney (born February 16, 1926); James Robert Francis) Kenney (born November 20, 1927) and Cecelia Kenney (born 1930)

John Patrick Kenney was a young husband and father from Brooklyn, New York, who became sick with tuberculosis when he was 26 years old. He went to Saranac Lake at the very end of July, 1930, and died there within a year. He lived at McCabe Cottage until his death, fighting desparately to get well. Some of his treatments included phrenic nerve crushing (which is listed as the secondary cause of death on his death certificate) and "taking the gas" (a treatment called pneumoperitoneum, which involved injecting gas - either oxygen or air - into the peritoneal cavity). Mrs. McCabe, who owned the cottage, was a registered nurse originally from Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake. Jack's doctor was Dr. John N. Hayes, originally from Crafton, Pennsylvania, who had gone to Saranac Lake to study for tuberculosis for one year (something he became interested in during WWI), but ended up staying for 47 years. At the time they met, Jack Kenney was 26, Dr. Hayes was 39.

Prior to that, Jack had graduated from St. Francis Prep School in Brooklyn when he was 16 years old, and applied to the University of New York to study accounting. He played baseball for St. Francis, and went on to play farm league ball for the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1922, he worked for the American Express Company, then went on to The Seaboard National Bank on Broad and Beaver Streets in New York. At one point, Jack drove a truck. Jack was was one of eight siblings. He was born to Patrick Kenney and Ella O'Connor, who had emigtated from Ireland. His brothers and sisters were: Edward, Ella, Mary, Anne, Celia, Lawrence and Veronica. The Kenneys (his parents) had also had a baby named James, who died of pneumonia at six months old in 1916.

Sadly, at least half of this family was wiped out during the tuberculosis epidemic; although Jack was the only one to be treated in Saranac Lake. Jack's father, his sisters Veronica and Cecelia,and his brother Lawerence all died from TB. Many of them are buried at Holy Cross Cemetary in Brooklyn, New York.

The Rest Cure

Letters from McCabe Cottage:

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This information was provided by his granddaughter, Sue Kenney, in 2009. She would be interested in hearing from anyone who has any information on this family; you can contact her at: [email protected].