Kenney, eight miles north of Bellville at the junction of FM 2754 and Hwy 36, was built in 1880 by the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad Company as a station between Bellville and Brenham. The first area settlement took place as early as the 1820s, followed by the German immigrants from the 1830s.
The town was first called Thompson in 1880 for postmaster J. E. Thompson. After four years under that name, the community was renamed Kenneyville in 1884 in honor of evangelist John Wesley Kenney; the name was shortened to Kenney in 1892.
Rev. J. W. Kenney played an influential part in early Texas Methodist activity. The preacher came to Texas with his family in 1832. In 1834, he held the first Methodist Camp meeting in Austin’s Colony on Caney Creek near his Austin home. By 1835, a second Church Camp meeting was held here and at this time a Methodist Conference was organized, supported by William B. Travis.
The John Wesley Kenney Texas State Historical Marker in the town center recognizes Rev. Kenney as “one of the greatest pioneer Methodist Ministers.”
During the railroad’s heyday, Kenney was a commerce center with a gritmill/gin, hotel, school and church. All that marks that prosperous period is a group of business structures.
German residents established a “Schuetzenverein” (sportsmen’s club) and held competitive target shooting matches, a German tradition that became a social activity.
Kenney Agricultural Society Hall was built in 1902 for regular meetings and social activities. A 1950 storm destroyed the original structure and today functions as a community center of varied uses.
Kenney, Texas 77452 was established in 1887. For many years, the Kenney Store Rural Music Association (KARMA) met there on Thursdays. Dedicated local musicians, young and old, brought their instruments to the pickin’ circle to share their love of music and enjoy good company. These musicians are the reason that there is always good KARMA at the Kenney Store.
Today, the Kenney Store has live music almost every night of the week. If visitors are lucky, a few well-known singers may stop by with a fiddle or acoustic guitar. On the weekends, the store hosts performances by up-and-coming bands, acoustic musicians and local celebrities. Come early and get a good seat. Slam down some dominoes with the regulars, while the freight train roars by. Waltz, two-step, line-dance, swing or even grind to live music under the neon lights.
The store also serves its home cooking with sweet southern charm and a full bar menu including ice-cold beers, specialty wines and signature drinks.
Where is The Kenney Store
811 S Loop 497
Kenney, Texas 77452