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Local Kenly Info

The beginnings of the Town of Kenly go back to a day in the year 1885, when owners of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad purchased a right-of-way on a tract of land owned by Charlotte (referred to in latter deeds as Lottie) Watkins and Augusta Barney Watkins. Shortly thereafter, the actual laying of the railroad track began.

Only a matter of days later, on April 2, 1886, Lottie Watkins (Great Aunt of Henry Watkins) sold property to the W. & W. Railroad, this time two tracts of land comprising 51.5 acres, more or less, for the grand sum of $278.50, or approximately $5.46 per acre. During the years that the W. & W. Railroad Company was negotiating for land and laying tracks in this area, a railway official spent a great deal of time here. He became friendly with and gained the respect of the citizens of the new settlement, and so endeared himself to them that they decided to name the place in his honor. The man was John Reece Kenly.

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Kenly was born January 21, 1847 and entered railway service at an early age. He began working with the Pittsburgh and Connellsville Railroad (later Baltimore & Ohio) in July 1868, when he was 21 years old. Later he transferred to the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Company. The Richmond and Petersburg, as well as the Wilmington and Weldon branch line through Kenly, was later to become a part of the New York-to-Florida Atlantic Coast Line, which merged with Southern Railway to become Southern Coast Line.

John Reece Kenly enjoyed a distinguished career with the Atlantic Coast Line, from the time that he joined the company in April, 1882, until his death on March 1, 1928. He advanced through the ranks to become head of the Operating Department and from that position rose to become President of A.C.L. on December 18, 1913

Kenly’s first mayor was L.M. Hamilton, who was placed in that position temporarily when the town was incorporated March 7, 1887. When the town’s first election was held on the first Monday in May, 1887, Hamilton was officially elected as Kenly’s first mayor.

If you love early springs; warm, long summers; crisp, cool falls and mild winters, you'll love the weather in the Kenly area.

While far enough north to have four distinct seasons, the Kenly area is located in the nation's sun belt, which is very conducive for year-round outdoor activities. The average July temperature is 79.8 degrees with average highs reaching the upper 80's. January's average temperature is 44.2 degrees. Average highs in winter usually reach into the mid-50's.

The area averages about 4 inches of snowfall a year, and annual rainfall is about 48 inches.

 

Temperatures:

Month

High

Low

Average

January

55.26

33.26

44.26

February

54.43

33.11

43.27

March

58.58

34.00

46.29

April

72.23

48.40

60.32

May

77.90

55.68

66.79

June

83.40

64.10

73.75

July

89.42

70.19

79.81

August

90.66

68.40

79.53

September

80.27

59.07

69.67

October

69.26

48.00

58.63

November

67.53

42.20

54.87

December

54.26

31.94

43.10

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235-A East Market Street
Smithfield, North Carolina 27577

tel 919.989.8687  |  fax 919.989.6295
toll free 1.800.441.7829

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