Kenyon or Kinyon is a popular surname in our area. Many who bear the name do not claim a kinship with other Kenyons. Some were the settlers in Richmond, and as is the case of “Frannie” Kenyon, owner of Meadowburg Dairy Farm, retain their ties to the land.
Henry “Skip” Kenyon, Frannie’s brother is also one of those people. Skip taught English at Chariho High School, coached baseball for many years, and was also involved in the community in a number of ways. In his spare time you would see him driving a tractor across the fields, where he was raised, helping his siblings at the farm.
Dr. Frances Kenyon (1871-1959), a resident of the Woodville section of Richmond, was the first female doctor in the United States to hold the position of medical examiner (1926/7-1959). Educated at Classical High School in Providence, she attended and graduated from Hahnemann Medical College (Philadelphia, PA). She began practicing medicine in 1905, making calls in the surrounding villages with a horse and buggy. With the advent of the automobile, she was able to extend her practice to other cities and towns. She served on the staffs of both Roger Williams General Hospital and Westerly Hospital. Additionally she was the Richmond Town Health officer and School Physician for both towns of Richmond and Hopkinton. During World War II she set up a casualty aid station at one of the local churches. Among her many honors, Dr. Kenyon was named “Woman of the Year” in 1956 by the Westerly Quota Club, of which she was a member.