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Claude S. Kennerly

Claude Saugrin Kennerly (1869-1963) was a St. Louis native. Early in life, he worked as a traveling salesman, and in 1904 could be found in the Lincoln Trust building in downtown St. Louis. In 1904, he married Edith Collins (1876-1945), who was the much-beloved niece of Anna Dorinda Blakesley Barnes Bliss. When Edith was a baby, her mother died, and Anna Blakesley became like a mother to her. The Kennerly's named their first born daughter Dorinda in her honor.

In 1918, Anna Dorinda Bliss was constructing her mansion, Casa Dorinda, in Santa Barbara, CA. She contacted the Kennerlys and offered to purchase a house for them adjoining her property, so that Claude and Edith could winter in California rather than St. Louis. The family agreed, and Bliss purchased a tract of land north of Casa Dorinda, called La Casa Bonita. The Kennerlys maintained their home at 28 Portland Place in St. Louis (also constructed in 1918) and spent many years traveling west to La Casa Bonita. When Anna Dorinda Bliss died in 1936, the Kennerlys still owned their stretch of property, and Claude Kennerly helped to oversee some of the work Mildred Bliss commissioned for Casa Dorinda after her mother's death. The Kennerly's daughters each received a $100,000 inheritance from their great-aunt's vast estate.



"$12,386,000 Estate Left by Mrs. Bliss; Daughter is Named Residuary Legatee of Bulk of Patent Medicine Fortune; 4 Bequests of $100,000 Assets Include Trusts Set Up During Her Life for Cultural Groups, Friends and Relatives," New York Times, June 23, 1936.

1900 United States Census (Population Schedule), St Louis Ward 21, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; p. 11B, Line 73, William Kennerly household; digital images, (, accessed August 7, 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 898.

Hartmann, Peter & Stacey Wright. "Casa Dorinda - Montecito's Downton Abbey II." Edhat Santa Barbara. Last modified January 26, 2013.

S., Bruce. "Claude Kennerly House - Portland and Westmoreland Places - St. Louis, Missouri." NRHP Historic Districts. Last modified July 26, 2009.

Spraker, Hazel Atterbury. A Genealogical History of the Descendants of George and Mary Boone Who Came to America in 1717. Rutland, Vermont: The Tuttle Company, Publishers, 1922, page 403.

Taylor, Sara. "The Early Letters (1902-1908): An Introduction." Dumbarton Oaks. Last modified May 12, 2014.

U.S. Directories, 1821-1989. Santa Barbara, California, City Directory, 1940. Page 490, Claude S. Kennerly; digital images, (, accessed August 7, 2014).