History

Postcard from 1900 pictured above

KILKENNY Township, settled in 1856, was named by its Irish people for a city and county of southeastern Ireland. The city, in sections 22 and 27, was platted in 1877 and was incorporated June 3, 1883. Among its first settlers was Dennis Doyle (1818-1902), born in Kilkenny County, Ireland, who came to the United States in 1851, settled one mile west of the present city site, in section 21, and opened a store in his home in 1857, where he taught in the first school and became the first postmaster, serving 1857 to 1888; he was the first township clerk and served as a state legislator. Doyle was the first to marry in the community; Catherine Raway, born in France in 1839, was his wife. The Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad station was named Washburn until Doyle requested the change to coincide with the post office name.

 

Excepts from the book "Remember When - A History Of Kilkenny, Minnesota" by Mae Zellmer Mach

"Kilkenny cannot be compared to any other city in America, as there is only one Kilkenny in Ireland and there is only one Kilkenny in the United States."

"Kilkenny has never been much larger than 300 in population (so I've been told). If you say the name to a stranger they never heard of it and if you give directions you say so far from the neighboring towns, but when the late President Kennedy went to Ireland he extended greetings to the people of Kilkenny, Ireland from the people in Kilkenny, Minnesota."

Kilkenny became a village June 7, 1883.

Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad and depot was built in 1877. In 1960 the railroad was sold to Chicago Northwestern Railroad. In 1964, the railroad land was sold and the depot was removed.

Kilkenny used to have newspaper named the Kilkenny Gleaner (established 1895). It was a weekly paper and subscription rate was $1.25 per year. In 1899 the paper was sold to the Le Center Leader.