Melissa R. Carpenter

Name: Melissa Ruthven Kenaston Carpenter
Born: 16 January 1846 / Franklin, Ohio
Died: 2 June 1927 / Dayton, Oregon
Parents: Joel Ciley Kenaston & Laura Rolf
Spouse: William J. Carpenter
Married: 17 January 1867 / Rock Island, Illinois
  • Marietta Drucilla Carpenter Myres (1868 – 1933);
  • Ollie Elmer Carpenter (1873 – 1939);
  • Othie Edwina Carpenter Gardiner (1875 – 1967);
  • Ottis Wayne Carpenter (1878- 1944);
  • Ethel M. Carpenter (1879-1880);
  • Osyth Ethelyn Carpenter (1881 – 1974);
  • Vida Lorena Carpenter Robison (1883 – 1965);
  • Joel Vilah Carpenter (1886 – 1959);
  • Earl Roff Carpenter (1887 – 1957);
  • Clyde Henry Carpenter (1889 – 1957)

Photo credit: Judy Kenaston Warren

Melissa Ruthven (sometimes spelled Ruthan) Kenaston Carpenter was born on the 16th of January, 1846, in Franklin County, Ohio. She married Civil War veteran, William Joseph Carpenter, at the age of 21, in Rock Island, Illinois.

The Carpenters lived in multiple places in the midwest during their marriage, including: Nevada, Iowa; Platte, Nebraska; Keya Paha County, Nebraska; and, East River Township, Iowa. They eventually made their way to Oregon, settling in the Portland area in 1906. Melissa’s husband, William, operated a meat market in Portland. In 1916 they purchased a farm in the Webfoot area of Dayton, Oregon, where they remained until their deaths.

Melissa and William had 10 children, all of whom outlived Melissa with the exception of their daughter Ethel, who died in infancy.

Melissa died at the age of 81 on June 2, 1927 William followed her 9 years later, at the age of 91. Both are buried in the Odell Pioneer Cemetery.


Melissa Ruthfen Kenaston Carpenter was born in Ohio on Jan. 16, 1846 and spent her girlhood in Mercer Co., Ill. In 1867 she married William Carpenter of Rock Island, Ill. and moved with him to Oregon in 1906 and after to Yamhill Co. in 1916 where they took up residence in Webfoot.

On June 2 she died at her home at the age of 81 and is survived by 38 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren; her husband William Carpenter, and 9 children: Ella D. Myers, Springriver, Neb.; Ollie E. Carpenter, Nampa, Id.; Othie E. Gardner, Albany; Ottis W. Carpenter, Portland; Asytha E. Carpenter, Portland; Veda I. Robison, Kuna, Id; Joel V. Carpenter, Granger, Wa; Earl R. Carpenter, Portland; and Clyde H. Carpenter, Los Angeles, Cal.

Arrangements were made by the Ladd Funeral home and were conducted at the Odell Memorial Chapel on Sunday, June 5, with Rev. Leroy Walker of Dayton, officiating.

-Telephone Register, 10 June 1927 

Do you have any information about Melissa Ruthven Kenaston Carpenter? Or, do you love researching and would be willing to donate your time to the Odell Pioneer Cemetery Research Project? If so, please contact:
Reference: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, & 1920 United States Federal Census; Nebraska State Census Collection (1860-1885); Illinois Compiled Marriages (1851-1900); Illinois Marriage Index (1860-1920); Oregon Death Index (1898-2008);; Obituary: Genealogical Forum of Oregon, Odell Cemetery Biographies, p.39