A Brief History of Metairie and Kenner, Louisiana

William Kenner ca. 1810

Metairie is the first suburb of New Orleans, Louisiana, located on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain between the cities of New Orleans and Kenner (Metairie, n.d.). Kenner is the largest incorporated suburban city of New Orleans. At the age of twenty-three, William Kenner, a Virginian of Scotch-Irish descent moved to New Orleans and became a prominent businessman and leader who was actively involved in Louisiana Purchase matters in 1803. Kenner married fourteen year old Mary Minor, who had seven children, four of them sons, Mary died at age twenty-seven. A short time after his trusted business partner absconded with most of the company’s assets, William Kenner died at the age of forty-seven. His sons were left orphans at the ages of fifteen, thirteen, eleven, and ten. In the 1840s Philip Minor Kenner became the owner of Belle Grove Plantation, William Butler Kenner became the owner of Oakland Plantation, George Rappele Kenner ran his father’s Ashland Plantation for a short time and relocated to Texas to introduce sugar cane, and Duncan Farrar Kenner took ownership of his father’s plantation, Ashland (Kenner, n. d.). In 1855, Kenner was founded by the Kenner sons and consisted of the three plantation properties that had been purchased by the Kenner family. At the time, all land north of what is now Airline Highway was swampland. Kenner’s growth began in the late 1950s when developers began subdividing, draining and filling the swampland in the northern half of the city. During the 1960s, the construction of Interstate 10 and improvements to Veterans Memorial Highway aided the rapid development of Kenner as a suburb of New Orleans (Wikipedia, 2019).


(No date). City of Kenner Historical Timeline. Retrieved from kenner.la.us.

(No date). Metairie History. Retrieved from . welcometo.metairie.com.

Wikipedia. (2019, Jul. 26). Kenner, Louisiana. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org.

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