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Hotel Kenna - New Castle PA

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Joseph A. Kenna purchased a small hotel in downtown New Castle in the late 1890’s. The building, with less than thirty guest rooms, was once the home of a parochial school operated by the First Methodist Church, and was among a cluster of small buildings on the southwest corner of the Diamond. Kenna’s liquor license was not renewed in early 1906 and without a profitable saloon the hotel went under. The property was seized by the sheriff on December 14, 1906, and sold a few weeks later. James Gunning apparently acquired the hotel and opened or erected the “new Gunning Block” at the same spot in 1907. The location was selected for the site of the new Post Office building in September 1931. After legal wranglings the razing of the numerous small buildings took place in 1932-33. Joseph Kenna had since moved on to Thornville, Ohio, where he passed away at the age of fifty-five in July 1934. (c1905) Full Size


  1. Joe Kenna born in New Castle and died in Thornville Ohio was my grandfather and I have a photo of him in 1917 when he married my grandmother, Althea Clark in Thornville, Ohio. This photo does not look like him and he was a thin man. He died of stomach cancer. I found no record of him and Pearl Gromley ever getting a divorce and she listed herself as a widow when she remarried. So I don’t know if either of these marriages were legal. I know Joe fled Pennsylvania due to legal problems it seems he was on the run from authorities.


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