Grayson County TXGenWeb

John F. Rennie


John F. Rennie was one of three brothers, Alexander, John, and James Rennie, who had come to the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, from Canada and prospered greatly. John and Alex also had business interests in Denison, Texas.

John Rennie
[Chickasaw]

This gentleman was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1838. He attended pubic school till 1852, and in the same year went into the dry goods business with his brother, Alexander Rennie. After three years he moved to Hamilton, Canada pursuing the same line of business until 1864, when he changed his location to Stratford, and there transacted a good business until 1868.

In the fall of that year he moved to the Chickasaw Nation and entered the employment of his brother Alexander, who had married a citizen of that country. With him he remained until 1881, when he opened business on his own account at Savannah, Choctaw Nation. Here he remained until the great explosion of 1887, when the entire mining town moved to Lehigh, and he among the rest. He also moved his capacious building and opened out the largest stock of goods at that time exposed for sale in the Lehigh camp. Since then he has been doing an extensive business both in the country and mining trade, carrying a well-selected stock of about thirteen thousand collars, and is one of the most popular merchants in the county.

Alexander Rennie Sr., father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, coming to Canada when a boy of fifteen years. He was well known in after life throughout the Dominion as a man of extensive capital.

John Rennie has never married. In 1861 he was initiated into Masonry, and during that year received the first seven degrees. In the subordinate lodge he filled all the offices up to that of Worshipful Master, in the Royal Arch Chapter all up to and including E. King. On moving to the Indian country he became a member of the Oklahoma Lodge No. 4, then located at Boggy Depot, but since moved to Atoka. In 1885 he withdrew from that lodge, and is now a charter member of No. 20, located at Lehigh. In 1888 he became Grand Master.

The subject of this sketch is a brother of Hon. Alexander Rennie, who has filled nearly every important office in the Chickasaw Nation except Governor, and who is looked upon as one of the wealthiest men to be found in the Indian Territory.

[Source: O'Beirne, Harry F. Leaders and Leading Men of the Indian Territory, with Interesting Biographical Sketches ... Profusely Illustrated with Over Two Hundred Portraits and Full-Page Engravings, vol. 1: Choctaws and Chickasaws (Chicago: American Publishers Association, 1891); reprint, Conway, AR: Oldbuck Press, 1994.]

John F. Rennie  - Dry Goods, Notions, Waists and Skirts. 318 W. Main St. Old Phone 468.

This is one of the newest mercantile establishments in the city, and, although the business was only launched during the latter part of September of the present year [1908], it is making rapid strides. The proprietor, Mr. John F. Rennie, however, is one of the most widely known citizens of Denison and has had quite a lengthened experience in all branches of the dry goods business. He is a hustler in every particular, and his aim is to conduct a strictly first-class dry goods store, handling the choicest and most attractive goods that can be had. The store is neatly appointed and the stock, which is indeed very select, is unsurpassed in this city for quality, style, and general excellence. The proprietor feels assured that his efforts to sell good goods at living prices will merit him a large trade. Judging from the extensive patronage already gained, we predict for this house a brilliant future. Mr. Rennie invites you to call and examine the stock and prices before buying.

[Source: “Denison, the Texas Gateway: A Busy, Progressive City with Golden Opportunities.” 16pp. Brochure. N.p.: N.d. [ca. 1908].


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Elaine Nall Bay
2013