Kenefick History-the Town

Kenefick is a family name from Ireland. Part of that family founded a railroad construction company back in the 1800s. The Kenefick Construction Company.

Now, when Texas was first settled, Reason Green was given a very large grant of land that consisted of much of Liberty County. On that plantation land, in the early to mid 1800s, the Kenefick Construction Company built a railroad through. It became a thriving settlement (for those times) and took the name of Kenefick from the company.

It's population went up and down over 100 years, but has remained a very small back woods community...official population never reaching more than about 800 over those years (as far as I know). There are actually many more people there today, but the city made the "city limits" so that they only reached about 60 ft. from the main roads. That means that all folks who live over 60 ft. from the road are NOT within the city limits and would not have to pay city property taxes (if they ever came). It also means that there are more like 2500 to 5000 people living in the Kenefick area. The current "official" population is about 600.

About 10 years ago, Marty's dad, Martin S. Wells Sr. was the mayor of the town for about 6 years. His brother just finished a long hitch as mayor a couple of years ago. His mother, brother, and all of the children/grandchildren (lots) still live out there now.

Marty was actually raised in Baytown. His parents owned land in Kenefick for many years before moving out there and building after he went off to school at SWT.

Statistics & Facts

The population of Kenefick is approximately 435.
The approximate number of families is 158.
The amount of land area in Kenefick is 3.188 sq. kilometers.
The amount of surface water is 0.013 sq. kilometers.
The distance from Kenefick to Washington DC is 1204 miles. The distance to the Texas state capital is 174 miles. (as the crow flies)
Kenefick is positioned 30.10 degrees north of the equator and 94.85 degrees west of the prime meridian.


In Liberty County, northeast of Houston, not far from the community of Liberty.

From the "Handbook of Texas Online"

KENEFICK, TEXAS. Kenefick is at the junction of Farm roads 1008 and 2797, forty-one miles northeast of Houston in central Liberty County. The area was settled before 1830 by Reason Green and his slaves. The Beaumont, Sour Lake and Western Railway was built through the area by the Kenefick Construction Company after 1904. The community that grew up along the railroad in the Green survey was named for the owner of the construction firm. Several sawmills and a commissary were located at Kenefick during the height of the East Texas lumbering era. Cattle and agriculture remained important, and the establishment of the Kenefick voting precinct in 1956 reflected the community's growth. In 1968 residents voted to incorporate their town by a 42-0 margin. The population, estimated at 150 in 1973, had reached 763 by 1980. In 1990 it was 435.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Miriam Partlow, Liberty, Liberty County, and the Atascosito District (Austin: Pemberton, 1974).

Robert Wooster