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A collection of photocopies of John S. Penny’s poems, rhymes, and lyrics. Also included is unpublished poetry, family history, photographs, and correspondence.

John Scott Penny was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1848. In 1881, he and Irene Hixson married, and had two sons. Around 1900, they moved to Fort Scott, Kansas. There, Penny worked first as a real estate agent. Penny went on to open his own real estate, insurance, and loan office in 1914. Between 1915 and 1930, John Penny wrote approximately 500 poems, mostly about Kansas, Iowa, and the aspects of life around him. About 50 of his poems were published in Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri newspapers. In 1917 Penny published a poem booklet called Short Poems at Odd Hours, which included 141 of his poems. His writing gained national attention when he wrote a poem titled “The World’s Answer” in 1919 as a response to Lt. Col. John D. McCrae’s World War I poem titled “In Flanders Fields,” written in 1915. Penny died in Fort Scott in 1933.

Publication Date



Languages and Literature, Social Life and Customs


Arts and Humanities

Size of Collection

4 linear feet

Dates of Collection


Manuscript Number

SpC MS 0252

Penny, John S., Collection, 1915-1930



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