John R. Wrenn

John R. and Florence Twyman Wrenn, who were pioneer citizens of Marceline, were united in marriage in 1872 in Chariton County and came to Marceline in 1888 from Thomas Hill, Missouri.

This union was blessed with seven children: Frank William, Anna Wrenn Barnes, Everett, Lillian Wrenn Gridley, Mabel Wrenn Wallovick, and R. Mitchell. All are now deceased but one, Mrs. Mabel Wallovick.

When the town was only a few weeks old, Mr. and Mrs. John R. Wrenn bought lots and built one of the substantial homes of the early life of the city at the northwest corner of Chestnut Street and Houser Street.

In Thomas Hill, Mr. Wrenn engaged in the dry goods business known as Wrenn and Rigg. Previous to that he had a business in Huntsville, Missouri. After taking residence in Marceline, he operated a dry goods store in a building on West Santa Fe Street, just west of the present Methodist Church, that street being the main street at that time. Later he moved into a building a short distance north of what is now the Wolfe-Briggs Motor Company.

In 1896 he decided to make a change, so he established the Wrenn Real Estate and Insurance business on August 7, which is still in operation, headed by the third generation, Jack C. Wrenn, son of R. M. Wrenn, and grandson of J. R. Wrenn.

In 1912 J. R. Wrenn was joined in the business by his son R. M. Wrenn. Father and son continued to operate the agency until 1923 when J. R. Wrenn died, then R. M. Wrenn took over the business and operated it until his death in February 1947, at which time Jack took over. In August of this year, the agency will be observing its 67th year in business, thus making it one of the oldest businesses in town under the ownership of one family.

J. R. Wrenn was a life-long member of the Methodist Church and held many official offices in the church here while he was a resident of Marceline.

Jack C. Wrenn’s mother is also a pioneer citizen being a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Cantlon, who came to Marceline when the town first started. She and R. M. Wrenn were married September 19, 1917. To this union was born 2 children, Jack and Betty Wrenn Austin.

Jack and Wilma King Wrenn who were married in 1948 have two sons, Mitchell and Michael Wrenn, one of whom may well be the fourth generation to own the Wrenn Real Estate and Insurance business.

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