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Two prominent families were brought together when Henry Flagler and Mary Kenan wed in 1901. Flagler was one of the founders of the Standard Oil Company and founder of the Florida East Coast Railway System. Kenan also came from a well-known family. Her brother, for example, was famous for discovering carbon gas for home lighting before the electric light was used, and he built the first electric light plant in Chapel Hill. Henry Flagler died in 1918 (sic) and left their $4 million mansion named “Whitehall,” in Palm Beach, Florida, to Mary. She established the Kenan Professorship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her siblings inherited the estate after her death and began a long tradition of philanthropy in North Carolina, including major funding for the Kenan Stadium and Kenan Memorial Auditorium.
The State (NoCar F 251 S77), Vol. 54 Issue 4, Sept 1986, p16-17,28, il, por
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