Our Company History

Kenney Machinery Company was created before the turn of the 20th century. The first certificate of corporation was received on March 21, 1906.  Edward T. Kenney was elected president.

The 1st annual catalog illustrating products sold to the farming industry was published in 1907. The company was located at 124-128 Capital Avenue South, in Indianapolis.  Legend has it that the company sold the first rubber tired buggy in the state of Indiana.

Edward died in 1918 and was succeeded by his son, James H. Kenney, who was a sophomore at Purdue University. James and Katherine (James’s sister) operated the business through the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s.

The company began selling estate and golf course equipment and supplies in the early 1930’s, along with farm machinery and orchard sprayers. It was during this period that they moved to 301 West Maryland Street (the present site of the Indianapolis Convention Center).

Kenney Machinery was appointed a distributor for the Toro Company in 1939

In 1946 the company expanded its agricultural sales efforts into Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. During the 1950’s the company expanded its product offerings and became a leading supplier of golf and turf equipment and irrigation products.

In 1961, after college, James E. Kenney joined the company as a sales representative.  In 1962, for the first time, the company’s sales reached $1.0 million. James H. Kenney died in 1965 and young Jim became president. The company decided to concentrate on selling lawn and golf equipment. Farm equipment manufacturers were selling direct to dealers, prompting this change in the company’s focus.

1969 saw redevelopment of downtown Indianapolis and the company relocated to 8141 Zionsville Road in the northwest suburbs. This marked the 1st time in 63 years the company was not located in the urban center of the city. It followed the population movement and growth of golf courses into suburbia.

Company sales were growing at a rapid pace, from $2 million in 1973 to $7 million in 1979. Toro recognized the company as the #1 Turf equipment distributor.

The Great Blizzard

1978 was the year of the “Great Blizzard” and the company sold over 10,000 snow throwers that year. Many thought it would never stop snowing but it did. In fact it didn’t snow again for 4 years! Many distributors and dealers were caught with large amounts of inventory and went out of business.

In 1979 the company moved to its present location at 8420 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis.

In February of 1990, James Michael Kenney (Mike), joined the company as Manager of the Irrigation supply business. Mike is the son of James E. Kenney.

Sales crossed the $20 million threshold in 1993.  Continuing on an expansion of their thriving irrigation supply business, the company now had branch locations in Granger, Indiana, Fort Wayne, Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky.

December 15th, 1997 marked another milestone in the company history, as Mike Kenney was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer, succeeding Jim Kenney.  Mike became the 4th generation of Kenney’s to serve as President.

December 31st, 2005 the company acquired Turf Specialties Corporation from Jon and Roxanne Fuller. Shortly thereafter The Indiana operations of Simplot Partners were acquired from The J.R. Simplot Company. These two businesses were combined into one operation called Turf Specialties Supply. By virtue of these acquisitions Kenney became a major supplier of turf fertilizers and chemicals. Sales now exceeded $40 million.

April of 2008 marked more significant change. Turf Specialties Supply was merged with two Harrells branded businesses all re-named Harrells, LLC becoming one of the largest independently owned fertilizer and chemical suppliers in the country. Kenney retained a minority ownership in the much larger company and proceeded to focus on expanding the landscape irrigation supply business now operating as “Kenney Outdoor Solutions”.

Kenney Outdoor Solutions

Kenney Outdoor Solutions quickly became a regional player in the supply of Irrigation and Landscape related products such as Lighting, water features and drainage materials. In 2008 Kenney expanded into the Chicago and St. Louis markets. In 2009 a location was opened in the Detroit area and the company began marketing Harrells fertilizer and Lawn-care products to Contractors.  In 2010 Kenney acquired another location in Lenexa Kansas

Today Kenney Outdoor Solutions sells into five Midwest states through nine point of sale locations.

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