Christopher Chenery

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Christopher Tompkins Chenery (born September 19, 1886 in Richmond, Virginia; died January 3, 1973 in New Rochelle, New York) was an engineer and horse breeder who founded the Southern Natural Gas Company in Birmingham in 1928.

Chenery grew up in Ashland, Virginia. He attended Randolph-Macon College and studied engineering at Washington and Lee University, graduating in 1909. He moved to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska until World War I, during which he served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After the war he founded his own company, the Chenery Corporation, which took controlling interest in the Federal Water Service Company. In 1928 he founded the Southern Natural Gas Company to develop a distribution pipeline from northern Louisiana to Birmingham and Atlanta, Georgia. He served as president and chairman of the board until 1967, guiding the company's diversification into resource exploration and development and offshore drilling technology.

Chenery did not make his residence in Birmingham. He split time between a home in Pelham Manor, New York and a large farm, "The Meadow" in Caroline County, Virginia. He began breeding racing Thoroughbreds there with notable success. He was the owner of Riva Ridge, who won the 1972 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, and Secretariat, who won the 1973 U.S. Triple Crown. His daughter, Penny, had taken over as manager of the stables by 1968 when Chenery was admitted to the New Rochelle Hospital. He remained hospitalized until his death in January 1973.