This is a long shot to your question however, my family of Denney/Denny came from Brown and Adams Counties, Ohio, some before the 1880 census, moving to or passing through Madison Co Iowa, Grand River Twp.
If you find a connection between your family and mine I would be delighted to know that.
Obviously the John Denney I will mention below is not yours but not inconceivable that he could be the father or maybe an uncle of yours.
William Denny (born December 24, 1808) and his wife Jane Wisbey Denny had the following children: Martha Ann Denny, a son without a name, John Ewing Taylor Denny (born August 22, 1840), Rebekah Susanna Denny, William McReynolds Denny, James Allen Denny, Thomas Lucian Denny, Lyman Dennis Denny. At some point they changed the spelling to Denney.
We have no knowledge of where John Ewing Taylor Denney went after leaving Ohio or if he stopped in Madison Co Iowa as did at least two brothers and one sister.
Maybe another long shot but in the same Grand River Twp, Madison Co Iowa are Ballards.
The following are the Ballards buried there in Moon Cemetery, the largest cemetery in that area.
Ballard, Aline, b. 1903, d. 1985, w/o Claire M
Ballard, Claire M., b. 1895, d. 1980, h/o Aline
Ballard, Glen Wood, b. 5-7-1879, Macksburg, Ia., d. 8-14-1939, h/o Sada, (m) 11-19-1903, s/o Sam. T. & Martha E., f/o Opal Gevevieve (Slaybough)
Ballard, Jessie M., d. 10-25-1878, 1y 9m, s/o Samuel T. & Martha E
Ballard, Martha E. (Arasmith), b. 1889, Henry Co. Il, d. 1923, w/o Samuel T
Ballard, Nellie R., d. 5-4-1883, 10y 7m, consumption, d/o Samuel T. & Martha E. *
Ballard, Phillip S., d. 6-6-1884, 19y 3m 4d, consumption, s/o Samuel T. & Martha E. *
Ballard, Ransom A., b. 10-4-1870, Macksburg, Ia, d. 8-10-1949, h/o Carrie, (m) 10-4-1906, Madison Co., s/o Samuel T. & Martha E
Ballard, Sada Anna (Sadie) (Leutzinger), b. 2-12-1884, Ia., d. 3-1-1958, w/o Glen W., d/o Henry & Jane (Easley)
Ballard, Sadie Carrie (Hawn), b. 9-17-1874, Freeport, Il, d. 11-17-1915, w/o Ransom A., d/o Isaac & Anna M. (Snyder)
Ballard, Samuel Thurston, b. 5-10-1833, Va, d. 1903, h/o Martha E., s/o Andrew J. & Frances Ann (Thurston), f/o Ransom A., Jessie M., Nellie R., Phillip S., Glen W
signed, Denney Smith