James Kennedy, a leading farmer and stock raiser of Marshall county, is a native son of Kansas, born in Clear Fork township, Marshall county, September 28, 1870. He is a son of William and Catherine (Kelley) Kennedy. The father was a native of Ireland and came to America when about fourteen years of age, first settling in Massachusetts and later came west, locating in Iowa. He came to Kansas about 1856 and settled in Marshall county. Catherine Kelley, his wife, was a native of New York and of Irish parentage. The Kelley family came to Kansas in 1856 and here William Kennedy and Catherine Kelley were married. William Kennedy made farming the chief occupation of his life. However, he worked for a short time in a woolen mill in Massachusetts. When he came to Kansas he bought government land in Marshall county, where he followed farming and stock raising and was very successful. He died November 19, 1897, and his wife passed away April 12, 1906.
William Kennedy accumulated a large amount of land, and at his death owned over 2,000 acres. He reared a family of ten children: Henry, James, William A., Mary, Margaret, Kate, Agnes, Clara, Nellie and Anna, all of whom are living except Anna. James Kennedy was reared on a farm and attended the common schools in District No. 18, the building being a primitive structure of native timber. The boy completed the common branches at this school and later attended the Jesuit College at St. Marys for two years. He then returned home, where he was engaged in farming and stock raising with his father until the death of the latter. When his father died, James continued on the home place, taking up the management where his father left off. He had the advantage of a thorough business training under his father from childhood. When a mere boy his father often permitted him to buy large bunches of cattle on his own judgment, and in later life these experiences proved valuable to him, as he is now one of the most successful men in his line in Marshall county. His father had begun to work into the pure-bred Hereford cattle before his death, and James has continued with this plan. He has shipped a great many pure-bred cattle to various parts of the country, often as far as Old Mexico, for breeding purposes. His purebred herd now numbers about fifty head. He also has continued feeding cattle for market, and on an average feeds about 350 head each year and usually keeps about 600 head on his farm. He still owns the old homestead, but the old log house of the pioneer days has disappeared, which has been replaced by a commodious stone residence. This place has been noted for the hospitality of its owner and a stranger was never turned away from its doors. When the travelers of the early days reached Kennedy's stone house they knew they were welcome to food and shelter. Mr. Kennedy takes an active part in the public affairs of his county and is now serving his third term as county commissioner from the Third district of Marshall county. Politcally, he is a Republican.
He was united in marriage, April 24, 1899, to Miss Anna, daughter of Joseph and Sophia (Ganter) Wendling. The parents were natives of Germany, but came to America when quite young. They settled in Kansas about 1880, locating in Marshall county, where the father followed farming until his death in 1902. The wife and mother now resides in Frankfort. Mrs. Kennedy was born in New Orleans, but her parents removed to Wisconsin when she was a child, and she was reared and educated in that State, coming to Kansas with her parents. To Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy have been born six children: Regina, William, Felicita, Catherine, Collette and Charlotte. The family are members of the Catholic church.Pages 565-566 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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