James M. Kennedy, of Fredonia, Kan., and able lawyer and a successful business man of that city, was born of Irish parents in Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, Nov. 11, 1857. His father, Patrick Kennedy, was a native of County Tipperary, Ireland, born in December, 1831. In 1851 he immigrated to the United States and in November of that year landed at New Orleans, from whence he came to Indiana, thence to Wisconsin, and in 1869 removed to Wilson county, Kansas, where he resided until his death. In the Civil war he gave patriotic service to the country of his adoption as a member of Company C, Eighth Illinois infantry, with which he participated in many of the hard fought battles of that conflict. This regiment was in the engagements at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Port Gibson, Jackson, Champion's Hill, and Vicksburg, being among the first troops to enter that town at its capture. In February, 1864, it moved with General Sherman to Meridian, Miss., and time until mustered out saw continued and active service.
James M. Kennedy, after receiving a common school education, became a teacher and for a number of years was engaged in that line of professional work, five years of that time as an instructor in county normal work. He then took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1890. Twenty years of successful practice have put him to the fore at the Wilson county bar, and during that period he not only won professional success, but has evinced business ability of a high order. In connection with his law practice he has engaged extensively in the real estate business and has made a success of it. Besides large holdings of farm and other realty in Wilson county, he is one of five stockholders in the Excelsior Brick Company, which is now (1911) erecting kilns that will cost approximately $45,000. Mr. Kennedy is a Democrat and was twice elected prosecuting attorney of Wilson county, a county that is strongly Republican.
In 1882 Mr. Kennedy married Mary E. Stivers, of Fredonia, Kan. She is a daughter of Judge Stivers, who came to Kansas from Tipton county, Indiana, and is deceased. Mrs. Kennedy's grandfather Stivers served in the war of 1812. Three children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy: William is a graduate of the University of Kansas and is a practicing attorney in Greenville, Mo.; Max J. (see sketch) and Madge is a graduate of the Kansas University and is the wife of Fred J. Cambern, of the Bank of Erie, at Erie, Kan.Pages 564-565 from volume III, part 1 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 December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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