Thomas B. Kennedy, president of the First National Bank at Junction City, Kan., was born in Orrstown, Franklin county, Pennsylvania, Aug. 29, 1861, the son of Dr. Maxwell and Martha J. (Orr) Kennedy. The Kennedy family is an old one in Scotland and for centuries has been closely connected with many of the most important events in Scotch history. Chief of all the Kennedys were the Dunure Kennedys, a lowland family which, beginning first as simple Lairds of Dunure, gradually became Lords Kennedy, Earls of Cassillis, and finally Marquesses of Ailsa. It was John Kennedy, fifth earl of Cassillis, that was the founder of the branch of the Kennedy family to which the subject of this review belongs. David, the first earl, was slain at the battle of Flodden Field in 1513; the second earl was Gilbert; the third earl, also named Gilbert, was one of the ambassadors sent to negotiate the marriage of Queen Mary to the Dauphin of France, but died while in Paris and is supposed to have been poisoned there for opposing the wishes of the French court; the fourth and fifth earls were named respectively Gilbert and John, the latter of whom had two sonsJohn, who became the sixth earl of Cassillis, and Col. Gilbert Kennedy. The Kennedys, though Protestants, were not in favor of the high-handed political measures of the seventeenth century. They were opposed to the decapitation of King Charles I., and gave only a passive submission to the administration of Oliver Cromwell. John, the sixth earl, was a leader among the Presbyterians; was one of the three ruling elders sent up to the Westminster Assembly of 1643, and was "chief person" in bringing about the restoration of Charles II. The Kennedy's uncompromising support of Presbyterianism and love of law and order rendered them liable to be crushed between the opposing powers of Charles II and Cromwell, to escape which some of them fled to Holland, others removed to the North of Ireland, and thence to America. Col. Gilbert Kennedy was with Cromwell at the battle of Marston Moor. He had two sons who were Presbyterian ministersGilbert and Thomas. Rev. Thomas Kennedy was chaplain to General Munroe, who came to Ireland with his army in 1642. Subsequently he settled in Carland, and being a nonconformist, he was imprisoned and so severely persecuted that he thought of removing to America, but death in 1714 ended his troubles. Two of his sons, Thomas and John, were Presbyterian ministers. Robert and William Kennedy, two brothers who emigrated from Ireland and settled in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, in 1730, are believed to be the sons of Rev. Thomas Kennedy and the grandsons of Col. Gilbert Kennedy, and it is supposed they settled in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, to be near their cousin, Mrs. Catharine Kennedy Tennant, a granddaughter of Col. Gilbert Kennedy, who had settled there some years previously. Archibald, twelfth earl of Cassillis, was created the first marquess of Ailsa in 1832. The arms of the Kennedy family are thus givenArgent, a chevron gules, between three cross crosslets, fitches, sable; all within a double tressure, flowered and counterflowered in the second; the crest is a dolphin; the supporters are two swans, proper. The motto is "avise la fin" (consider the end). William Kennedy, born in Londonderry, Ireland, not far from Belfast, in 1695, married Mary Henderson, and died in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, in 1777. His son, James, born in that county in 1730, married Jane Maxwell, a daughter of John Maxwell and a sister of General Maxwell of the Revolutionary army. James died on Oct. 7, 1799, and his son William, born in 1766, married Sarah Stewart and died in 1850. He was a Revolutionary patriot, a member of the New Jersey legislature, and for many years was a judge of the courts. His son, James J. Kennedy, born on July 14, 1793, married Margaret Cowell on Jan. 28, 1819, and died on Nov. 9, 1863. He was a very prominent man in his locality, having been a judge of the courts and an active worker in the Democratic party and in the Presbyterian church. He was the grandfather of Thomas B. Kennedy, the father of Maxwell Kennedy, and removed from Warren county, New Jersey, to Chambersburg, Pa., in 1839.
Dr. Maxwell Kennedy, the father of Thomas B., was a graduate of Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, with the class of 1865. He first practiced at Orrstown and Chambersburg, Pa., but came to Junction City, Kan., Nov. 6, 1871, and there practiced his profession until his death, on March 25, 1885. He had a large and successful practice, was prominent in his profession, and well known throughout the state, having served as an officer in the various medical societies of the state. His practice extended over a large area which was sparsely settled and he met and endured all the hardships incident to travel in that early day. In his professional work no mercenary motive was allowed to enter. His aim was to do all that could be done for his patient, whether that patient lived in a palatial residence or in a cabin. He was a stanch Presbyterian and his life one of charitable deeds. He accumulated large holdings in farm lands, which he supervised, and was an active and potent factor in the development of Junction City and Geary county in their formative period. The surviving children of Dr. Maxwell and Martha Kennedy are: Thomas B., the subject of this review; Frank S., of Quincy, Ill.; William Orr, of Oklahoma City, identified with the Western Newspaper Union; Hester M., who resides in Junction City, Kan.; Margaret K., the wife of Robert S. Chambers, of Philadelphia, Pa. John M., the second son, died Oct. 23, 1896, and was a well known newspaper man on the Denver and Kansas City, Mo., papers.
Thomas B. Kennedy was educated in the public schools of Junction City, Kan., and in 1878 entered the employ of B. Rockwell & Company, as cashier, being made general bookkeeper in 1881. In 1887, with a cousin, Moorhead C. Kennedy, he formed the firm of Kennedy & Kennedy, private bankers. In May, 1889, their business was purchased by the First National Bank, of which Mr. Kennedy became assistant cashier, later cashier, and then president in 1909, which is his present position. The First National Bank succeeded to the private bank of W. B. Clarke, which had been founded in 1872, and is now the most important bank in Geary county. It has deposits of about $500,000, a capital of $75,000, and a surplus and profits of $90,000, making it one of the strongest in the state as to ratio of capital and surplus to deposits. Its directorate is equally strong, and its well known policy of conservative banking, the placing of its assets in Junction City, where they have been of benefit to local interests, has materially assisted in the development of its home town. Its founder, W. B. Clarke, was president from 1886 to 1889; the late G. W. McKnight served from 1889 to 1907; Bertrand Rockwell was president from 1907 to 1909; and from that time to the present it has been under the able management of Mr. Kennedy. He possesses all the attributes of the successful banker and is well known as such throughout the state. He is a conservative but energetic manager and withal a profit-gatherer for his institution. His whole business career has been a successful one, during which he has accumulated considerable wealth, part of which is in large land holdings and in improved residence properties in Junction City and elsewhere. Mr. Kennedy enjoys a reputation for sterling citizenship, one ever ready to assist in any public enterprise of merit, and stands justly high in the estimation of his host of friends. He has served as chairman of Group FourState Bankers' Association, is a Republican in his political views, but not an active party worker, and is a Mason, being past commander of Junction City Commandery, Knights Templars and a member of Isis Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine at Salina, Kan. is an elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Junction City. He was president of the Junction City Commercial Club in 1903-04, during the great flood which swept nearly all the bridges away and left the town practically marooned. The club took up the work of building temporary pile bridges, the county commissioners having no funds available, and built, paid for and maintained the temporary means of keeping the traffic open. Mr. Kennedy, as executive head, was a foremost figure in this work and this plan of relief was in a great measure due to his energy and foresight. He was elected a director of the State Historical Society in 1910.
On Sept. 16, 1885, Mr. Kennedy married Carrie, daughter of Jacob Smith, of North Hector, N. Y. She died on Oct. 29, 1890, leaving a daughter, Emilie C., now the wife of John C. McDowell, of Chambersburg, Pa. The second marriage of Mr. Kennedy occurred on Sept. 8, 1906, when he was united to Miss Emma A. Cormany, daughter of Barnard A. Cormany, of Junction City. Mrs. Kennedy is a woman of attractive personality, broad education and culture, and is a well known figure in church work in the state. She is synodical secretary of literature of the Women's Missionary Society of the Presbyterian church in the State of Kansas, and is also secretary of literature of the Women's Presbyterian Missionary Society of the Presbytery of Topeka. She has been superintendent of the primary department of the First Presbyterian Church Sabbath school in Junction City for the past twenty-five years, and has averaged about 140 scholars. Mrs. Kennedy is one of the social leaders in Junction City and their beautiful and pleasant home is often the scene of gracious hospitality, which is extended to their many friends.Pages 434-437 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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