prominent citizen and old settler of Antioch Township, has the honor of
having been born in Lake County, upon the farm in Section 2 where he
still resides. The date of his birth is December 4, 1843. He is of
Scotch descent. His grandfather died in Scotland, after which the wife
came to America accompanied by his son John Kennedy, the father of our
subject. He was born in Aberdeenshire, April 28, 1799, and as soon as
old enough entered a factory in his native land where he worked until
his emigration to this country. He was one of ten children, and as the
family were in limited circumstances, he was necessarily thrown upon his
own resources at an early age.
After coming to the United States, Mr.
Kennedy carried on a woolen factory in Stoughton, Mass. for some years.
During his residence in that place he wedded Miss Mary Henry, a native
of the Bay State, and unto them in Massachusetts were born three
children. Elizabeth now deceased; Alex, a resident of Iowa; and Mary,
deceased. With their little ones, the youngest a five month old baby,
they drove across the country to Illinois in the spring of 1840, and
settled on Section 12, Antioch Township, where James Kennedy, an uncle
of our subject, had previously located. Here the family was increased
until it numbered eight children; William now an engineer residing in
Peoria, was the first born in this county; George is the next younger;
Robert died at the age of twenty-two years; Thomas H. a member of the
Thirty-ninth Ill. Infantry, died of his wounds received on the field of
battle in Virginia; Mrs. Elizabeth Turner makes her home in Kossuth
County, Iowa; and Stephen is a legal practitioner of Waukegan.
On coming to this county, Mr. Kennedy
obtained his land from the government, two hundred acres, which he
improved, transforming it from a wild and unbroken tract to a valuable
farm. The county of that day was very sparsely settled, and the nearest
trading post was Chicago. Although he had never had any experience in
agriculture, he was quick to understand, was observing and soon learned
from experience how to develop and carry on a farm. He became one of the
prosperous citizens of the Community, and one who was well and favorably
known. He took an active interest in political affairs, was a strong
opponent of the system of slavery, and supported the Republican party by
his ballot. Both he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian Church
in Massachusetts. His death occurred in August, 1865 and Mrs. Kennedy
passed away 0ctober 14, 1863.
The educational advantages of our subject
were limited to three months attendance at the district school in the
winter season where there was not much work on the farm. At the early
age of 16 years the management of affairs fell upon his young shoulders,
and though the task was heavy for one so youthful he nobly discharged
his duties and in the care of the farm displayed much business and
executive ability. As helpmate on his life's journey he chose Miss C. L.
Turner and their marriage was celebrated in Kenosha County, Wis. on 1st
of November 1865. The lady was born in Oswego County, New York, and with
her parents, Henry and Mary Turner, came West at an early day. Her
father is now deceased. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy have been born four
children, one son and three daughters - Irene, Eva, Frank and Florence.
Mr. Kennedy, after attaining his
majority, cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln, and has since been a
stanch supporter of the Republican party. He attends its conventions,
where his opinions are always received with respect. He is also a strong
advocate of temperance, and is not afraid to express his views on that
or any other subject. He has held the office of Supervisor for three
terms of one year each, and in April, 1891, was elected for two years in
the face of strong opposition. He has proved himself a capable and
trustworthy official. The family is held in high esteem, and occupies an
enjoyable position in the world. Their home is a neat frame residence,
situated in the midst of a fine farm of two hundred thirty- five acres,
well cultivated and furnished with all the necessary and many ornamental
improvements, the whole indicating the progressive spirit of the owner.