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George H. Kennedy


A 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.


 

 


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