John Kennedy, a farmer residing on section 10, Groveland township,
LaSalle county, Illinois, has been identified with this county for a period
of forty-one years, and is well known as one of its respected and
Mr. Kennedy is a native of Ireland. He was born in county Queens, October 9, 1836, a son of John and Margaret (Call) Kennedy, both natives of the Emerald isle, the former of county Queens and the latter of county Carlow. To John and Margaret Kennedy were born seven children, three sons and four daughters, four of whom are living: Jane, the widow of Edward Brennan, of Carlow, Ireland; Mary, the wife of John W. McGarvey, of Sherrington, Canada; Margaret, the wife of Patrick Cooglan, also of Sherrington, Canada; John, whose name introduces this sketch. The father, who was a farmer, came to America with his family in the year 1850 and located on a farm eight miles south of Utica, New York, where he died in 1855, at the age of forty years. His wife's death occurred about one year before his.
William Kennedy, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, reached the extreme old age of one hundred and eight years, and his death was then caused by falling from his horse while going to a fair. He was the father of one son and five daughters. The maternal grandfather of our subject also died in Ireland, at a ripe old age. Both were farmers.
John Kennedy spent the first fourteen years of his life in Ireland, reared on a farm and educated in the common schools, and accompanied his parents to America, settling with them in New York, where he remained until after his father's death. Then he went to Chicago and entered the employ of the Burlington Railroad Company, but remained with that road only a short time. We next find him in La Porte county, Indiana, where for one year he worked by the month on a farm. Then he came to Marshall county, Illinois, and in 1858 to LaSalle county, where he continued as a farm hand, working by the month, until 1864. That year he enlisted in Company B, One hundred and Fiftieth Volunteer Infantry, and served one year. While in the army he took part in a number of skirmishes but was in no heavy battles.
After the war Mr. Kennedy settled in Woodford county, Illinois, where he lived one year, at the end of that time removing to Rutland, LaSalle county. Here he rented a farm, which he cultivated a short time, and then bought eighty acres in Groveland township, near Pleasant Valley school-house, which he still owns. Afterward he bought forty acres, where he now lives, and later added another eighty-acre tract. He carries on general farming and stock-raising and has been fairly successful in his operations, his career showing conclusively that in this country an energetic young man can by honest industry and good management win success.
Mr. Kennedy was married December 4, 1870, to Miss Mary Ann Golden, a daughter of Patrick and Mary Golden; and the fruits of their union are thirteen children: Margaret, Ann, William, Mary, John, Jane, Thomas, Frank, Rose Ellen, Emma. Julia, Kate and Daniel. All of the children except the three oldest daughters are at home, and two of these, Margaret and Ann, are married. Margaret is the wife of William Akens, of Chicago. Ann married John Burns, also of Chicago, and they have one child, Mary.
Mr. Kennedy's parents were devout members of the Catholic church, and he and his wife also are Catholics, their membership being in Sacred Heart Catholic church of Rutland. Believing that "new times demand new measures and new means,'' Mr. Kennedy has changed his political views. He was first a Republican, then a Democrat, and is now an independent. As a citizen he stands in high esteem.
Extracted 13 Jun 2019 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois, published in 1900, volume 2, pages 678-680.