Biography of Thomas Kennedy
Adams County, NE Biographies





THOMAS KENNEDY.
Adams county owes the greater part of its prosperity to the labors of its energetic and progressive agriculturists, among whom Thomas Kennedy was numbered. He acquired title to valuable farm land on sections 4 and 5, Highland township, and for many years devoted his time and energies to its cultivation and improvement and in the course of time acquired financial independence. His demise, which occurred on the 10th of October, 1914, was sincerely mourned and his memory is still honored by those who knew him. His birth occurred in County Sligo, Ireland, on the 27th of August, 1843, and his parents were James and Bridget (Gilligan) Kennedy. The family was originally Scotch but later settled in the north and west of Ireland. The father, who was a weaver by trade, preceded his family to this country and prepared a home for them, after which they joined him. For some time they lived in Waterloo, New York, whence they removed to Chicago, where they spent ten years. The next removal was to a farm in the vicinity of Fall River, Wisconsin, and there the father and mother passed away. To them were born nine children, Bridget, Thomas, James, Michael, William, John, Catherine, Mary and Margaret, the three eldest of whom were natives of Ireland, while the others were born in America All of the daughters are now married and Michael owns the homestead.

Thomas Kennedy was ten years of age when he came to this country and continued his education in the public schools here. About 1877 or 1878 he came to Nebraska with Thomas Kernan and while on the way to Hastings met Mr. Fisher, who was also intending to locate in this locality. Mr. Fisher established a bakery at Hastings and met with gratifying success in his undertaking and Mr. Kennedy settled on three hundred and twenty acres of land on section 5, Highland township. Subsequently he bought eighty acres on section 4, which made the total of his holdings four hundred acres, and his well directed labors enabled him to secure a handsome financial return from his land He raised hogs and cattle and also grew considerable grain. At first he raised corn and oats but later substituted wheat for oats. After his first home was burned he erected the present residence, which is a comfortable and well designed structure, and he also built good barns and outbuildings

On the 19th of February, 1889, Mr. Kennedy was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Conroy, a daughter of Stephen and Catherine (Wright) Conroy, both natives of Ireland. Mrs. Kennedy was born in County Galway on the 19th of August, 1864, and was one of a family of seven children to emigrate to this country, the others being John, Mark, James, Mary, Annie and Katherine. To Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy were born six children, one of whom died in infancy. The others are Mary, James, Thomas, Katherine and William, all of whom are residing on the homestead.

Mr. Kennedy was one of the founders of St. Patrick's Catholic church in Highland township and helped to defray the expense of erecting the house of worship. His wife is also a communicant of that church and takes a commendable interest in the advancement of its work. He gave his political allegiance to the democratic party and could be depended upon to fulfill his duties ash a citizen although he never took a prominent part in politics. His time was taken up with the work of developing his farm and the care and labor which he bestowed upon it were well rewarded. His land was kept in a high state of cultivation and he seldom failed to harvest good crops, while his stock raising interests also proved profitable. When he removed to his place it was still wild prairie and he broke the sod with oxen, a tedious and arduous task. The success which he gained was well deserved, for it was the direct reward of his enterprise, industry and good judgment, and he was justly accounted one of the leading residents of his township.

From:
Past and Present of
Adams County, Nebraska
Supervisong Editor: Judge William R. Burton
Assistant Editor: David J. Lewis
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago, 1916


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